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Is Your Child Addicted to Video Games? Learn How to Set Limits

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If your child is playing video games instead of finishing schoolwork or avoiding social situations, he or she may be addicted to video gaming. The following tips and tricks can wean your child off of video games and bring them back in touch with reality.

When Addiction Crosses the Line

If your child seems to be motivated only by thoughts of his or her game, declines to engage in social interactions outside the home, has failing grades or hygiene they may be addicted to video games. This can have a physical and social toll on your child, and should be dealt with immediately.

Keep the Computer in an Open Space

Monitoring your child’s use of the computer has become increasingly important as the number of online predators and other reprehensible subject matter becomes more common. Keeping the family computer in a public space, like the living room, can ensure that you keep an eye on your child’s activity while maintaining their safety.

Restrict Computer Use

You can restrict your computer use by placing firewalls or parent protection blocks on websites or games you disapprove of. Make it clear what your child can and cannot access on the computer - for example, educational and offline games might be acceptable, whereas online chat rooms may not be.

Set a Time Limit

Children addicted to video games often lose track of time during their game. Instead, give your child a time limit or an amount of time they can use throughout the week. This rule can be enforced by using parental control software, and you may even chose to create a schedule sheet.

Chore Requirements

Help your child understand the value of their game by making them earn the right to play it. Require that your child clean and order the house before they are allowed to play within their time limit.

The chore requirements can be as simple as loading the dish washer or as complex as cleaning their room. Inspect and critique their work so they understand that they can play sooner if they do the job right.

Source: Empowering Parents