Gaming for kids is going to be pretty much inevitable when they get to a certain age. They may already be browsing the internet or using the household iPad to use the games you’ve downloaded for them on there. The reality is that technology is likely to play an integral part to a child’s development, whether that has some good benefits or not. So as a parent, you want to make sure that they’re getting a healthy level of game time. So here are some tips to help encourage healthy game time for your children.
Take Control Of The Technology
Technology is everywhere in the home, and most of the households are likely to own a phone at the very least. Throw in your household iPad, television, consoles, and you have an increasing amount of opportunity to rely on technology. So as a parent, you want to help at least have some control of what technology is being used and when. Most technology you can move freely, so try to take ownership of the technology and to keep it locked away when you don’t want them to be playing on the game. When you have the technology within a child’s bedroom, they can have easy access to it and you might be unaware of your child playing on the game during the night when they actually should be asleep. Take control but don’t be so strict that you’re threatening to take away the technology every five minutes because that means you are often fighting a losing battle.
Have A Limited Time To Play
Now that the technology is improving, you have the ability for making mobile gaming as fun as console gaming but controlling the amount of time they play it is important. If they’re allowed to play games at their own free will, then that’s when it can often become quite addictive, and as an adult gamer, it’s easy to play for hours. As your children are developing your priority for them is their education. It’s really good to try and limit gameplay as much as you can. So it might be worth setting some ‘gaming hours’, this could be only possible if they finish their extra homework or activities that they need to do for school the next day. At a maximum, a couple of hours is enough and then you can make sure that the rest of the time spent is with you. As much as gaming can be entertaining, it’s not the best way of building a family relationship, and you don’t want to have that time between the two of you, cut short.
Restrict The Amount Of Gaming When Out And About
Gaming on the go is sometimes necessary for perhaps those long road-trips when visiting family or going on holiday. Not allowing them to do this might cause further frustration, and you can’t expect for them to sit in absolute silence. So although it’s a good thing to have some distraction for them when they’re sat stationary for a while, you want to also restrict the amount of time they’re gaming when out and about. If you’re visiting family, then there should be a rule that games are switched off when socialising with others and that it’s not polite to be sat on the game while others are in the room with you. You want to make sure that they’re understanding this from a young age because they might end up deeming it appropriate behaviour when they become a young adult and that’s not going to bode well for them in their adulthood and in social situations.
Encourage Some Outdoor Household Activities
Getting outdoors is important. Unfortunately, it’s no longer the same as what it was at your age where your free time was spent outside making mud pies and acting out roleplay adventures. There’s more awareness of who and what is out there and so many parents like to keep their kids indoors. However, that’s not a great way to live for any child, so instead of allowing them to play alone, organise some outdoor activities as a household. Go to the park for some fresh air or play games on the street with them that perhaps you did as a child yourself. It’s important to pass on some traditions that you had and that they can do the same for future generations.
Create A Technology-Free Zone
As much as technology can be handy, it’s important that technology-free zones exist because life isn’t and should all be controlled by technology. As much as it can make life easier, we can often rely on it too much, and that can prove quite dangerous not only for our wellbeing but also for our health. Try to have an area of your home that’s completely technology-free. It can be a dining room where you can play some family board games or make a place where you always have the evening family meal. One place is enough to just help bring some focus back onto reality and doing everything without the assistance of an electronic device or remote.
Keep A Watchful Eye On What They’re Using
As parents, you have a responsibility to check up on what they’re doing when they’re gaming, particularly when on the internet. The internet is a big place, and you’d be surprised with what your children can accidentally click on. Keep a monitor on what sites everyone is going on and how long they’re on it for. You can also have control of what sites can be blocked and also many internet providers will have a child lock on certain words they type into the search engines online. Although you can’t always keep track of everything, you can put in some precautions.
Encouraging healthy game time is important for your children, and you should also be leading by example if you use technology and gaming a lot too. Stress the importance of having technology-free time and socialising with others in real life.