But is it really such a good idea for kids to focus so much time sitting around indoors with their eyes glued to the screen? For some parents, it seems a lot better than them running around in the streets, and in certain areas there might be truth to that, but there are some risks involved as well.
Here are 4 of those risks for you to think about.
1. Exposure to Violence
While this certainly isn’t’ true for all video games, there are a lot of newer ones that contain extreme violence–and even worse, it’s downplayed because it is, after all, a game. The link between violent media and actual violence in real life is one that has been long debated but one thing is for certain–it’s not doing them any favors.
In other games, like Grand Theft Auto, criminal behavior is even glorified. At the very least, take a look at the graphic nature of the games you allow your child to play and choose wisely.
2. Distorted Sense of Reality
Too much time spent playing games can begin to distort a person’s reality. As children are growing, they are learning from the world around them and developing a perception of life. When their head is constantly stuck into a video game, that is their reality–therefore, over time they may develop a distorted view of what is right and wrong–or even what is real and what is not.
3. Time Wasted
For all those who complain about the violence and bad influences in games, I personally feel one of the biggest tragedies is how much productive time is wasted. All the time spent in this other reality takes away time they could be spending in this world right here–the real world.
Time they could be focusing on school. Time they could be getting much-needed sleep. Time they could be developing a passion for dance, art, or music. Time they could be forging lifelong human relationships.
4. Lack of Exercise
And finally, the one that seems to me the most obvious and yet so many parents seem oblivious to it–kids who are always playing video games rarely get the exercise they need. These games have become something like digital babysitters that we use to keep them out of our hair while we’re focusing on adult responsibilities. We begin to use it too much, and what happens is our kids go from sitting at school to sitting at home and that’s about it.
Kids need physical activity to grow into a strong, healthy human, and there are all kinds of other benefits associated with play that they miss out on. Video games actually do have their mental benefits as well, but a diversity of activity, especially physical, is important.
In the end, I’m not really saying to completely cut video games out of your kids lives. Just limit it and make sure they are using their time wisely. Time spent entertaining oneself in front of the screen is okay sometimes–just not all the time.