If you sometimes feel guilty for letting your children play too many mobile or online games, you’re not alone. Many parents struggle to monitor and control their children’s gaming habits. You may have tried to ban games completely only to discover that your children still find ways to play. Technology doesn’t have to be your enemy. Here are some simple ways you can help your kids develop healthy gaming habits.
Make Gaming a Family Affair
One of the best ways to achieve a healthier gaming environment is to make the activity part of the quality time you spend together as a family. Mobile gaming doesn’t have to happen in isolation, and in fact, it’s healthier if it is a social activity. When you get involved in the things your children are interested in, you’ll find that it’s easier to help them make good choices.
Try not to judge all games before you’ve explored your options. There are thousands of different games that can unite your family. You can play cooking games, puzzle games, or quest games, depending on your interests.
Give Time for Gaming as a Reward
You want your children to study hard so they can have a bright future, so try offering time for gaming as a reward for finishing schoolwork and other extracurricular activities. This is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about priorities and short and long-term goals. They might be using gaming as a way to relieve stress, and they might not realize how much time they’re losing to complete other important tasks.
It may take some extra attention and deeper conversation to reveal what your children truly want and need. If they are struggling with a particularly difficult teacher or subject, you can listen to their concerns, work through the problem, and then allow them some gaming time as a reward for trying their best.
Try Different Types of Games
It’s very easy to get caught up in a particularly challenging or addictive game, which is why you can help your children make healthy habits by encouraging them to try other types of games. Your kids might feel frustrated that they can’t succeed at their favorite game, and this can take up a lot of their attention and focus. Instead of saying they can’t play any games at all, you could suggest switching up the type of games they’re playing so that they don’t become hyper focused on one thing.
If your child is overly invested in a military-style game, you might suggest some restaurant apps games that can introduce new and fun perspectives. There are also games for learning languages, building fantasy worlds, and solving mysteries. The options are truly endless.
Balance Gaming With Other Activities
It’s understandable to want to get some work done while your kids sit quietly with their tablets and mobile phones, but it’s important to lead by example and balance screen time with other activities. At the start of the week, you can make a plan with your entire family that includes both gaming as well other activities.
Schedule some time for sports, board games, books, walks, dinners outside, and more. Showing your children that there are many great activities to take part in will help them see that a healthy life is all about balance.
Keep Healthy Snacks and Drinks Nearby
While your children are gaming, make sure they stay hydrated and snack on healthy food options. Like any hobby, it’s easy to get carried away and forget to take a drink when you’re thirsty. Be the voice that reminds your children to regularly sip water and munch on fruits, vegetables, and nuts so they don’t go hungry.
Establish a Cutoff Time Before Bed
The connection between screen time and sleep is very clear, which is why you have to establish a cutoff time for gaming at least an hour before bed. This is a critical rule that you have to make clear to your children. Gaming is a daytime activity. To get the rest they need, you have to help your children set up a bedtime routine that doesn’t involve looking at a screen.
In today’s world, technology is everywhere, and you have to find ways to build a healthy relationship with things like gaming and mobile phones. These tips can help you and your family achieve better wellbeing while still having fun together with all things gaming.