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10 Tips to Encourage Healthy Gaming Habits in Kids

Parenting Technology

10 Tips to Encourage Healthy Gaming Habits in Kids

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Healthy Gaming

There’s no doubt about it – video games are a great source of entertainment and education for kids and adults alike. But too much gaming can be detrimental to kids. Video games have often been blamed for aggressive behavior in children, childhood obesity and poor grades,and can grow to become a highly addictive habit.Studies show that kids play video games for 1.5 hours on an average everyday, but spend only about 38 minutes reading books or other forms of print media.Since video and computer games are here to stay,you might as well make the best of them.

Healthy GamingTips to Help Kids Develop Healthy Gaming Habits

Here care some tried-and-tested tips to help your kids develop healthy gaming habits:

  • Limit gaming time. If gaming is a form of family recreation that you enjoy along with your kids, it can be hard to set time limits. But 1 ½ hours of playing computer games is generally considered to be ample by experts. If your child is playing by himself, 1-2 hours of game time is a good solid number that should never be stretched.
  • Treat gaming time as a privilege that your child needs to earn; an activity that is allowed only after homework and chores are completed.
  • Make sure the room in which you have the computer has lots of other entertainment – toys, books, board games, etc.–so that your child can choose to do something else other than playing games.
  • Monitor the kind of games that your child plays. Encourage him to play games that also offer educational value – like fun reading games, cool math, free science games, etc.
  • Don’t forget to keep the computer in a common family area rather thanin your child’s bedroom. If your child is very young, do not let him have a laptop and do not allow him to take your laptop in his bedroom to play games.
  • Do not allow your child to play games during meals or other activities.
  • It is easy (and tempting) to reach out for those cheesy greasy snacks when you are engrossed in gaming. Make sure you provide healthy munchies (such as fresh veggies and fruit juice) for your kids to snack on when they play.
  • Establish parental controls. Almost every game console has these built-in controls to filter offensive content and regulate gaming time. Use them effectively.
  • Strike a balance with physical activity. Most kids would never stop gaming if they could help it, but you must encourage them to mix it up with regular physical activities they enjoy.It could be hiking, riding a bike, going for a swim, playing with the neighborhood kids or starting up a game of baseball – 1 hour of daily physical activity is necessary to keep your child healthy and fit, games or no games.
  • Go for active gaming. Playing video or computer games need not be a sedentary activity. Encourage your child to play motion-sensing ‘active’ games such as Dance Dance Revolution or Just Dance. Most active games are very easy to learn and are perfect for introducing your non-gaming child to the world of computer and video gaming.

Online gaming can be a fun and enriching experience. Help your child make the most of the benefits that gaming can offer with these useful tips and ideas.

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Jenn

I have a smart mouth, don't sit still well, extremely opinionated, have a lot to say, work hard, love lots, don't have time for drama, or negativity. I love animals, & my job as a New Mexico mom blogger! I love sharing travel adventures, tech gadgets, recipes, parenting struggles (success), crafts, helpful tips, giveaways and sweepstakes, product reviews, and more.  I have amazing 4 children, and have an amazing boyfriend. On my downtime, you'll find me spending time with my family, traveling, cooking, geeking out on tech, plotting the next home improvement, create crafts with the kids, and riding my horses We are plotting our move to greener pastures, with trees, and stuff. Connect with me on Google + Page.

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12 Comments

  1. Cynthia Cover December 18, 2013

    I really enjoyed this post, in a world of games, this is a reasonable approach. All of the games I have currently are on his Vreader, but we are giving him a Innotab3s and he will have access to the Internet soon.

  2. Linda September 13, 2013

    Thanks for this post! Really helpful ideas. I have a 2 year old who is just getting to know the virtual world and it sure is a struggle at times to explain to her why she cant sit in front of the screen 24/7. I can sense that there will be many discussions about internet/computer/games in this house in the future.. Especially when I have to argue back on comments like “but mommy, you play” 🙂

  3. Emily Hudson September 10, 2013

    I am pleastantly surprised to see how up to date you are on games and how open-minded you are. Gaming can become a problem i1 not carefully monitored and you’ve given great advice. I suggest looking into Rock Band as well, where you can play instruments. Lots of fun.

  4. Beanybopp September 9, 2013

    Thanks for the tips….my husband is a “gamer” and I can see the issues that I will have with our son when it comes to playing with daddy. I may just have to crack down on the both of them when it gets to that point lol I tried hard not to have anything on our phone for our son but his speech therapist has apps on her Ipad that she brings to help him so naturally we had to put them on to work with him.

  5. Gloria Walshver September 9, 2013

    Video games are a great distraction for kids who are bored and nag their parents.

  6. Julie D September 8, 2013

    My husband is a huge computer gamer, and once our children are older, would love to play with them. We plan on setting parental controls and also only doing video games after chores are done, etc. When they are older, we are going to incorporate a wifi “password” that can only be given to allow access to the internet when all chores are completed 🙂

  7. ANN*H September 7, 2013

    Very good tips you listed above. Yes kids play video games way to much. Some of them they learn violence from – not good. Kids need to learn good things so set a time limit to them playing video games. thanks for all the information.

  8. M.Clark September 7, 2013

    All very good tips. I think children below a certain age group should not be allowed to use the computer without a parent present.

  9. Jessica Houston September 7, 2013

    These are really great tips!!! I will share this to all the moms I know!

  10. tamra gibson September 7, 2013

    I thought I was the only Mom that lived by those rules or so my kids said so. If I had a penny for every time my kids said your mean all my other friends parents let them play games, have computers with no block on it, can use the phone anytime they want, Can eat anything they want not to add they even threw in that the parents would go out at 3 am to get them snacks-lol

  11. Jo-Ann Brightman September 7, 2013

    I agree with all your tips and I worry about so many children playing too many video games. It should always be monitored which would be hard for a single parent, but establish rules and guideline and homework, chores and physical activities should all come first..

  12. Tammy Woodall September 6, 2013

    I agree completely that too much video-gaming is “detrimental” to kids. I think it should always be monitored on how much they play on videos and/or computer games, Also, I think kids need to have their chores and homework completed before they are allowed to entertain themselves with playing video games.