It is no secret that impact of mobile games on children — both positive and negative — depends on a parent's approach to organizing their kids' play time. Before letting your child delve into the world of digital entertainment, you should learn some basic principles: which games are appropriate and beneficial for a certain age; how to limit your child's playing time; and how to make yourself a natural part of the gaming process...
Below, you will find guidelines to assist you in successfully ending your child's game session. These tips can be used to help your child accept the inevitable moment of putting their tablet down without frustration, or any other negative emotions.
Set the time limit. However harsh it may seem, routines and time management are a critical element of a child's education and learning. You should specify beforehand exactly how much time will be allowed for playing video games. In a study conducted by the Modern Media Research Institute, participating experts determined that children who are 3-4 years old should play no more than 15 minutes a day, or even every two days. As the child gets older, the playing time can be made longer: 20 to 25 minutes a day for 5 and 6 year-olds; up to 30 minutes a day for 7 and 8 year-olds; and up to 30 or 40 minutes, one to three times a day, for 9 and 10 year-olds. It is recommended to associate a game session ending with a so-called "ritual." You can set an alarm, or remind the child yourself that the playtime is about to be over. But please remember to ease into it by using several reminders for a younger child to help them be mentally prepared.
Play with your child. The most efficient way to control your child's gaming process is to become a part of it. Watch your child play, and help them solve the game's puzzles. It will help you set a positive example on how to end the game session when the time comes. Remember that kids often imitate adults, including their gadget use behavior. Plus, you will have a better understanding of a proper moment for ending the game (i.e., after another in-game achievement, and before your child starts another mission). Besides, playing with their parents is a more emotional experience for children, and their needs for interaction and new information are met much faster. As a result, it is much easier for them to put down their exciting game.
Offer your child something else to do. Your child will have no problem putting the game down, if you suggest another exciting alternative. It can be something creative, a sport game or a learning experience (i.e., reading an interesting illustrated book). Even routine house chores can be turned into something fun. In this case, you child will not see a game session ending as a way to stop having fun. Besides, changing activities is beneficial for the child's psycho-emotional state. Turning daily chores into a real adventure can fill your child's life with engaging activities, and they will feel less inclined to focus entirely on mobile games!
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