Most parents, if not all, are worried about the time their children spend playing video games. The increasing trend of playing video games is worrying, and parents are concerned that their children may be addicted to video games. It is common for a child to be enraged when a parent tells him or her to take a break or stop playing video games (Bean n.d). There is a need for parents to control the time spent by children playing video games. This essay looks at three major reasons why parents should control gaming time for their children.
Playing video games takes away significant time needed by children to engage in other activities. A survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2010 established that, on average, children between 8 to 18 years spent 7 hours and 38 minutes in front of a screen. This translates to over 53 hours a week, more than the time spent on an average full time job (Bean n.d). This means that, whereas children are expected to do their homework and participate in other social activities, most of their time is spent playing video games. Parents should control this time to ensure their children balance the various activities expected of them. Parents can achieve this by establishing a plan for their children’s activities. This will help children become responsible.
Spending too much time in front of screen or playing video games is unhealthy. The United States and most of the developed world is struggling with the obesity menace. The major cause of obesity among children nowadays is increased indoor activities particularly video games (Kelly, 2012). Being in front of their screens for more than a day means that they do not have time to participate in outdoor sports and activities such as cycling, playing baseball and other traditional pastime activities. Playing video games puts children at an increased risk of weight gain and obesity. This trend also translates into their adulthood as they continue with similar lifestyle of not engaging in sports and exercise.
Video games have been associated with anti-social behavior among children. Most of the video games that children play have violent themes. In the past, incidents of violent behavior among kids including the dreadful Columbine High Shooting and other recent incidences like the Oregon High School shooting have been associated with video games (VerBruggen, 2012). Regulating time for playing video games not only limits playing time, but also allows the parent to control the type of games children play.
Although video games enhance some skills in children, such as creativity and control, these games take significant time that children should be using to study. Therefore excessive playing of video games can lead to a decline in academic performance. There is a need for parents to control the time their children spend playing so that they can have enough time studying.
In conclusion, the time spent by children playing video games is excessively worrying, with children spending up to an average of 7 hours in front of a screen. The result is a lack of balance with other activities such as sports. This makes children vulnerable to obesity. In addition, most games are violent and encourage antisocial behavior among children. Finally, excessive video game playing takes away significant amounts of time meant for studying, affecting the child’s school performance. This is why parents need to regulate the time their children spend playing video games.
- Kelly, Jack. TV, video games linked to obesity. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 12/11/2012. Web. 7/8/2014.
- Bean Sara. “Does My Child Have a Video Game Addiction?” How to Set Limits Around Video Game Use. Empowering Parents. Web. 7/8/2014.
- VerBruggen Robert. The Folly of Blaming Video Games: Regulating digital violence cannot reduce crime. 20/12/2012. Web. 7/8/2012.