Tag Archive | "toddler entertainment"

A Parent’s Guide To Kids and Video Games


Parents and kids do not always see eye to eye when it comes to video games. Stopping children from playing them is not an option. So in order for parents to successfully deal with this problem, they need to understand some things about kids and video games.

Why Children Love It

Children love immersion. They love getting their heads into things and stay with them for a long time. Video games have enticing graphics, fast processing speed and booming audio which makes them more alluring. Children feel they have control and freedom to do things they may not be able to do in the real world (race cars, play sports with pros, wrestling, etc.). In other words, video games give children a break from reality.

How Much Is Too Much?

Everyone knows that video games can be very addictive, even 30-year old individuals spend a lot of hours in front of the computer screen. Too much time spent playing video games have negative effects. Experts recommend that young children should only be allowed one to two hours of screen time per day. However, there are no magic numbers. The only way to strike balance in your toddler’s daily activities is to encourage a variety of activities that does not include the “screen”.

The Pros and Cons

Advantages

  • Video games help sick toddlers. Absorption in a game diverts the mind from pain and discomfort, especially toddlers undergoing painful treatments.
  • Improves mental dexterity. A toddler’s ability to take on cognitive challenges is increased which enhances cognitive skills including organized thinking and pattern recognition.
  • Boosts hand-eye coordination.
  • Enhances awareness.
  • Better social skills. Video games promote teamwork. It also helps toddlers gain self-esteem.

Disadvantages

  • Decreased interest for other activities and hobbies
  • Less socialization
  • Poor school performance
  • Health complications (e.g. fatigue, obesity, eye problems)

How To Supervise Your Child

Set A Schedule

Allotting a specific time for playing video games is the best way you can manage your toddler’s video game time. You may let your little one to play for 30 minutes to an hour. Having a schedule is very beneficial as it allows time for your toddler to complete assignments, chores, participate in other activities (arts, music and sports), play with other children, bond with the family and rest.

Screen Video Games

Letting a 4-year old play God of War or Grand Theft Auto is really inappropriate for his age. Choose video games according to your toddler’s interests or what you would like your toddler to be exposed to more. You do not have to necessarily choose educational games all the time. Games with colorful graphics, intriguing searches and a stress-free setting (e.g. Big Brain Academy, NBA and Little Big Planet) work just fine.

Set The Video Game System In The Living Room

Make playing video games a social, rather than a solitary activity. Set it up in your family room or somewhere you will be able to keep an eye on your little one while he is playing. This will make it easier for you to reinforce your rules and for your toddler to follow them.

Engage

Why not play a video game with your toddler? Children love it when parents play with them. If you do not want to play, just sit beside him and watch. This way, you get to model to your toddler the significance of family togetherness and proper time management.

In addition, introduce other fun activities you can do together like going for a walk or riding a bike, swimming, visiting a zoo, playing board games or working on puzzles.

Create A Reward System

Create a reward system where your toddler will have to work for video games. For instance, you can allow your toddler an hour of game play for an hour of chores or in exchange for good grades. This technique forces your toddler to make video games an extracurricular activity and to divert his free time in a way that will benefit him in the long-run.

Game play is not a bad thing. It is perfectly okay as long as there is parental involvement and you make it a bonus activity for your toddler.

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