Look back and remember when you were a kid and you were playing hide-and-seek, tag or a spent a lot of time riding a bike. It sure was a fun and healthy childhood. Many of us would like our children to have a childhood similar to ours or to that of children in decades past.
Today our little ones have a new kind of fun through video games. This kind of fun every day gains greater strength and interest in children and even in some adults. There are many reasons why children are exposed to this type of games, but what are the positive and negative consequences for our children?
Video games are fun, entertaining and challenging, and they develop perseverance and encourage the development of connecting thoughts with manual skill. At the same time however, abusing these games or spending a lot of time in front of a screen produces negative effects. When the constant fun of the little ones is through video games, they develop a growing desire for instant entertainment that decreases their attention span and concentration, harms their hearing, does not contribute to their social development, does not stimulate their imagination and endless negative consequences.
Everything in life has to have a balance. In the technological age in which we live it is almost impossible for our children not to have access to video games, but it is our responsibility not to let them fall into abuse. Our goal, in this situation, should not be for our children not to play video games but to teach them that there are many different ways to have fun and enjoy life. To decrease the time the little ones play video games follow the following tips:
Play with your child their favorite video game. This way you will realize the tastes or interests of your child, at the same time teaching him that you are willing to try new forms of entertainment and then it will be easier to introduce him to forms of entertainment of his own. Remember that you have to set an example first.
Record the time used in video games for a week. For a week you will be an inspector at your home, you will take note of how long your child plays video games, and your child will have to put his or her name on each annotation. At the end of the week, discuss and analyze whether the amount of time invested in video games is appropriate. I'm sure your child hasn't considered how much free time he spends on this activity.
Set a set schedule to play video games at home. A possible schedule could be zero hours from Monday to Thursday, since this time is for school and extracurricular activities, two hours daily on Friday to Sunday. This schedule can be modified during the holidays or summer vacation.
Together, make a list of activities that could be performed in the amount of time used weekly in video games. Ask your child what activities he or she would like or seem interesting to him or her. Teach them traditional forms of fun, such as scratch, trumpets, stilts, marbles. With this list you will have an idea of what you can do with your child and have fun together. Another option is to include your friends and plan an afternoon of activities with them.
Think about a long-term project that you could help your child do at home. A project that motivates and excites your child. It could be the construction of a dollhouse or a small soccer goal. Use your imagination! This activity will not only take you away from video games, it will also help you organize your time, manage a budget, improve the family relationship and once the project is completed, it will help their self-esteem.
Never forget that it's not an easy task to be parents but immensely rewarding.