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HOW TO HELP YOUR GAMER CHILD BALANCE GAMING AND LIFE

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Growing up I received an Atari 800 XL for Christmas. I wasn’t into gaming then I’m even less interested today. That said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have gamers in my home today. First Darren got himself the Playstation 3 way before we became parents. He would sit in the lounge on Friday evenings and at times I would find him still playing early on Saturday morning. 

Work pressures got a bit much after a while, and the console sat there on the TV stand in the lounge collecting dust until he sold it. I thought that was it, no more gaming in our home. Nope. When our son was about 7 years PS4 became the flavour with his crew and we decided to get our son his console. Given the opportunity, he will stay connected playing games with his classmates all day and all night. Standing in front of the TV screen, assuming no one is load-shedding 🙂

To assist in managing his gaming time, and developing healthy gaming habits, we have some rules to help our child balance his gaming and life.

 

GAMING TIMES

If I’m honest when he first received his PS4, he could play after school in the week and basically all weekend. 

Now, gaming is only for Fridays after school through Sunday at 18h00. Even then, it’s not all day, every day during the weekend. 

SCREEN-FREE DAYS

I’m the strict dad in our home, so when it comes to rules, I’m the baddie. I hear all the moans and the “you’re being unreasonable” or “why do you have to be so strict”. So from Monday to Thursday, we focus on schoolwork. No gaming of any form or YouTubing. This is strictly for the weekend, starting on Friday afternoon. During the week we get to engage with each other as a family and attempt to catch up with our reading. These are a great way to teach my gaming son healthy gaming and life-balancing habits. 

MORE TO LIFE THAN GAMING

Given the opportunity, my son would be in front of the screen playing games online with his friends. We try and balance his gaming time by also encouraging him to spend time doing other activities. We go hiking as a family or have him invest his time growing his confidence in go-karting another passion of his. If your child doesn’t yet have a hobby, help them find an activity that they are willing to invest time in and capture their imagination. 

LET HIM TRACK HIS GAMING TIME

To help your child appreciate how long they spend gaming, have them jot down when they start gaming and when they finish versus time spent doing other activities daily. On Sunday evening, review it together and see where they are spending most of their time. By including them in identifying ways to balance their gaming and lifetime, you get them to embrace the proposed changes as they are included in the decision-making process. 

TIME TOGETHER

Gaming will obviously allow you as the parent to complete many of your daily tasks, but if we’re not cautious we may lose our children to gaming. We certainly don’t want to get to a point where we live past each other. Remember that when you’re not around for your child, they will look elsewhere for the emotional support they need. Be sure to include “us time” in your daily schedule. This is just another way of teaching your child to learn to balance gaming and life.

 

How do you help your child balance the time they spend gaming and life?

About The Author

Manii

Parenting and Lifestyle Dad Blogger. If you enjoyed this post feel free to share it, or if you would like to engage with me you can find me on TWITTER @twodadsandakid or INSTAGRAM @twodadsandakid Follow my blog so you never miss out!

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