Children have endless access to video games via their devices and consoles, and for many it has become a key activity in their daily routine.

According to the Digital Australia Report 2018, an astounding 97 per cent of homes with children have access to computer games and 60 per cent of households have five or more screens.

Maintaining healthy video game habits can be challenging when access is seemingly endless, however as a parent it’s important you help your children develop a sense of self-control by maintaining balance and instilling moderation. It is important that parents recognise that video games have addictive properties, regardless of the age they are targeting. The games are designed to appeal to our children and to encourage them to play more, some even presenting the opportunity to buy points to get through levels, so ensure your credit card is not linked to the device. Be aware of the amount of time your child spends playing video games.

The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing recommends that children aged 13-18 years old should be limited to 30 minutes of video games per day, and not be exposed to online violent video games. Watch out for any negative behaviour that may occur as a result of the games, such as getting angry or agitated after playing, or when they are asked to stop. Look out for erratic changes in their mood or behaviour including interactions with friends and getting outdoors. All these behaviours are a sign that their time on devices needs to be reduced.

While video games are fun and a great distraction for children, ensuring that there are ground rules and boundaries in place as to what and when they can play and where they are allowed to in the house will be the key to making sure your child grows up as a ‘healthy gamer.’

–  Dr Anna Cohen, Essential Kids

View Original: How to Ensure Your Child Grows up a ‘Healthy Gamer’

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