COMPUTER GAMES – ARE THEY ALL THAT BAD?

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Nowadays most parents are not too happy about the time their young child or teenager spends on the computer or television playing games. The fear is not unfounded as this can be habit forming and difficult to give up. Therefore most parents do not allow their kids to play computer or video games assuming that they are not good for their children. This is an assumption that is not absolutely correct as computer games can be useful as a learning tool, provided it’s not in excess.

Be open in your views

Parents should not rule out computer games as a pastime for their children as they are not harmful at all. Rather these games are fun and opens up a world of knowledge and play. These games also help the child develop good IT skills and increase their comfort level about working on computers. The journey of discovery also helps to stimulate problem solving methods and improves hand-to-eye coordination. There are many educational games that are available in the market today which provides developmental skills in the children.

Follow a few rules

When you buy computer or video games for your child, make sure that you make a few rules at the very beginning. The first would be to set a time for spending on the computer. Limit the time to an hour on weekdays and about two hours on holidays. Also ensure that your child takes breaks while playing to prevent eye strain and wrist pain. Teach him or her a few rules for using the computer, like blinking often, getting up and walking and so on.  While buying the games, pay attention to the recommended age group as the games meant for senior kids may have more action and adult themes and may not be ideal for the young player.

Introduce some variety

Instead of having your child spend every day on the computer playing games, alternate this with real puzzles or the kind. Indulge in family board games for fun and bonding. This will mean quality time with your child plus your child will look forward to the computer game on the next day. You could also alternate computer and television programme viewing as too much of screens will cause eye problems. Be sure to include some physical activity and games for your child too as long durations of sitting in front of the computer can make him or her inactive and obese.

Widen the arena of choice

Be proactive and find out the computer games that will benefit your child. Settle for games which encourage some kind of learning instead of just mute playing. Avoid games that have anything to do with gambling. Ask your friends and other parents about games that are good for children. Games to do with computing skills and creativity are better than the nonsensical killing of monsters. However, don’t turn their pastime to a chore where fun is lost.

Increase fitness levels through computer consoles

The latest in video games are consoles that are played with the human body as the controller. These games like Nintendo wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation not only make the child indulge in physical activity like swinging of arms, head and other body parts but also nurture skills like cooking, surgery and develop dextrous hand movements. There are special ones for fitness alone which the children find interesting and encourages them to be active.

Computer games have their advantages when it comes to developing skills in children. However, adult supervision and time restriction should be there at all times. These games do nurture learning but should not become an addiction. Nor should they discourage your child from going out and playing in the open. Proper use of computer games with some variety thrown in could prove to be quite productive in children of all age groups.

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