Setting Game Limits

Video games are a part of every day life. Most kids want to wake up and play, come home from school and play and play after dinner. You don’t need to see your child as a slave to the game system. Take charge and set some rules and limits. Better to start when they are young before their game systems affect their grades in school.

Many parents who have become fed up with their child’s constant need for video stimulation and their apparent lack of concern for their school work have set up “gaming bucks”. These are home made coupons or “money” that children can earn to buy gaming minutes. They earn this money by completing homework or blocks of study time as well as completing chores around the house. Some parents even allow their children to earn gaming bucks for the number of minutes they are not on the system and are instead reading or playing outdoors.

Only allow gaming during certain times of the day. If you child loves to wake up early before school to get in an hour of gaming before they need to get ready for the day cut out that option. No gaming before school is an easy rule to enforce. Most parents are up before their children any way but if you are unavailable in the morning to enforce this rule simple put the system away before you go to bed. This makes the system unavailable until you take it out again.

After school let your child unwind before they start into their homework or studies. Play before dinner will help your child unwind and maybe refresh their minds before their reemergence in their school work. After dinner set up a homework/study time using their amount of homework as a guide or set up a block of time. Experts say that most children should not have more than thirty minutes of homework a night but if you have a child who is easily distracted five minutes worth of homework can turn into an hour so use your best judgment based on your child’s personality. If there is no homework then set aside half an hour of learning based reading or study work, lots of teachers send home websites they recommend your child visit because it reinforces in-class lessons. Once homework time is finished let your child play for a set time before bed.

Children with low grades or are having problems in school should be limited to the weekend for their video game play or have video games used as part of a work/reward structure of learning at home. One page of work for ten minutes of game play etc.

Remember when deciding on a method that works best for your child, although as adults we tend to believe our children are without stress even they can feel the pressures of doing well and need some down time that is totally their own and without meaning.