Is your child a video game addict? Do you often wish he would leave the computer or PlayStation and spend some more time playing outdoors? We’ve got some ideas for you on how to redirect your child’s attention from video games to the world around him!
Get Him Busy: You must have heard the cliché about idle minds. The best way to keep your child away from the computer is to make sure he’s spending his time on better activities! Extracurriculars are your best friend here – enroll your child in hobby classes, sports clubs or music lessons to make sure he has a full timetable.
Negotiate Game Time: Research has shown that video games are actually beneficial when played in reasonable amounts. They can help increase concentration and make your child alert and observant and improve his ability to think on his feet! Allow your child a few hours every week for video games – he’ll appreciate the play time and won’t complain too much about not being allowed to play at all!
Turn Home-Time into Family-Time: Set some new house rules about evenings at home. Use these hours, when your family is gathered and rested, to do activities together.
Scrabble, Ludo, Business, Life – the list is endless.
Opt for Play-dates in Parks: If you can, take your kids out to the park every day, to meet up with friends. The more time they spend playing outside, the less they’ll want to stay cooped up in the house hunched over a Playstation game controller
Set Deadlines: The hardest thing to do is not stopping your child from beginning to play – it’s stopping him from playing it once he’s started. The best way to avoid constant pleas for “just this level!” is to set a deadline – and warn then once the deadline gets close. So if they have 15 minutes left to play, let them know – then keep reminding them till time’s up. Giving them some time to finish their level, save their setting and close their game will prevent friction.
Be Prepared for Opposition: It’s not easy to break an addiction. You may find yourself dealing with tantrums, pleading and crying. Make it clear to your kids that video games are not a hobby but a privilege, and that any misbehaviour or argument regarding the matter will result in their games and PlayStation/Game-boy/X-box being taken away.
Of course, the best way to fight video game addiction is to not buy your children a PlayStation or video games at all. However, games can still be enjoyed in moderation – as long as rules are in place about game times and other activities.