How can I control the hours my child plays with video games?

Your child spends too much time playing on the computer and you don’t know how to get him out of it? You should know that this is not an isolated case. Children and teenagers are becoming more and more prone to digital entertainment. Even when they are among their friends, it is more common for them to gather in front of the PC to play instead of choosing another kind of entertainment.

What to do about this?

Patience, discipline and supervision

The best way to change a bad habit is to offer a good one in return and accompany your child during the process.

  • Don’t say, “Stop playing and start doing something else”. That’s ambiguous and you’re not really telling him what to do.

Instead, propose going out together to do some shopping, some housework, go for a run or do some physical activity together. Set up a time for reading or skill development. In any case, it’s a time when you’ll also disconnect from your stuff to connect with your child.

  • Don’t say, “Don’t go to bed late”. That’s also ambiguous because you’re not making it clear what time it is to go to bed, other than that you’re leaving it up to her.

Instead, set a time limit for PC use, preferably 2 hours before she goes to bed. So if bedtime is at 10pm, by 8pm every gaming device, fixed or portable should be offline. In that sense, there are two things you should do:

  1. Be present during the shutdown process to ensure that this is done.
  2. The computer, whether it belongs to a child or a teenager, should not be in the same room where it sleeps. Portable devices are best left in your possession once they are turned off.

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