10 or more ways to curb video game addiction

PhotobucketDid you see my new button? It’s in honor of comments. I love comments. That cute new button features my oldest son, Captain Obvious.

Lets get the conversation started.

What’s a mom to do when her kids can’t put down the video games? I’ve had varying degrees of trouble with games in my house and I recently read a funny take on this mom crisis at my friend Gina’s blog Writer Interrupted. Read her post The Devil’s Play Thing, you’ll get a good laugh. The sympathetic kind!

Gina and I came up with some solutions…

1. No video games ever, no way, no how. Haha!

2. Limit the game days. Keep it to weekends or some other time that works in your family.

3. Limit the time allowed.

4. Make the kids earn the time.

… but I want to hear from you. So the rest of those “10 or more ways” as mentioned in the title are going to come from you.

Truth be told I am at a loss on this one. My boys were earning video game tokens for their daily chores and then only allowed to use them on certain days. At the moment they’ve lost video game for the entire month of March. I resorted to number 1 in a moment of crisis. Actually four moments of crisis (hence the 4 weeks that equal one entire month). I don’t want to stick them in a dungeon 😉 and keep video games away forever because that way they wouldn’t learn responsibility.

What do you think? What methods work for keeping perspective when it comes to games? We could have a whole other discussion on cell phones, TV, friends. AKC!

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8 Comments

Filed under Random, Reality, Ruse

8 responses to “10 or more ways to curb video game addiction

  1. Aric Hartley

    I think games, approved by parents games (and that takes different forms for different families) are ok in small doses (same as we limit TV and movies!) Isaac has learned some good critical thinking skills on the computer and XBox as well. We picked some super simple games to start and now he has moved onto some more complicated (role play) games. He only gets 1 or 2 days a week with only 1/2 an hour to play (unless there is a babysitter…).

    • Good point about the skills learned. That’s one reason why I didn’t just yank the whole thing. Also with my boys they have to learn how to manage their time and work together. If there is fighting and such it’s done.

      Anyone ever deal with fits?

  2. We limit our kids to 30 minutes a day — IF they are finished with all their schoolwork and chores. I’m much more restrictive with the TV. Well, actually…. a lightening strike sealed the deal. We watch videos on occasion and the TV only comes on a few times each week, so I figure 30 minutes for games is in order. Kids need something to turn their minds to mush. I’m certain of that. I think. Maybe.

    • Gotta love those lightening strikes! Sure makes things simple eh?

      My hubby and I realized last year that TV was cutting into our rare time without kids so we never got the converter box (no cable) and now subscribe to Netflix for a weekly (sometimes more) movie but it sure makes it less time consuming.

  3. Joshua Gensicke

    I think if you make something scarce you create a stronger desire for it. I think this works well in buisness and bad with people. What you might do is create a desire so strong that your kids might actually when they have free time resort to playing it alot. My family growing up held back soda. We had it on occasion and it went fast when we did. When my brothers and I turned 18 and left the house, we drank too much soda as a result of all the freedom. It might have better as kids for our parents to allow soda in limited quanitities with some guidelines and we might not have been such a soda freak. I think the weekend idea seems like a good idea, during week no go, weekends limited time.

    Just my 2 cents

    • That’s exactly what happened with one of my sons Joshua! We (I think by making it “forbidden” -well sorta-) created an addiction. He snuck every chance he got. Isn’t that just human nature? Because of this I knew that the dungeon idea stinks! He would just find some other “forbidden” fruit to desire. 🙂 Our conclusion has something to do with what you said.

      I’ve limited the free play video games to weekends (after the consequence period) but I’ve added a daily 20min on school related games. We have access to reading, science and other computer games.

      My other son doesn’t have the problem with restraint. He told me the other day he would rather earn money than video game time. 🙂

      I’m a product of pop deprivation too! lol

  4. Kevin

    1. Board games. Might be hard, as your kids are on the young side for even normal adult fare. But this will get easier.

    2. Problem-solving video games. These are unfortunately rare as they are no longer popular, but once upon a time they were king. Puzzles and so on — kids can play together and try to solve the puzzles. One of the first and best was Sierra On-Line’s King’s Quest, notable for its (mostly) lack of violence. I played these quite a bit with my brothers sitting next to me brainstorming (or vice versa).

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