So my oldest daughter must have been really good this year because under the tree was a Nintendo 3DS just for her. We knew she would love the gift. It was #1 on her Christmas list. However, we didn’t know how much she would love it!
In our house we have an Xbox and a Playstation 2, but both have not been played with in probably 4 years. We are just not a video game kind of family. When I was a kid, we had an Atari in my house. That was all we had until about 1993 when my sister and I had to save our own money to buy a used Nintendo game system. Yet even then I only played T&C Surf very rarely.
Now from the moment that Nintendo 3DS was charged my 6 year old would not put it down. This machine was glued to her hands and took all of her attention. At first it was cute, but then when she started to ignore me, it got annoying really fast. She was obsessed with it. Those few hours in the day when she had to charge it were pure torture for her and at night she would use the headphones Santa gave her so that she could play Mario Kart in bed! I knew we had a problem. I did not want a kid who kept her face buried in a video game all day. (This of course coming from the mom whose face is buried in her iPhone all day.)
Since she was on Christmas break (she goes to private school so we can still call it that) I let it go. I figuered that soon enough her days would be consumed with school and homework again, but then what? How would we manage her video gaming?
Here are a few tips I found:
- Set a time limit per day and use a timer.
- When that time is over have alternative activities ready to do.
- Don’t leave the game in the child’s room.
There are different articles that say children should only have 2 hours of “screen time” a day. This includes video games, TV, and computers. On a normal school day this is about right for our house because after school the first priority is always homework. Then between homework and dinner there is usually about 2 hours of an open window, and after that, it’s dinner time, bath time, reading, and finally bedtime. So we do okay on the school days with the whole 2 hours of screen time rule, but on the weekends, well that’s another story.
So tell me, do you limit your kids’ video game time?
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