Firstly, you will need to monitor and see how much time he is spending in front of a screen. If it’s just for an hour or a maximum of two and he is still getting plenty of exercise and getting his homework and chores done, then you probably don’t need to be too concerned. However, if he is in front of the television screen for hours on end, it’s time to set limits.
Here are some suggestions for keeping time in check:
Set a time limit before the game begins:
If you want your child to only play for 30 minutes, tell him that is the limit and set a timer. When the timer goes off, so does the game, no questions asked. When he tries to stall or plead for five more minutes, calmly restate the time limit. If he refuses to stop playing, give the console a “time-out”, unplug the game and put it away in a designated place for as long as you feel appropriate.
A solution for the “But, I’m in the middle of a game!” protest.
Remember mums and dads, almost every game has a save game feature, so your child can pause mid-game without losing any points, clues, weapons or lives. You may have to help your child figure out this function.
When time’s up, suggest a few alternative fun activities
Why not suggest playing a board-game, reading a book together or doing an arts and crafts project. This should help ease him away from the game.
Insist that homework or chores be completed before playing games
The same should go for watching TV or surfing the internet.