Let’s face it; video games are part of our children’s lives and there is no way that we can completely eradicate them from our children’s lives.
Video games do however have their advantages that we can use to our and our children’s benefit with a little circumspection.
Eye Hand Coordination: When your child is first old enough to operate a computer mouse (many children can manage a mouse very well between 2 and 3 years of age) you can get one of those ‘Teach the alphabet’ or ‘Teach the numbers’ CDs that will help your child with eye hand coordination and give them a fun way of learning the alphabet.
Also the ability to manipulate a mouse and see results on a computer screen will be a rewarding experience for a young child, so that it will be an enjoyable and looked forward to activity for your child.
Active Video Games: children now simply do not have the kind of active childhood that their parents had; their lives are more sedentary because their amusements and activities are mostly of the indoor kind. Active video games are a good solution for this.
A study has suggested that such active video games are a good way for kids to get a moderate amount of exercise. It was found that video games such as Wii boxing, Dance Dance Revolution (Beginner level and Level) caused more calories to be burned among children than watching TV or other sedentary activity.
Of course there is no substitute for actual sports and outdoor activities and games for children, but if they must play video games, these are better than most.
Check Video Game Ratings: It is important for parents to closely monitor what video games their children play and not give in to the child’s demand for what is the ‘latest’ or ‘trendiest’, or which ‘all the kids have’.
Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings are a good resource to find out if a game is age appropriate. It gives the parents an idea about what the game itself is about and helps to make an informed decision about what they are buying.
Limit Video Game time: It is undoubtedly true that excessive video game playing can have a negative impact on a child, so it is important for a parent not only to monitor what the child is playing, but how much. Lay down rules and enforce them strictly.