Screen Time During COVID-19 and Summer

Are you noticing your children spend more time online since COVID-19 and summer is upon us? A recent Wall Street Journal opinion (behind paywall), “Save Your Kids From Covid’s Digital Deluge,” addresses the topic of screen time. “Now is the time to break the trance of digital distraction” your children may be facing, encourages the writer Arlene Pellicane.

We frequently hear this reasonable, benign suggestion. Our children spend inordinate amounts of time in front of a screen for many reasons. We have many motivations for allowing it: Continue reading

Lessen the Volume

Please keep it down!

Kids (agreeably): OK, Mom. (noise continues)Plastic Toy Face Screaming

(You repeat) Keep it down! 

Are your children typically boisterous in the house?  Expect the noisy trend to continue and grow when they play multi-player action/adventure video games.

If they play this game genre now, and the above conversation is familiar to you, the pattern has likely already been set. It will take some effort on your part to re-set it. They have become conditioned to screaming and cheering, moaning and groaning when their character is attacked by monsters, they discover diamonds, or another character tricks them.  They are typically innocently unaware of the volume of their racket.

These competitive games played with others can also bring out bursts of anger, either from themselves or their online “friends.” Other Continue reading

Top Ten Ways to Discourage Video Game Addiction

Is the Game Never Over?

Updated 7/28/2020

Here are ten ways to make a dent in Johnny’s (or Janie’s) video game time–even during COVID-19!

Watch out–you may notice a little bit of yourself among them.

10.  Smash his Xbox; take a picture for your fridge.

9.  Set play-time limits on his Nintendo Switch. When time expires, prepare him for bachelorhood by teaching him how to vacuum.

8.  Demand he stop playing Roblox, wielding your vast positional authority as his parent.

7.  Coax him to read Great Expectations, employing only your potent personal power.

6.  Beg him to stop in the whiniest voice you can muster—that voice you once used on your parents.

5.  Trick him into stopping (your favorite sourdough bread is on the table with dinner!) then hide his controller. Continue reading