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24

First, let's talk about addiction. You say that you feel he is addicted, largely because he plays 25 hours a week, you "know that this type of video gaming is not healthy", and because it has adversely affected your relationship with him. Addiction, specifically in this case a behavioral addiction, is the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse ...


17

I would take another approach, and ask what's the underlying problem that you're trying to solve? That is, why is playing video games a problem? Is it the lack of other physical activities? Is it a concern that they could be learning rather than playing? Is it a concern about the lack of socialization? I was definitely into video games in a big way as a ...


17

As an avid gamer and software developer, I have never heard of a game called "Sauerbraten." I looked it up and apparently it is a first person shooter named after a German pot roast. It isn't a widely popular game created by a major video game company. It is an open-source community-made game. It also doesn't appear to be a very "good" game. Something else ...


16

Ask him to write you a list of: things that he likes doing things he would like to do someday things he has seen on television that he would like to learn more about things he would like to do with you alone things he would like to do with his other parent and/or siblings Then see what you can do to help get him the information, tools, and time to do ...


15

The American Association of Pediatrics suggests 1-2 hours of all screen time--regardless of content. The following link sites some of the effects it can have: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/children-and-tv/MY00522 Also, beginning more than 1-2 hours of screen time at age 3 makes it more difficult to limit it when they are older-as it becomes something ...


12

My suggestions are: Check out your local community college pre-teen and kids' non-credit courses. Sit down with your daughter to see if any spark her interest. Check out your park district classes. See if any interest her. Check out your local library; ours has monthly anime/manga fan meetups and people come in routinely to teach how to draw in various ...


12

YES! Not only is it reasonable, it is IMHO parental malpractice not to limit video games, the internet, and telephone usage. Clearly, the video games have tremendous value to him. Among other things, that gives you powerful leverage! Use it well. My practice with video games, movies, texting, and any other similar amusement was: A daily limit is ...


12

We addressed the "addiction" part of your question previously, but I wanted to talk about the behavior part. First, you shouldn't expect it to be as easy for your five year-old as it is for your nine year-old. Nine year-olds live a lot less "in the moment" compared to five year-olds, have developed more interests, and have learned more coping strategies ...


11

LEGO! There never was any cooler toy :-) It comes in so many varieties that there's something for him regardless if he fancies technics, cartoon robots, pirates, movie heroes, whatever. Plus, if your son insists on computer interaction, then go with LEGO Mindstorm (which lets him build a machine that must be programmed on the computer before it will run). ...


11

Smartphones are part of the environment these days, and just like lacking basic computer skills now can be a handicap to many careers lacking familiarity with operating touchscreen devices could easily be a future handicap. Personally, I allow and even occasionally encourage my 4 year old to play games on my phone. We're in the range of brief daily usage ...


11

A recent study by a group of researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden claims that gamers not only learn to cooperate but also to understand complex contexts, understand how skills can be improved, and think through cause and effect relationships. They focused on complex games with portrayals of violence and aggressive action where the ...


10

You should definitely focus on providing better alternatives. Think about activities involving whole family, like playing boardgames, hiking, some sports, etc. Also what kind of computer games does he play? Try to show him strategy games, like Starcraft, Civilization, Total War series (if he's old enough), or quality puzzle games, like World of Goo, Cogs, ...


10

Well, my experience is different (up to now), as our son, who is "only" nearly 4 years old, does not have access to TV or video games etc. yet and is very, very interested in spending time with us (his parents) For older children I wonder: What about the parents, you're talking about? Do they really want to spend more time with their children? Many ...


10

It's just like anything else. You set limits and you enforce them. Being a video game enthusiast myself, I wanted to point out a few things you might want to consider in setting those limits. Some games are very easy to set down at any time, and some aren't. Some games can only be saved at fixed checkpoints. Some have cut scenes that can't be paused or ...


9

Good old fashioned taking the computer away is my first thought. Just be consistent with a time limit. Kids hate never knowing when a parent is going to come in and say it seems like they've been on the computer "long enough." The guarantee of a minimum helps them accept an enforced maximum. As for what to do instead, kids usually figure that out for ...


9

I have teenagers. If you want to de-emphasize gaming, you have to provide a compelling alternative that your child will be satisfied participating in. The bad news is, you are going to have to participate actively as well, which means you have to make time away from work or other commitments to devote to your child. At least until your child is old enough ...


8

I am a game developer, and probably guilty of over-exposing my two daughters to video games. I make an attempt to limit the amount of time they get with digital devices, but introduced them both to touch devices at a young age. (At least we don't have a TV in the house! I'm more against exposure to mass media advertising than screens per-se.) My older ...


7

One strategy is to stop buying your child computer games, at least for a while. Once he has completed the games he has, he'll be more open to doing something else, since he has exhausted the games. This is one reason to pre-select which games your child plays as some can be played 'infinitely' (e.g. Farmville) since there isn't necessarily an end. To fill ...


7

"Apparently we are the ONLY parents who set limits. Everybody else's mom and dad lets them play as much as they want. That's what my son says anyway... My son is 12 years old." If I had a penny... Of course your son thinks you're the only parents who set real limits. Who kicks their kid off the Playstation when they've got a friend over? I was a ...


7

Is he upset because his friend has a different set of rules, or is he upset because he's not allowed to play these video games? At this age, your son is able to understand that different households have different rules. I would approach it from the standpoint of, "We love Johnny and we love Johnny's parents, but we have different rules in this house than ...


6

Although I don't claim expertise in the subject, there appear to be two functional sides to the debate between violent behavior and violent video games, with varying amounts of evidence to support either side. Side saying video games causes aggression It has been demonstrated in many experimental psychological studies that even brief exposure to violent ...


6

I thought I'd expand my comment into an answer: Whether or not media is considered educational is a bit of a red herring. If a kid is going to watch TV or play a game, yes, it might as well be educational, but the fact that it is educational isn't going to change whether or not it's a good idea to be doing that activity for extended periods of time. The ...


6

The child is 7, so the parent should still assert a strong influence on him. Assuming you are talking about home video games (xbox and such) or handhelp (DS and such): If the child can play a game and stop after half an hour, I do not think they have a problem. If they are asked to stop after half an hour and refuse to or throws a tantrum, then there ...


5

Avoid watching the television yourself and make the effort to play with/interact with your child. Do things you find fun with them. That way you become a great role model for the behaviours you want. If you tend to sit and watch TV without talking, that is exactly what they will end up doing.


5

Automated parental control. you define: X hours a day max Range for those allowable hours a day (e.g. after 9am before 7pm) Results: Kids understand the system is automated No "begging" to parents for "more time". PC cannot be persuaded to stray from protocol Kids find other things to occupy themselves with


5

There are a couple of different sub-topics I have found to be the focus of research on video game and computer use by children. Violence The topic which has received the most attention is violence, particularly the perceived correlation between violent media and violent behavior in those who view violent programming/play violent video games. As Andy W ...


5

Maybe you could start by finding an activity that involves your phones gps. Try geocaching or one of the other games that requires you and your son to get outside together. ...photography maybe?


5

I agree that once you get past a certain point, content is irrelevant and that 5 hours of edu games has less to do with the content and everything to do with the lack of varied activity for a 3 yr old. i think even 2 hrs at a crack is too long, and i'm a pretty big tech advocate. Now here's something that hasn't been mentioned... I'll bet that if she's ...


5

The most important thing to remember is that games are often very social activities, especially at that age and at this time. Even single-player games are played "with" people, in the sense of discussing them, watching someone else play them, talking about them. With MMO's, this problem is doubled. One important thing about a lot of studies is that the ...


5

Could you get something touchscreen for him? Our daughter loves playing video games on our phones and get Surface - she's a pro at Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds. She seems interested in playing games on our XBox One, but doesn't quite have the control figured out. Starting on the touchscreen might help him get the mechanics of playing games until the manual ...



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