Gaming is two-faced. It can pose as fun diversion and before you know it, the fun games turn into an unstoppable monster consuming your time and lifestyle. For kids, computer games can be too tempting to resist. You just have to try that game and now you’re captivated. When mom asks for a time-out, you beg for more and whine when you’re not allowed that extra time. But there’s so much to do out there, you’re just too busy to notice the difference because you’re constantly facing the computer.
When it looks like gaming is using up your time, activities and interaction with family and friends, it’s time for an intervention. Here are effective ways to prevent online gaming addiction
1. Have a break between playing time. Preferably 30 minutes to an hour in between. Do not play games without stopping for intervals.
2. Have at least an hour and a half of your time each day on non-electronic activities such as reading, writing or drawing preferably before bedtime.
3. Remember that school days are spent on school activities, studying and doing homework. Playing video and online games are strictly prohibited but if it is beneficial or educational like online jigsaw puzzles perhaps let them play a while and with your supervision. JS Puzzles is a recommended place to challenge you and your kids with jigsaw puzzles.
4. Board games are fun and healthy alternatives to gaming. Playing with family moves the fun up a notch. If you don’t like board games, try card games instead. Must trys are Scrabble, Uno, chess games etc.
5. Take a walk in the park with your pet, a family member or a friend. Walking is healthy and so is fresh air. Resist the temptation to stay at home facing the computer all day. Choose walking over sitting still for hours.
6. Help mom or dad in the kitchen. It’s not only healthy and fun but you get to bond with them too. If you love playing cooking games, now’s the time to put your cooking skills to the test.
7. Pick a new sport and work on it.
8. Make time for spiritual activities and join religious youth groups for diversion. These groups let you interact with other kids your age, improving your social skills and self-esteem and keep your mind off your virtual gaming buddies.
9. Help mom plan your family nights. Or you could initiate plans for your family activities. Plan movie nights where you could load up on the popcorn and soda and have loads of fun with family.
10. Spend time with your closest friends and have the usual sleepovers and bonding overload. Nothing beats the company of good friends, real friends and not those found online.
The trick to a balanced life is to spend more time on things that matter. Sure, gaming is fun but when you look around you, there are a lot of fun things that you can do. Gaming is OK but you should set your limits and focus more on other recreational activities as well. Just enjoy your other kiddie luxuries.