You may be worried about the violent or sexual content in the games and also the sheer number of hours your son is glued to his video games.
How much is too much? I’m glad you asked. 🙂
I am pro gaming, meaning that I think video games have value on several levels. I will share the positive aspects of gaming in another post.
However, like anything in life, there must be limits to the time your son invests in gaming.
Here are a couple things to consider.
I can’t tell you the amount of times that I hear about a teenage boy whose grades are suffering and he is spending crazy hours playing video games every day. You can set up the structure of your family to put a priority on school work. This might mean that your son can only play after his homework is finished or even only on the weekends.
Gaming is not a guaranteed privilege for your son and it can be based on meeting certain expectations. If this is out of balance in your home, take some time to thoughtfully consider how to approach changing the rules and communicating your expectations.
Hours of sleep
Teenagers need an average of 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function well. It could be a problem if video games are keeping your son up late at night. He may be irritable and on edge at times and his grades could suffer if he is losing sleep.
You may need to set up certain times for the weeknights and the weekend nights when the video games get turned off. This can be a difficult step for parents and teenagers to navigate. Your son might resist your efforts and push the limits, but it is important that he gets enough sleep.
How much time is your son spending interacting with the family? How about with his friends (offline)? While video games can be incredibly engaging and entertaining, your son still needs human interaction and to not lose sight of the important people in his life. It can be quite hard for teenagers to create (or even desire) balance in their lives.
Romantic relationships can be all consuming, texting overtakes their waking hours and video games can become an obsession. Your son may need your help to create some balance between fun and responsibility.
At the end of the day, it really isn’t about the number of hours your son plays video games. It is really about creating healthy limits for him and helping him to find a workable balance.
Photo Credit: Cory Schmitz