Technology can be wonderful. I mean, who doesn’t love ordering something on Amazon and have it be delivered the very next day?
But we are seeing that technology, and specifically video gaming, is quickly taking over a huge part of daily life. A typical family can find themselves in the living room, with each family member on their own personal device and there is little to no interaction. We want technology to expand our lives but it can easily slip into making our lives much smaller.
Video games are here to stay. The creators of the games have made them intentionally addictive so it is understandable why your child is enraged when you ask them to put the game away.
Ideally, when you buy your child their first game, you set up boundaries for playing time. For example, gaming is allowed after homework and any family chores are completed. And you also decide on the amount of time per day that your child is allowed to spend on gaming.
But if that ship has sailed, it is time for a family meeting. Express to your child that you miss spending time with them so you have made the decision that there will be less video game time. Expect your child to be angry at first and you may need to help your child to figure out what to do with the time that they previously spent gaming.
How do you know if your child spends too much time playing video games? Ask yourself these questions:
- Does my child play video games alone in order to avoid social interactions?
- Does my child play video games to avoid interacting with family members?
- Does my child use gaming as an escape from personal problems such as depression, anxiety, or homework struggles?
- Does my child have off-line friends?
- Is my child involved in after school activities?
- Does my child attend birthday parties and other social events?
- Are my child’s grades where they should be?
If your answers to these questions are causing you stress, let’s talk about it! I can offer you strategies to decrease your child’s video games use and increase family harmony. Please give me a call at 310-849-6751 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All my best, Jeri