There are a growing number of parents in the world today who are concerned about how much time their child spends playing video games. The advancement of technology has made it easier and more enticing than ever to sit in front of the TV and play. On top of that, it’s also possible for them to interact with their friends online, so playing video games has also become a social pastime.
If you’re wondering how to get your child to stop playing video games, there are ways to accomplish that task. It will take some effort on both of your parts, as well as avoiding these common mistakes that could inadvertently turn your child into a video game junkie.
Mistake #1: Starting Early
Introducing video games to your child at an early age could create the patterns that get them addicted as they age. Technology has made it possible for them to be exposed to video games in various forms, including in developmental toys. Mobile devices and phones also make it easy for kids to be exposed to video games, and some of them are even advertised as “educational.” When you start them on screen early, they will develop an expectation that this is how they should continue to learn and play.
Mistake #2: Giving Them Easy Access
Practically everyone nowadays has a cell phone or other mobile device that they take with them wherever they go. These items have the ability to do numerous tasks, including allowing kids to play video games. For many people, giving their child their phone or tablet to keep them quiet and happy in public is easy, but this could encourage video game addiction.
Instead of having your kids focus on a screen to keep them occupied, consider bringing their favorite book. You might also create stories about what they see and hear. For example, if you are out grocery shopping and you have some bananas, create a story about a child who doesn’t know how to eat them correctly or eats them in weird places. You can ask your child how or where they would eat them. If you can make it silly and fun, this might be a great way to keep your child engaged and avoid a meltdown.
Many households have a video game system. If you have one in your home, then it’s harder to control how much time your child spends on this device, and this could also be encouraging a video game addiction. Getting the addiction under control means limiting access to the system.
Mistake #3: Making Video Games a Reward
Many families use video games as a reward, which means that once your child has finished their homework or reading assignment, they are allowed to play. While this may seem harmless, it may actually be encouraging their addiction. When you make video games a reward, it makes it seem like homework or reading assignments are chores or evil tasks that have to be completed. A lot can be gained by doing homework and reading activities, but your child has to view them as worthwhile activities.
To stop the obsession and figure out how to get your child to stop playing video games, you might consider another reward for kids when they finish their homework. This might include talking about what they learned while doing their homework or reading or an ice cream date or another fun outing with Mom and Dad.
Video game obsessions and addictions can be serious, and they can take over your child’s life. If you are worried that they are spending too much time playing video games, never let these mistakes happen.