Gone are the days when parents lock up their home computers or laptops because they do not want their children to play video games. Nowadays, there are consoles and mobile phones that also offer countless opportunities for children to play their favorite games. This, however, is not the reason for parents finally giving in. This is because most parents finally realize that video games actually have elements of logic, strategic thinking, problem solving, and math. Of course, nothing beats sending children to play outside, or to the library to explore different worlds through books. But, video games also have something good to offer your children. It is possible to give your children the freedom to play their favorite video games. However, you need to devise way to turn every gaming experience a positive one for your child. Here are some suggestions you might find helpful.
Whenever You Buy a Game, Look for Its Rating
All video games are given a rating by the Electronic Software Rating Board. Before you purchase a game, look for this rating and try to see if it is something suitable for your children. The rating works in the same way that movie ratings do. There are letter symbols that represent the appropriate audiences or players for the game. If the rating says it is not intended for your children’s age level – or if it is too violent – do not buy it.
Train Your Child to Play Academic Games, Too
There’s nothing wrong with academic games. They are just as fun as your regular video games. These should be your first lines when trying to convince your children to play academic games from time to time. Of course, do not force him to play it every day. You can alternate the academic games with his regular games every three days (give him one day to rest).
Talk to Your Children and Draw Up a Playing Schedule
This is particularly helpful if you have more than one child. Draw up a schedule that indicates when video games are to be played and who will be playing on what day. Then post this in a place where it can be easily seen by everybody. To balance the schedule, indicate at least two days as “play outside day.” These are the days when the computer, laptop, and any other device are off limits. These are the days when your children go out to play at the park or basketball court. This is when your children learn how to ride a bike. Be sure to follow the schedule strictly.
Designate at Least One Day in a Week as No Gadget Day
Aside from scheduling your children’s video game playing days, it will also help if you can come up with at least one day in the week where all gadgets and electronic devices will be turned off. Again, you can draw up a schedule for this and post it on a wall that can be easily seen by everybody. Turn this into a challenge for your children by giving them a reward. Offer a simple award to whoever manages not to touch any gadget for that day. At the end of the month, give another reward to the one who diligently followed the schedule without fail. This will motivate your children to follow your rules.
Make Your Children More Productive at Home
Make your children more productive at home. Keep them active by assigning them simple household chores. Assign each one a specific task or set of tasks, and see if they can perform their task/s well. In exchange for doing household chores, offer them video game playing time as a reward. So, the more household chores they complete, the more playing time they will have! Choose simple tasks for them, like sorting the laundry, folding the laundry, cleaning the dining table, setting the dining table, washing and drying the dishes, taking out the garbage, and cleaning their bedroom.
Play With Your Children
This is probably one of the best things that you can do for your children. Even if you do not like playing video games, find time to sit down and play with them. This is pretty much like reading them bedtime stories every night. You don’t have to do this every day, though; once or twice a week will do. Sit down with your children, choose a game to play, and have fun playing. Aside from giving him encouragement, you are also strengthening your bond and bringing your parent-child relationship to a new level. He will love knowing that his parents play games with him!