Home > Games > What rules do you have in your home for gaming?

What rules do you have in your home for gaming?

Recently, I was made privy to an email from a mother asking a question. The question is my title. Her problem was the violation of gaming rules in her family, by her children. She was at her wits end. The responses were just as poor. Some of the responses started off right but tailed off from there.

The biggest problem I see with gaming are the parents. The majority of parents do not understand the gaming world for they either did not have them as a kid or was never interested in them. Take golf for an example. I have never been that interested in golf and find it difficult to understand how people love this sport. The easiest way for parent to deal with this is to not have these electronic games in the house. If you don’t understand something block it. What a way to teach your children on dealing with life they do not understand.

The next issue are the children. Games can have an addictive feeling to them. Playing a game that involves all of your senses along with a goal and bingo the problem. If it is difficult for adults to break away then it is surely worse for children. Accomplishing the task become more important than anything. This is NO different than the mathematician that starved himself because of his interest in math. Yes, true story. There were a few additional health issue thrown in due to his obsession to math and lack of hygiene, sleep, water and food.

When these two issues are mixed we have a complete breakdown. Parents do not understand and children are not yet capable of breaking away. This is where a parent needs to wake up and realize an education moment. Life will come at the child very quickly and unless the child can properly deal with the situation there will be dire results for the individual.

What are some methods of control? It is obvious this parent gave up control. If you have to seek advice on how to take control of a situation then look in the mirror.

As a parent, I have control over the computers, ipods, Xbox and whatever there is. They are not in my possession, but I am aware of them. I


these instruments and what is being done on them. This is the first step.

I recognize the necessity and benefit of these games. There is good benefit to them even if parents wish not to accept it. It has shown that crimes have dropped due to the console games. There have been social benefits as well an cognitive benefits. I won’t shy away from the downside either. There are downsides. This is where going back to the above paragraph allows you to adjust and understand what is going on.

I see parents throw in 45 minutes to an hour of gaming a day. Let me tell you, this is akin to the government poisoning alcohol in order to stop people from drinking during prohibition. Most games require more than an hour. Some take five minutes to get going and give minutes for saving and shutting down. There are game where the child needs to spend over an hour to get to the next level or they must start over. Is it fair to frustrated your child by restricting them? Would you like the government telling you how often you can use something? A general method of monitoring time is fluidity. Some days a child doesn’t have the opportunity and other days they have the time. In our household my two youths may have days without time for games and times where I have allowed them upwards to six hours. Why six? They are communicating with friends from other states, countries and the other side of the county. Getting together is not an option. They are doing what phones have done, texting does or even Facebook. Yes, they have been on it for a long time, but they are communicating. My oldest child has talked with friends concerning science. YES! Actual discussion on science and chemistry is being disussed.

Is there a time when there is too much time? Yes. Playing games for forty hours a week may be too much. Like my parents did with me when I was reading, I sometimes have them shutdown and go outside. Yep, I read a lot as a kid. I would spend the entire day reading in my room. My parents recognized the unhealthiness of this act and sent me out. I can not tell you how much time you should give your child to play games. You just need to be aware that some game require more time. If you give them two hours on a weeknight, it isn’t a problem to have a day without games.

What happens when the parents go out and leave the children home. I hope the children are old enough. If they are teenagers, maybe it is time to allow them freedom. This is a learning moment. Game time will be abused. Heck, they’re children or teenagers. That is their make-up. We give specific tasks to be accomplished. There are dishes to be washed or carpets swept. We provide enough time for gaming. There are instances where we believe the youth has spent too much time on the game and need a break. A more drastic approach is taken.

For handheld games, we can confiscate the game until we come home. I have block internet sites with the game of interest. For games like the Xbox, there are pieces you can detach. A power cord makes the game useless. These are simple methods. Explain to your child they are not allowed to play the games and proceed to block or remove an item. They understand they shouldn’t be playing and when an attempt is made they get the picture.

I use a method of allowing my children to hang themselves. I do not set a timer for game time nor do I block internet access. I am giving my youths the power. What do I mean? I am allowing them to make good or poor decisions. They are told the consequences of breaking a rule. My oldest is allowed to stay up later in order to study and do work. Does my oldest abuse this privilege? You betcha. My oldest now learns there are consequences. My oldest understands who is at fault. This punishment is not long term for that has no educational benefits. When the site is now blocked or game time stopped for a weekend, lessons can be learned.

Parents need to see this as a beneficial and educational moment. Whether you realize this or not, electronics is now and will always be. If your children do not know how to utilize this equipment they are left behind in society. It sounds nice until you need it to interact and be successful.

As for the addictive nature of games. Whose fault is this?? As a parent you need to know the game and its requirement. You should know your child. Through observation you should know if your child needs time away from a game. It may not make your child happy, but you are now being a parent. Have a game free Sunday. Better yet, doing something fun on the weekends takes children away from games.

I can not dictate to a parent what is appropriate or not. I can state one hour a day is insufficient in many instances, but I can’t state two hours should be minimum. I will tell you this as a fact. Every child I have known growing up in a restrictive environment concerning games look for the opportunity to go hog wild when visiting other families. They have even lied to me when visiting. Unfortunately for them I know their parents. What is worse are those that direct themselves to pornography.

Playing games is not a problem. Like many other activities, over doing it can become a problem. There are plenty of people overindulging. I can mention food and drink as one. Yes, even volunteer activities can be overdone. I have known people who have ignored their marriage because they spent too much time with a volunteer activity. Moderation, moderation, moderation.

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