Are We Really Having This Chat??

Just before Christmas, my children discovered that the dreaded old Wii they had always longed to play, was suddenly do-able. Mario Kart steering was much easier and the kids no longer walked in to things in Super Mario Bros.  (Beebo is almost 6 years old and Xman just turned 4 years old.) While I am not opposed to my children playing video games, I need to find a happy-medium before the Wii turns into an all out addiction!   I believe there is worth in hand-eye coordination skills and the ability to problem solve (even if it is shooting or jumping on Bowser), plus I really like the teamwork aspect in some games.   As parents, we've never had this type of thing to decide upon... so I ask you, my readers for your two-cents!

What are your rules regarding video game play?
How much time do you let your kids play for?


My five-year-old recently discovered that he is now able to play his videogames too and it's becoming a problem. He's limited to 1 hour/day of any video game (whether that's Wii, Nintendo DS, LeapFrog Explorer, my old Nintendo 64, or my iPhone). I found he was just switching from one game system to another so we had to be firm with the one hour overall. He usually uses that up after school and then that's it. The whining is still a little unbearable now but I assume it'll get some point...soon.
Heather said…
My husband is big into gaming so we have every platform in existance. We let H play only if she's had good behaviour. If she mis-behaves then games are the first thing to go. I don't let her play for more than an hour at a time.

She plays Sonic the Hedgehog and some pre-school games on the iphone. She also has a mobigo and all the games are for kids 3-7. Honestly - her interest in them ebbs and flows and she's not always begging to play them so most of the time if she wants to play I let her. My only rule is that the games are age appropriate.
TheFitHousewife said…
Since getting a Kinect and an iPad last year and most recently a Nintendo DS, the kids are totally addicted! After reading the above comments, I feel a little guilty...I definitely let them play video games more than an hour each day. I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I just need some peace!
My kids are older so it's easier to have them understand the "rules". And it's really only the 2 boys who play. I give them an hour a day on Tuesday and Thursday. And then, on Saturday, after they do their chores they are allowed to play as much as they want AS LONG as they get along. As soon as they fight I shut it down.

I really don't have any problems with them. They get it and they abide. They do ask on their non-gaming days to play and I just say "what day is it?" They shut up pretty quick.
Keri said…
B obviously doesn't play them, but he likes to watch. J is allowed "screen time" each day. While it started out as an all encompassing term (quite literally anything with a screen), we have had to divide it. Sundays he always gets 'game time' with Daddy while I sleep in. On non-school days he gets 30-60 minutes on the DS, and he plays about 30 minutes of Angry Birds on the tablet most nights.
If I am being honest with myself, we don't have hard and fast rules, we just kind of keep an eye on how much time he spends each day and what else he is doing with his time. Fortunately, he is very obedient with us saying no - even if he does complain a little, he listens.
Melani said…
Hmm. Well my 6 yr old girl would rather watch her dad play his Playstation 3 then play. We all have a D'S and some Saturday's we all play Pokemin on them. My 4 yr old boy loves lives lives Plants vs Zombies and will play whenever he can on my iPod. A game or two and he is usually done, but he has discovered angry birds and a Pokemon App that is called a Pokedex and it has all the Pokemon and what the evolve into, not a game but more of an encyclopedia.
We spent all of our time outside playing when we were kids ... I can't imagine being cooped up inside. But here I sit addicted to my laptop and the Internet :)
My soon to be 18 year was never really into video games she is more of a fb and computer game girl....I don't care as long as homework and chores are done.
She really only plays a little at a time. Have a wonderful weekend!
momto8 said…
we have a strict 1 hour /day ALL screens limit (computer, tv. video games, phones)..they grew up with these restrictions so no one feels like they are missing anything. It is way harder to allow and then take away!
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