When kids spend too much of their day playing video games, it takes away the time they could be spending playing sports, enjoying the outdoors, or learning other skills. While video games can teach certain skills, or be educational to some extent, children’s lives should have a healthy balance of fun that involves physical activity. You don’t have to cast video games out of your child’s life entirely. However, setting limits and helping your child discover other activities can reduce the amount of time they play video games.
Establish Video Game Rules
When kids think they have the option to play whenever they like, they may abuse it. If you want to help your kids wean themselves off video games, you need to establish rules. When kids find that they have more free time on their hands, they’ll start to explore new activities to save them from boredom.
A good rule to start with would be a time limit on how much they can play a day. Breaking the rules can result in punishments such as added chores or losing video game privileges.
Introduce Your Child to New Activities
By committing to “family time” regularly, you have an opportunity to introduce your kid to outdoor activities such as camping and sports.
Family time should not be optional, and every member of the family including parents and children should participate. Have your child choose the activity sometimes, so they feel like they are getting to do things they want to do. Compelling them to participate in activities they don’t want to could lead them to not wanting to join moving forward.
Arrange Sports Activities
To make the sports appealing, look for ways to include your kid’s friends. You can check your local newspaper or school guidance counselors for local programs and resources for youth sports and activity programs as well as your local community centers. Get them excited about sports by taking them to live sporting events.
Help them with the Basics
Some kids are still learning fundamental motor skills essential to sports. If you have your child focus on a specific skill set for a certain sport without mastering the basics like running, jumping, or skipping, they might struggle and lose interest, or it could lead to injury. Having your child outside and doing physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day will give them time to master the basics.
Have Fun Together
Challenge your kids to races in the park or playfully kick around a ball in your background. It will become more fun for them as they start to feel motivated when they see improvement in their movements. You can start introducing them to sports by taking them to the field to play catch, batting practice, or kick around a soccer ball. Put up a basketball ring in your driveway and play a fun game of H-O-R-S-E.
When it comes to getting your kids off video games, you need first to wean them off and start introducing sports in a fun and meaningful way that will get them excited to participate.