This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
Do you have video games in your house? I do. And I’m one that likes to play sports games like crazy. What guy doesn’t, right? I can’t count the number of times my kids have fought over whose turn it was.
How do you manage a house that has several video gaming consoles and still keep the peace? As a daddy of 4 it can be challenging to keep everyone happy when it comes to video games. Here are 10 tips I came up with to help others in my situation:
Tip #1: It’s a Privilege
We teach our kids that video game time is a privilege and they have to earn it. Homework, chores and family time come first. Those things are necessities. We can survive without video games. Nothing we do with video games directly impacts our survival.
Tip #2: Set a Time Limit
If we didn’t set a time limit, our kids would probably play all day and all night. Use a phone timer or the microwave timer to provide a reminder that time is up. Don’t extend the time! If 30 minutes is the limit you have set then stick with it.
Tip #3: Add In Educational Games
There are many different types of educational games out there so it’s a great idea to try to incorporate these into your household. There are trivia games that the whole family can play together. Yes, it is possible to play video games and have quality family time at the same time!
Tip #4: Permit Only Age Appropriate Games
Limit the genres that your kids are allowed to select when buying new video games. A 6 year old should not be playing Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. My kids usually play Lego games, sports games and Barbie games. If you would play it during a guy’s night out it’s probably not appropriate for kids.
Tip #5: Promote Patience, Sharing and Helping
Even playing a video game can give your kids ample opportunities to practice patience, sharing and helping. Take advantage wherever you can! Your 6 year old may be dying to play his game, but his sister still has 30 minutes left with her turn. Having patience is a skill that should be taught at an early age.
Tip #6: Teach Organizational Skills
The fun is over so now what? It’s time to take the game out of the console, put it in its case and back in storage. Teach your kids that a condition of playing the game is to take care of it and store it properly. This also prolongs the life of the game by preventing scratch and dirt from destroying it. There’s nothing more frustrating that a game that won’t work when you are itching to play the game.
Tip #7: Recognize Achievement
Your child wins the World Series or the Super Bowl in their video games. Just like anything else, he or she gets excited and seeks out recognition. Celebrate with your child and congratulate them on a job well done. This goes beyond it just being a game. It’s becoming more about sharing successes with them.
Tip #8: Teach Them How To Cope With Failure
Your child is not going to immediately win every game he or she plays. Mine get easily frustrated and tend to try to restart the game or quit altogether. If they try to quit at a video game chances are they will try to quit at other things in life. Teach them to play the game until the end. Down by 50 points? Teach them to keep trying and play it out. This scenario could definitely happen to them in real life.
Tip #9: Promote Games That Require Physical Activity
The Wii is good at requiring the user to get up and do some sort of physical action. Back in my day it was a pad made for running on and jumping on. Kids seem to like these games a lot and at least they are not being still for 2 hours!
Tip #10: Buy Used Games Instead of New
There are many stores today where you can buy games at a deep discount. We’ve bought many sports games from the previous version year $20-$30 less than the most recent version. This will help save money in the long run. You can also sell games back when you are done and get cash back! Some stores have rewards programs. Take advantage where you can and score free games!
Believe it or not, you CAN have video game consoles in your house and still keep your sanity!