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What are some tips to make sure video game playing remains a positive experience?

  • Set clear rules regarding when, where, how much, and what kind of game playing is allowed. Parents need to balance setting clear limits and allowing children to develop more control over their own lives. Involving children in tasks allows them to gain a sense of responsibility, accomplishment, and acceptance, which helps them develop confidence and self-esteem.
  • Limit game playing time.
  • Require that chores and homework be completed prior to game playing.
  • Teach the difference between reality and fantasy.
  • Parents should show by their own behavior how to be critical consumers of media.
  • Parents need to continue to help children resolve conflicts without violence, express anger with words, and think about the consequences of their actions.
  • Share your rules regarding media consumption with other adults in the family and with friends.

Source: David Walsh, Ph.D. is the president and founder of the National Institute on Media and the Family. He has written nine books including the national best sellers Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen (Free Press, 2004) and No. Why Kids-of All Ages-Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It (Free Press, 2007).