IS IT BAD FOR A SIX YEAR OLD TO BE INTO VIDEO GAMES,,,I ALLOW MY SON TO PLAY ON THE WEEKENDS ONLY
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Jinglebones - posted on 05/13/2009
This is such a tough question. I do not have a straight forward answer for you but I have been talking to a lot of people I know who have children older than mine to see what they do and how they came to their decisions. (My kids are currently almost 5 and almost 2.5.) My older brother and his wife are parents that I admire - they are like me - technologically challenged, avid readers, not big tv watchers and do not have a clue as to what the attraction of video games is. The finally broke down a few years ago and bought their 2 oldest boys X-box (they were 9 and 12) and they regret it all the time. They limit the play to an hour here and there, but all they talk about, all they do at their friends house and all they do when their parents are out is play these games. My sister bought her now 7 year old son an Xbox when he was 5 and she is under the delusion that limitiing the amount of time will curb its influence. My husband and I have discussed this, talked to others and have decided not to buy them. Period. We have 2 boys and I am particularly concerned with the impact the content of some of these games have on the young, developing brain of small boys. I have done some research and it says that limited play can have positive effects in terms of reflexes, but I guess I would rather play hockey with them for that. My gut tells me to steer away from them. I may very well buckle under pressure when they nag me to death in puberty, but I just do not like the idea of young children - children under the age of 10 - playing these things. Just me. I am sure there will be a hundred parents out there shaking their heads at me, but I do not like the anti-social, non-consequential nature of video games. I accept that there can be an argument for letting your child particpate in a cutlurally relevant activity so they have something in common with their peers, but I am confident that when they find what they enjoy, be it music or sports, or whatever, they will have something in common with some other children. I think if it is bothering you and getting in the way of other more social and physical activities, than you might want to look at what kind of lifestyle you want for him. I will say this - these games do tend to appeal to boys and men much more than to women and girls. But I do not like the way our society has become so dominated by them. Good luck - I do not think there are any easy answers, you just have to do what feels right to you.
Aunt Roc - posted on 05/13/2009
I am having a similar problem with my 7 year old. He loves to play the games or watch the TV. Although it keeps him out of trouble at home I wonder if it affecting him at school. I will say that in the last 2 years he has become more independent. But I had to cut the both down to 1 hour a day M-F and no limit on Saturdays and Sundays.
Keisha - posted on 05/13/2009
No, not bad at all. I would limit the game time though. He'll fuss at first, but he'll get over it. I would also try to take him out of the house, to different fun places as much as possible. You could also get him into extracurriculars like sports or something, because if he's anywhere near the house he'll want to hop on the video games all the time.
Jen - posted on 05/13/2009
My son is 8 and was the same way. I would limit his play time and let him choose how he uses it. If you allow him and hour or two a day then it's up to him if he wants to use it all at once or break it up throughout the day. I know it's way easier to just let them play because you can probably get alot done if they are occupied. But try to find other things to do with him and stick to your guns about not letting him play if his time is up. It's hard to get them out of the habit, but now I can't keep my son inside. All he wants to do is play outside with his friends. Good luck!!
?? - posted on 05/13/2009
I have thought about this a lot for my son, and he's only 6 months old! His dad is a big video game nerd. We have an xbox, playstation 2, Wii, Nintendo DS, PSP & 2 computers, so I worry about Gabriel getting into video games early. I would suggest (and I am thinking this is how I will handle this with my son) Give him a time frame that he's allowd to play video games. Tell him if he wants to play the games then he has to show that he is willing to do other stuff. If he won't do them, then take the video games away all together. I don't think it's bad for a child to play video games, depending on the games of course, but there's a limit. It's the same as TV. If you absolutely don't want to take away his video games all together, get him a Wii... they're much more interactive than a xbox or playstation.
Tara - posted on 05/13/2009
My husband and I both game, and our children will likely game as well, so I don't believe that video games are necessarily a bad thing. Some games teach very good hand/eye coordination, concentration, puzzle-solving, etc.
That being said, I wouldn't recommend letting your son play them all day as opposed to going out and being active. Even my husband and I don't do that (although my hubby is more likely than I to do so LOL).
What I intend to do with our children (once they are old enough - our daughter is only 14 months, and I'm 5 1/2 months along with our 2nd) is tell them that video games are something we play for a short time (an hour or so), and that playing outside or inside with Mama and Daddy is more important. I will likely set up a set time that they can play (after school once homework is done once they reach school age, and before then probably just after getting up from the afternoon nap or just before suppertime).
If you are concerned that he is playing too much, I would definitely recommend imposing limits on his play time (eg - you are allowed to play for 1 hour only, at a specific time during the day), and monitor it closely with a timer - just set the game up and then start the timer as soon as he starts playing - when the timer goes off, game time is over and it's time to go outside or do a different activity.
Hope these ideas work for you - I know they worked pretty well for my niece when she was a little girl (she's going to be 17 in November), and I think they'll work well for me when my kids are old enough. Good luck :)