Healthy Gaming Habits for Your Teens
July 09, 2020
Playing video games serve as entertainment for youngsters and adults. There is nothing wrong with it because, if done right, gaming can also yield benefits as noted in this Forbes article. But when the gaming goes overboard and stretches for long hours, it can harm the mind and body.
Moderation is key. If anything, playing video games has been a welcome distraction during the pandemic as related in this Time writeup. Playing video games served as a way for kids to meet old friends, make new friends, and collaborate amid the isolation period according to this CNN article.
A healthier approach to help your kids have a more well-rounded lifestyle is to set boundaries. It is best to talk to them about their habits and how they can balance their playing and physical activities.
Here are more proactive ways that show you mean business in dealing with their video game habits:
Regulate gaming hours -- It can be tough at first especially if the kids have had their way with their playing time. But this is beneficial for them because as much as video games can stimulate the mind, there are no substitutes for fresh air, real conversations with friends, or doing physical activities.
If your kids play non-stop, you can reduce the playing time gradually. Playing is a big no-no during meal times or online learning unless advised by the teacher. You can also move the video game set to the den or anywhere visible where you can track the duration of playing.
Know the games -- Not all video games are created equal. Before you allow your child to play a certain game, you can do a bit of sleuthing online to read about its content. You can visit this site to check on the ratings. All video games have that you in the US have a black-and-white rectangle somewhere on the box that says “ESRB” (Entertainment Software Rating Board) on the bottom. The larger letters in the middle is the rating.
According to PC Magazine, here are the primary ratings:
- EC for Early Childhood
- E for Everyone
- E10 for Everyone 10 and up
- T for Teen, M for Mature
- AO for Adults Only
The rating on each game will have a basic description and warnings if parental guidance is needed. Or you can simply sit down with your youngsters and view the content with them.
Wellbeing check-in -- This article shares that too much screen time can affect your child’s sleep, academic performance, interpersonal skills and healthy weight. If you feel like your kid is facing those problems or are heading towards that direction, you can ask the help of a pediatrician and couple it with a time-off from gaming.
Play together -- Playing video games can be a way to bond and create magical moments for conversations and interactions. It can be turned into a family affair if you want to since having friends over for an afternoon gaming is not ideal because of the pandemic.
Offer incentives -- This may be the oldest trick in the book but it can still be effective with the new generation. Give them choices or alternatives that are tantamount to the sense of mastery that video games encourage in players. Some activities that can be challenging are music or dance lessons, program coding, or backyard sports.
Put ergonomics in the equation
Even if you allow your kids to play video games, you can still make sure that they stay healthy by introducing ergonomic furniture in their setup. Simple upgrades like using FlexiSpot’s height gaming height adjustable desk and ergonomic chair can help them relax and shift positions every now and then.
Furthermore, using a height adjustable desk brings in many benefits such as increased focus, better posture, and increased awareness of their game time.
The secret sauce to a healthy body
The best way to stay healthy is to adopt a balanced lifestyle. Teaching your kids to handle different elements of life such as gaming, socialization, school, and family time with moderation can help improve mental and physical wellbeing.