How To Limit Your Child’s Video Game Time

So you’re wondering now how to limit
your child’s video game time now that they have video games? Let’s get into
that today. Vicki, maybe we start today with an acknowledgement that you don’t
have to have video games in your home. -No, you don’t have to. -There are some
reasons you might choose to. Now, your kids are going to have some opinions
about that because they’re typically fans. And all their friends have them and
stuff too. You are the parent. Shall I repeat that?
-That’s news, right? -You are the parent. And because
you’re the parent, you get to make the rules. And it’s not because you’re
smarter than they are more righteous than they are. It’s not about that. It’s
about you’re the parent. And because of that, you’re in charge of things. So, you
get to decide if this is even going to be an issue. It is a totally legitimate
choice to say, “You know what? We’re not going to have video game systems in our
home.” That’s fine. However, it’s such a prominent part of our culture now that
probably your kids are going to encounter it at some point. And
eventually, they’ll bring it into their own life whether you want them to or not.
So, let’s see if we can use this as something that could be a tool for us as
a parent. The key here is control. -Control. Now, that is a tricky word. -It is.
Because have you noticed some things you control, other things you don’t. When it
comes to video games, we have to be ready to control what we can control. Now, what
I’m talking about here is basically access to the game system for example. Or
access to even electricity to run the game system. Where is that game system
housed? There are so many video games that can be accessed over a phone or a
small handheld device. It’s getting a little harder as parents to control all
of the access points. So, maybe that’s the place where we start is
you figure out what it is that you control so that we can focus on those
areas. -And I think it’s important to get kind of clear about what your rules
might be about when they have access. Not only so you’re going to get clear about the
control of the access of what part you control and then maybe the timing. -Which
just reminded me of something important, Vicki. Let’s keep this positive. -Right. -You
want to get to yes. This is a basic parenting strategy but let’s use it with
the video games. You want to get to yes. So, your kids are asking, “Can I play these
video games?” Yes. When or if.. And that’s why it’s important to get clear about
what the parameters are around that. Are the video games available before the
homework or the schoolwork is done? -Uh-huh. And you get to choose that. We’re
not telling you what’s right or wrong. That’s your choice. -Right. -Just realize
that that’s something you’re going to want to address. -A little bit of a hint:
This goes back to Grandma’s rule, if we call it that. “Work first. Play after.” And
that’s a good general rule. Because the kids aren’t going to be motivated to do
their work after. And they’ll promise, “Oh, I’ll do it. I promise. if you’ll just let
me play this game. I will do my job after that.” And they’ll promise you till the
cows come home. The truth of the matter is they’re going
to work harder before they play than they will after they play. If you set it
up as a contingency. So, you get to yes. Stay positive. I don’t want you as a
parent getting into this trap of, “No, you can’t do that or being this mean
restrictive parent.” In fact, just connect with this for a minute. You… You are a
benevolent, generous, loving parent. You are. -And the provider of good things. Which is probably why they have a game system in the first place. -Connect with
that for a minute. Your kids already have more than they
probably deserve. Which proves my point. You are a benevolent, generous, loving
parent. Embrace that, live it and own it. And then from there, let’s get to yes.
So, when they want to use a videogame, yes. When or if. Those are the contingency
words. -And I was just going to add something if you’re a child watching this I’m
wondering. “What are you telling my parents about it?” A really great question
a way to phrase a question if you’re a child who wants to play the game is you
say, “Mom, what would it take for me to be able to have time on the game system?” And so
then that sets you up you realized that there are often contingencies. There’s
things that have to happen. -Yeah. -And so… And it’s a great way to get to
yes. What will it take for me to be able to get there? -One of our kids figured
this out. And as he used that phrase, it changed how we responded as a parent.
-Quite easy to figure out what has to happen for them to get to where they
want to be because then you get a win-win situation pretty quickly.
-It’s not a yes/no question. -No. -What would it take mom for me to be able to play
that game for an hour? Oh, she is going to love that.
-And mom or dad, you want frame it in a positive way. So, I would encourage you to
stay away from things like, “If you don’t get your homework done, you can’t play
that game.” Do you see how negative that is? We can say exactly the same thing by saying,
“When your homework is done, you may have however much time you’ve decided on the
game.” And you have to be ready to enforce it. Do not expect your kids to enforce
your rules. -Yeah. -That’s not going to happen. -So, yeah. You know, I wanted to back up
even one step. Be aware… One thing now you don’t always have to do this. And
it might be late in the game. But one thing we decided early when we did get a
game system was we were not giving it to any of the kids as a gift. It was ours. It
was the family game system. That let us keep the control. It’s really hard to
give it to a child as a gift and then tell them when they can or cannot use
their gift. Now, I’m not saying you can’t because there’s still things you can
control perhaps. They only have access to the
Internet then they need for that. At certain times or the TV to which they
would hook it up. But just… I thought that that’s another way to kind
of keep a little bit of the limits. -Yes. And let’s talk about the context here
for just a moment. I have some fairly strong opinions about this. They’re just
my opinions. I have raised 4 kids with her. And I’ve been a shrink for a couple
of decades. It is my opinion that it’s not helpful to have a game system, a
television and entertainment system in a child’s bedroom. Can you back me up on
this one? -I agree. Yes. -Now. Again, it’s your choice whether you do that or not. But
here’s why I’m coming down on this. Access is becoming harder and harder to
control. And most of these game systems are now internet connected.
Meaning that they can interact with people outside of your home and family
while they’re playing the game. You want to maintain as much supervision and
control over that experience as you can until your kids reach a level of moral
maturity that you can trust them with it. And Trust is something that they can
earn. They can demonstrate that they’re making good choices in order to have
more access. But having that game system in a common area like over in the side
of the kitchen or in the living room area, a family room where there can be
more supervision, where multiple people can observe and see what’s going on,
that’s just a good rule of thumb so that we don’t get kids into trouble in a
private space with something that’s connected to people who may or may not
have your interests at heart. Maybe as we wrap this up today, I don’t want to come
across as one of those old fuddy-duddy the old-fashioned guys that thinks video
games are awful and horrible and evil. I don’t feel that way. In fact, I enjoy a
few of them myself. And my kids have enjoyed them over the years. I think it’s
an amazing technology that teaches a lot of skills and gives us opportunities to
experience a richer level of life. Having said that, I think it needs to be handled
in moderation. There has to be some precaution that’s applied to it.
Obviously, some of the risk factors that are out there. There’s other things in
life that are probably more important than the video games. -And the one thing I
would caution especially as a speech-language pathologist is never
allow video games or screen relationships or interactions become
more important or more prevalent than face-to-face contact. Especially in our
young children. They’re really… They need that interaction with people. One-on-one talk. -Actual contact. -And there’s so much in their language
development, their social development and their individual self-esteem development
that has to happen. And it comes through interactions with other people. -Real live
living human beings. Thank you again. We are so honored and pleased that you’re
here on the channel that you’re a positive conscious parent. -Join us at Where you can become a part of a great community where you
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9 thoughts on “How To Limit Your Child’s Video Game Time

  1. When we married we decided that we werent going to have tvs or computers in the bedrooms. Our kids complain about it but they see we share the tv, we share time togethet. Now, hand held devices we struggle with… we considered the charging station in our room.

  2. Thank you very much for the insights.
    I have my kids on the tickets system. If they want screen time I want tickets and they can earn the tickets via chores and odd tasks they can preform around and in the house. This works lovelly for us.

  3. Thank you for your advices. I appreciate your efforts.
    But how about a father that plays and plays with computer games more than his kids. πŸ˜”
    I speak to him in case to help me with them and not to break the roles that i had put, he says ok, but return back to his old passion… computer.
    What to do 😟

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