How to Teach Kids Tech Boundaries with Online Games
Playing online games, or other computer and video games, can be very beneficial for your child, if they are played in moderation. This is the same notion for most things in life. For example, a bar of chocolate is fine and can even be good for you, nevertheless 10 bars of chocolate will make you feel sick and can be detrimental to your health.
Therefore, when it comes to online gaming it is all about implementing boundaries. You don’t have to completely restrict your children from playing their favorite Batman, Football Manager or Tom and Jerry online games, but don’t let them have complete control either. You need to make sure tech boundaries are evident.
What are the Signs that Technology is Taking Over?
If your children already play a lot of computer games then you need to determine what level of playing they are at – do they play sensibly or are they glued to their computer screen every chance they get.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your child have any other activities?
- Do you struggle to get your child to do their homework because they are so engrossed in their computer game or online game?
- Does your child moan when you try to pry them away from his or hers video games in order to have their dinner?
- Is your child experiencing little social interaction because he or she is always in their room playing on the PC?
- Are your children doing their school work sloppily or skipping their homework altogether so they can play their game more quickly?
These questions should lead you to determine how much you need to cut down your child’s online game playing time.
Tell your Children the Benefits and Disadvantages of Online Gaming
When you talk to your child you don’t have to be negative about online gaming, as there are some benefits to it. It’s even likely that your child does not even understand why playing so much is viewed as a negative. To show them you understand, you can explain to them all of the benefits associated with online gaming; entertainment, educational benefits – such as strategic thinking and concentration.
Next, you should also explain to them the disadvantages – obesity and a lack of social interaction. Tell your children that you don’t want them to give up computer games, but that you need to make sure that they start spending less time on their games because it could be damaging and you care about them.
Click here for some great kids games and to know how you can keep your child safe while they’re online.
Now it’s Time to Implement Some Rules and Boundaries
Think of different ways in which you can ensure that your child partakes in other activities whilst they don’t feel like they are being punished for playing computer games. You can suggest that if your child does their homework when they get in from school then they can have an extra hour playing on the internet. You can also suggest that they take up an outdoor hobby, and that if they do this then they will again get extra playing time.
You can even say that if your child studies hard and passes their exams then you may treat them with a new computer game. Ensure that your wants (boundaries) and your child’s wants (playing lots of e.g. Tom and Jerry online games) go hand in hand so that there is a healthy balance between the two.
If you follow the three step process revealed in this article then you should give yourself the best basis in order to implement tech boundaries within your household.
Author bio – Katie Smith is a journalist. She specializes in various topics. However, she used the Cartoon Network as an example, mostly Tom and Jerry online games, in order to research for this article.