Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Quick Off Topic Side Note for Parents with Video Gaming Children

If your child plays video games more than you think is good for them, consider why they do it.  How often in life do we as adults do everything the right way.  We cross our T's and dot our i's, yet still, because of reasons beyond our control we get kicked in the teeth.  Life is just that way.  We can't control everything in life and we don't always get rewarded for the positive things we do.

English: The Xbox console with the S controlle...
English: The Xbox console with the S controller, made by Microsoft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For children, this situation is often amplified.  Not only do they have to deal with everyday difficulties, but they also have to navigate it all while living by someone else's rules.  They have no real control over their lives.  Video games provide children with the ability to have some control.  Do XYZ and you get rewarded.
 It becomes many children's way to feel a sense of accomplishment.  With the increase in online video gaming and it's changing emphasis towards social interactions, the child can actually begin to believe that their video game experience IS in fact their "real life."

It can be frustrating as a parent to try and pry our kids away from the controller.  But keeping in mind why can help us and our children.  There are a few things we can do to change our children's focus and their behavior.

No Video Games
No Video Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
1.  Limit Their Video Gaming - Of course this sounds easier said than done, but if you incorporate some of the next step into it, you may be surprised.  Make sure you sit down and talk to your child about this.  Try to avoid letting your talk escalate into a shouting or pouting match.  Gradually cutting down the time may work better for you than an immediate huge cut.

2.  Give Them Some Control - Provide your child with tasks they are capable of completing using their own judgement and reward them for finishing them.  Don't make the tasks too easy, it will lessen the child's feeling of accomplishment.  It is important that you show your child that life can have rewards of it's own.  Showing your pride in them will mean more than you think.

3.  Be Patient - Remember, you are taking your child away from what they may view as their "real life."  This can be very traumatic for them.  Imagine yourself picking up and moving to a new state or country.  It isn't easy.  Stay calm even when your child is not.  It is simply their resistance and fear of turning their life upside down.

Thumbs Up!
Thumbs Up! (Photo credit: n2linux)

Ultimately it's about what's best for your child.  It is our job to make sure that when they grow into adults themselves, they are ready and capable of making good decisions not just for themselves, but for their own children too.  

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