Most kids love video games. These can teach them many skills or be educational; however, they spend too many hours playing them. Video games have been linked to childhood obesity and cognitive problems. You don't have to completely ban them from your child; However, setting limits and helping him find other activities can limit the time he spends on them.
Method 1 of 4: Set Clear Boundaries
Step 1. Provide specific rules
Establishing clear rules will be vital to modifying your child's behavior. If you tell him exactly what it is you want, he will know what is expected of him and there will be no doubt. You should also establish clear consequences for any rule that breaks. They will have to sit down and talk about the new rules.
- Don't say something like "You will only be able to play video games for a few hours a day and not too late," as this will be ambiguous. Instead, you can say, “You will be able to play video games for an hour on school days. You will not be able to play after 8pm. m.”.
- Be aware that they can react negatively. This is normal, especially if there were no limits before. They are likely to throw tantrums, speak loud words, cry, beg, or even threaten you. Stay calm, ignore his tantrums if possible, and reiterate the consequences of his behavior.
Step 2. State the consequences clearly
Your child will need clear and definite consequences for breaking the rules. When setting the rules, you will want to mention consequences that they can understand. Don't make it ambiguous, as this will only confuse it.
For example, say, “You will be able to continue playing for an hour on school days if you don't throw a tantrum or misbehave by turning off your video game and if you don't play until after 8 pm. m. You will lose your video game privileges the next day if you cause problems, play for more than an hour, or until after 8pm. "
Step 3. Follow through with the consequences
Once you have established limits and consequences, you will need to follow them. If you let your child have his way without facing the consequences for breaking the rules, he will not take you seriously and will not follow them. You will have to keep your word if he breaks them.
- Keep the consequences consistent. You may be tempted to suddenly become permissive if your child is acting sweet, or to be harsh if he responds badly. However, the consequences should be predictable and clear. This does not mean that you will not be able to change them, but you should avoid doing it without first explaining it and letting yourself be carried away by emotions.
- Keep in mind that video games will not be necessary for your child's health and well-being, so you can take them off completely. Parents sometimes forget that they will be able to take video games away from children altogether if they cannot cope with the limits.
Step 4. Use a stopwatch
Using this item and giving your child warnings can help them prepare for the end of the allotted time. Children can be very resistant to change, even if they know it will happen. Warning him that his time is about to end will help him make the transition.
- Give him warnings when he has 15 and 10 minutes left.
- Set the timer five minutes before the end. When the bell rings, you should say, “You have five minutes left. Find a point where you can save your game”.
Step 5. Remind her every day that she will have to finish all her home and school assignments, or any other responsibilities
He must have tasks to complete before giving him permission to play video games. This includes homework and school work. You will be able to allow him to start playing once everything is done.
- Help him see video games as a reward for finishing school and homework every day.
- Note that they will put up a bit of resistance at first if you haven't already established this rule.
Step 6. Place the video game console in a common room
An effective way to set limits on and monitor your child's playtime is to place the console in a common room, rather than their bedroom. This will make it easier for you to apply the rules and make them follow them.
Placing her in her bedroom will give her too much freedom to play unsupervised. Also, this can be too tempting, especially if you are a young child who has a hard time following the rules
Method 2 of 4: Help You Transition
Step 1. Talk to him about techniques to help him quit playing video games
Get him involved in the process of limiting the amount of time he plays. Instruct him not to play certain games that are too exciting or long on school nights, or create a reward system for following the rules related to game time.
- For example, tell him not to try to beat a level if he doesn't have time. Instead, you can put it off for the weekend.
- You and your child can come up with rewards for not breaking the rules for a week, a month, or longer. Don't reward him with more time to play; Instead, find other fun prizes that you both agree on.
Step 2. Slowly reduce your time for video games
Rather than getting rid of them entirely, slowly reduce the amount of time you can play them. For example, if he is playing all day coming home from school, you will initially have to set a limit of one or two hours. Explain the reason why you are going to reduce this time, but tell him that you respect that he likes this activity and that you want him to continue playing.
- You could say something like, “You get angry and verbally lash out at me when I tell you to stop playing video games. Your grades have gotten worse in the last few months because of them and this is unacceptable. I want you to be able to enjoy them, but I am going to limit the time you play every day”.
- If you ban video games altogether at first, this is more likely to backfire. You will need to limit his behavior, not completely take away something he enjoys.
Step 3. Implement a transition routine
You may have a hard time ending video game time, and your child may not be able to stop playing right away. You can help him if you give him a physical activity that marks the end of playtime. This can help you get used to moving from this time to life without video games.
- You could use specific language that signals the change. Say something like, “Time to leave fantasy land and return to the real world! Welcome!".
- Establish a physical signal. Give him a glass of water, stretch out together, or do some jumping jacks.
Step 4. Implement family time
Get him away from video games by establishing a family time when the whole family has an activity together. This time should not be optional, and all members will have to participate (including parents and children).
- Let him choose the activity from time to time, so he will feel like he will do the ones he wants to do. Forcing him to do something he doesn't want to do can frustrate him.
- You can ask him to help you prepare dinner and make family dinners a nightly ritual.
- Walk or bike together, play board or card games, or have a family movie night.
- You may have to set consequences for not participating in family activities. For example, if you skip one of these activities, you will not be entitled to your video game hour.
Step 5. Help him learn to save his games in games
Many young children do not know how to use game functions and may require help learning how to save their game. If he does so and feels that his efforts have not been in vain, he will be less likely to cause you problems by ending his gaming session.
- Explain that, in many video games, he will have to play many hours to finish them, which means that he will not be able to do it in one session. Help him understand that these games are designed to be played in multiple sessions.
- You can also turn it into a learning activity and have him tell you about the game, and explain about the different challenges and levels.
- When his time is up, you will have to wait for him to reach a point to save his game and help him if he is too young to do it on his own. If he tries to extend his time by taking too long to save his progress, you will need to reduce it from his next hour of play. If he continues to do so, you will need to take away his privilege for breaking the rules.
Method 3 of 4: Foster Other Interests
Step 1. Encourage him to find other activities
Video games are just one way for children to entertain themselves. There are many other activities that you can do, especially if you do not have permission to use them. Encourage your child to practice other interests, and recommend some if nothing comes to mind.
- For example, he will be able to play with other toys; represent works; make music or movies; read; To play outdoors; do something creative like draw, write, or do crafts; or play board or card games.
- Feel free to say no if he wants to play video games because "there is nothing to do."
- You should not depend on video games to keep him busy, since you can adopt this habit easily and without realizing it.
Step 2. Get him to participate in social activities
Video games are a lonely activity. You can encourage your child to participate in group activities that they enjoy. Brainstorm together and let him choose the activities he enjoys instead of choosing one for him.
- They can try out youth groups at the religious institution they attend. Local YMCA clubs, community arts centers, and libraries will also provide youth programs.
- Look for local arts programs for theater, music, painting, and drawing. You can also search for programs on computers, construction, or other active participation activities.
- Recreational sports can be fun for some kids, but you should never force your child to play them if they don't want to.
Step 3. Encourage him to participate in physical activities
The habit of playing video games excessively has been linked to diseases such as childhood obesity, since this is a sedentary activity. You can make your child more active by encouraging him to choose a physical activity that he enjoys. It will be vital that you let him choose what he will do. Encourage him to try new activities if he doesn't have a favorite.
Your child might like to ride a bike, skateboard, dance, practice martial arts or recreational sports, swim, and play outdoor games
Method 4 of 4: Assess Your Situation
Step 1. Determine an acceptable amount of time for video games
Everyone has a different opinion of what is acceptable around video games. You will have to choose an appropriate time for each day of the week. Some parents will limit video games to one hour a day, while others will ban them entirely during the school week and only allow them for a few hours on the weekend.
Many health professionals and developmental specialists recommend that children spend no more than two hours a day in front of the television or computer. You should take this into account when determining the limits you want to set for game time and choosing the time that you consider acceptable for this activity
Step 2. Familiarize yourself with the warning signs of video game addiction
Some children develop a true addiction to video games. They will exhibit behavioral, emotional, and physical symptoms, such as withdrawing from family and friends. It will be vital that parents know these signs and symptoms so they can recognize them if their children develop them.
For example, your child may not be able to stop playing, become aggressive or upset if he does not play, or loses interest in other activities. You could get irritated or depressed if you don't play video games. Children may neglect their personal hygiene, suffer from sleep disturbances, and have back or wrist pain
Step 3. Contact a healthcare professional if you identify a problem
You may require the help of a professional if you think your child is addicted to video games and you have tried to limit his behavior without success. Your doctor or a mental health professional will be able to talk with you and him to change his behavior in a positive way and enforce limits.