Thursday, December 29, 2011

Taming the Gaming Monster (Post 4 of 7)

Welcome to post 4 of my interview with Love and Logic speaker Jedd Hafer.  In this post Jedd responds to 2 important questions about gaming on school nights and on the impact of parent modeling.

Question 5: Should school nights be a no gaming zone?

I think that’s up to parents to decide based on their situations. Between having dinner together (so important), homework and helping out around the house, hopefully there isn’t a ton of time even available. We sure have better nights when we ALL unplug from electronics for at least some of the evening.

Before bed is an important time to lower stimulus to get our brains and bodies ready for sleep. Reading before bed is approximately 90 billion times better before bed than video games (roughly – give-or-take) . Just about the difference between kids eating vegetables and eating poison

Question 6: Jedd, what if one parent is a gamer and it’s also having a negative impact on the family, how might the other parent address this?

We have to remember the importance of modeling. Our example is powerful.
However, in some houses, I’ve seen it be a benefit that at least one adult understands the world of video games. That parent is less likely to depend on the kids’ word that a game is appropriate – or the rating system which may not match their values.

I have seen – especially dads and sons who could at least bond and spend some time together over games. And dad knows what the content is like.

On the other hand, if adults are not using time wisely, not interacting with the family, ignoring their own chores and duties, this is a highly destructive example. If something is harmful to my children, I feel compelled to say something.

Charles Fay and I put together a Speed-e Solutions audio on conflicting parenting styles. Click here (or go to )

One strategy in it is to say to our spouse, “Hey, I want you to know that I am going to support you when it comes to raising our kids. If you ever set a limit with our kids, I’m going to back you up. Even if I disagree, I’ll back you up and we can talk about our disagreement later. If you ever see me doing something that is damaging to the kids, please pull me aside, away from the kids and let me know. I will listen and do whatever I can to do the best for the kids. Now, can I ask the same from you?”

Next Post: Should children be allowed to have gaming systems in their rooms?

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