June 16, 2011

Computer Games: Good or Bad for Kids

During the last ten months, both my two boys have been obsessed with computer games.  They have spent all the time playing their own computers.  Our sons never used to be outgoing and sociable before.  Now, they are engrossed in computers that they rarely talk about anything else.  The phone rings constantly with calls from the new friends who share their interests.  Now we long for the good old days, and we’re anxious about this situation.
A healthy variety is a plus in anyone’s daily schedule.  Some activities, including those your boys have selected, tend to consume all of the participants’ free time, at least in the early stages when there is much to learn and new challenges to cope with.  If you approve of the new friends they are having, then be glad that a whole new world has opened up to them.

There are many good things in your two sons’ current pursuits of games and computer. The activity has unique vocabulary and skills.  Games require logical thinking and concentration, and they seem to sustain interest over long periods.  Your children will feel a strong sense of accomplishment as they master these activities.

It is important for each of your boys to share interests with peers.  Their leisure-time pursuits have led to both new friendships and new skills.  The benefits seem well worth the changes your family is facing. They need many opportunities to explore their interests.  During the exploratory phase, some will discover special talents.  Young people who achieve success often will create in themselves expectations and desires to reach greater heights.  Self-motivation is the key to developing talents or interest, be it in computer or not.

Some kids participate in an activity for the wrong reasons: they fear parental disapproval if they stop, or they continue only to receive approval.  It is preferable for a child to participate because the activity itself is satisfying.  They should not continue with activities for long periods of time just to measure up to their parent’s expectations.  Some exceptionally talented youngsters lose interest after being pushed too hard, too fast, and for too long. 

Talent needs to be fostered, not forced.  Children generally take on any new challenge with enthusiasm.  When this enthusiasm is not matched by a sense of accomplishment and competence, the interest will wane.  Losing interest in this way is quite different from giving up at the beginning because it takes work to derive any satisfaction. 

It is important for parents to show that they value the child’s efforts, regardless of the outcome.  All young kids deserve the opportunity to explore some activities free of report cards and adult pressures.  Regardless of talent levels, all children can be helped to develop their creativity and have fun with leisure-time activities. 

However, make certain limitations so that your sons won’t be obsessed with computer games.  Set specific number of hours and time periodically.

Computer Games: Good or Bad for Kids  is  a post on  Modern Parenting Tips: Styles & Approach to Train & Discipline Children

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At January 30, 2014 at 3:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If both of my boys have genuine interest in computer games and their friends share the same interest, that's great. I'm fine with it as long as they continue having good grades, play outside and eat healthy. They both have a gaming laptop they use that's also used for school. Some parents think its over the top but I'm happy with how they are so why not reward them.


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