6 tips to manage your child’s video game time

Managing your child’s video game time is not a simple task. Establishing boundaries and respecting them is not always easy either. In this post, I share 6 tips to help you manage your child’s gaming time.

Oh! Video games! My son Noah, of “almost 10” cannot live without them. Sometimes, it worries me. It seems his life revolves around video games. If he can’t play video games, it’s like he doesn’t know what else to do.

For my daughter, no problem. She plays video games sometimes, but we never needed to limit her. She’s more often reading a good book or drawing, things that Noah doesn’t really like to do.

Not just video games

Limit video game time for a child, addiction to video games, child and video games, how to manage video game time, school days, weekdays, children and video games, gaming limits, video games during the week , managing children's gaming time, video games parenting, limit screen time, screentime manager, setting limits on video games #videogames #minecraft #nintendo # ps3 #kids #nintendoswitch #timemanagement #parentingLately, Noah started listening to videos on Youtube of people playing video games! I feel it’s even worse! No need to think and act, someone else does it for you!

Rules already in place to manage video game time

 A while ago, we decided to limit the video games and videos time.

Rules

  • 45 minutes per day from Monday to Thursday (provided that all homework and lessons, as well as tasks, are done to mom or dad’s satisfaction)
  • 2 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays
  • 3 hours on Fridays (kind of a weekend bonus!)

Two hours a day for the weekend may seem huge. But when you think about it, in “30 minutes” periods, it’s like he has the right to play video games 4 times a day. It goes extremely fast for him.

School nights

For the weekdays, we have already tried to completely remove video games. The result was rather catastrophic. My son started hating the week and always looking forward to the weekend. At the same time, since he made the association that school nights meant no video games, he started hating school. Doing his homeworks was a pain. Since we started the new rules, it’s much better

Time management

Noah has been used to set a timer to limit his video time. I have to say he’s pretty reliable on that. Usually, he needs to count on a sheet of paper the amount of “15 minutes” used, but sometimes, he counts in his head, which I like a lot less.

The biggest problem is that he often gets carried away in a game and ends up adding several 15 minutes timers, one after the other and thus quickly exhausting his time. Guess who’s grumpy for the rest of the day after that!

The difference between playing video games and listening to videos.

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Also, unlike television, Noah’s cheeks become all red when he listens to videos. As if he gets super excited. I thought it was time to update our strategy.

New strategy

In addition to limiting video game time, we decided to add some new rules such as requiring breaks between play times, spreading the time throughout the day and limiting the time he watches videos.

6 tips to remember

  1. Limit video game time per day
  2. Rewarding the fact that he’s having fun with something else than video games (congratulate him, offer him a game of cards, etc.). I also do the opposite and tell him that time will be withdrawn if he can’t find anything to do !!
  3. Ask him to manage his own time
  4. Limit continuous play time to 30 minutes  New
  5. Spread the game time throughout the day  New
  6. Limit the time of Youtube videos  New

How to manage all these rules

More rules require more management. That’s when my crafty side comes to the rescue! In a future post, I will share with you the solution I found to easily supervise our new rules. And as always, I promise you a free template to help you too!

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Managing children’s video game time is not an easy task! Do you have similar experiences? Have you tried other strategies? I’m always open to new ideas and suggestions! Write them in the comments below.

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In the meantime, I found some book on the same subject:


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7 thoughts on “6 tips to manage your child’s video game time

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, we are always working on limits at home as well. Thanks for sharing on To Grandma’s House We Go!

  2. I have 2 teenagers that love to watch people play video games on youtube! It drives me crazy. I hadn’t thought about the “laziness” of this until I read your article. Thank you for your ideas. I have known that I need to do something, I just haven’t been able to figure out a good system yet. By the time I get one implemented it will be summer vacation and we start all over again. I loved your principles. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Withney! Yes, summer vacation will be another challenge! Maybe I’ll make another post on it! 😉 But I must say that teenagers must be something else also! Good luck!

  3. Ahhh those darn video games. My son was just like your Noah Natalie, I wonder if it’s a boy thing. Anyways we tried all kinds of things to get him to spend less time playing video games and more time in the real world. It was such a struggle. They do tend to get very upset when they can’t play. Some worked and some didn’t, but I’m glad to report that he’s now 20 (almost 21) and actually studying to be a psychologist, with the aim of specializing in gaming psychology – yup there’s a thing like that. Who would have thought 😉 Anyways, what I’m trying to say, in a very long winded way, is perhaps you can turn Noah’s passion for videos and games into a possible career path by including some that show him how to become the creator instead of just a player or watcher?

    1. That’s awesome Michelle! Your son’s the living proof that there’s hope! 🙂

  4. This is something we are trying to find a solution for also. We’ve already said no iPad during the week but now the Xbox and YouTube videos are getting out of hand. Thanks for this post Natalie. You’ve got some great ideas on a very important situation these days.

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