The gaming that a lot of our kids do has been worrying me for a long time. As always there are different views, mainly from the gaming industry who happily dispute any problems that are associated with them and their games.
To me it is common sense that allowing young children access to games that are 'suitable' for 15 and 18+ will have an impact. There is a reason that these age restriction are in place. Having said that, there is a serious addiction problem with adults too so be aware that as parents, we are our kids role models!!!
Here are some of the main points:
It may interfere with sleep. Getting enough sleep can be challenging enough for busy kids. They often have homework and after-school activities crammed into their weekdays and extracurricular activities and sports on weekends. Sleep deprivation is one of the main concerns we are tackling today. Mental health problems are closely connected to this.
It may cut into family time or personal interaction. When we are using technology such as computers, games, and TV, we are not interacting with one another. Since finding good quality time can be difficult for many families, allowing technology to cut into those moments is something parents may want to prevent as much as possible.
While it can be fun to have a family movie night or play a video game together, the fact is that screen time means less face-to-face interaction time.
It may encourage short attention span. Studies have shown that too much screen time may be associated with attention problems. Video games were the primary focus though the researchers do state that any electronic media may have similar effects.
It may interfere with schoolwork. Children who watch a lot of TV are more likely to have lower grades and read fewer books. Further, research has shown that cutting down kids' screen time may improve kids' health and grades.
It may lead to less physical activity. More screen time has been associated with reduced physical activity and a higher risk of obesity in kids.
It may expose kids to too much advertising and inappropriate content. Many television shows and commercials depict sexuality and violence as well as stereotypes or drug and alcohol use. Many commercials also promote junk food and toys in powerful and alluring ways that are designed to get kids to want these items.
5 Ways to Limit Technology
Admittedly, it is easy to simply turn on the TV or let your kids play a video game when they complain about being bored. However, there are many options when it comes to finding alternative forms of entertainment. Letting kids use technology with limits can be achieved if you keep some of these key tips in mind.
- Do not put a TV in your child’s room. Having a TV in the bedroom has been linked to a number of problems including lower test scores, sleeping problems, and obesity.
- Turn it off. When the kids are not watching a specific program, turn off the television. Keep it off during mealtimes and especially when they are studying or doing homework.
- Help your child choose a video game or a show. The best way to know what your child is watching or playing is by helping her pick out a show or a game. When picking out a family film or game, read the reviews, watch previews, or ask other parents. Above all, know your child and trust your own instincts on what is appropriate.
- Limit his screen time. Whether it’s one hour of TV and video games a day or a couple of hours a week, limit the amount of time your child spends with technology. More importantly, be committed and stick to those times you set.
I know there is a lot of pressure on parents in today's society but we do have a choice to have kids or not. We have to look out and do the best we can, who else will?
Enjoy each others company, go out in nature, play games without screens, cook, sing and create!
They are worth it.