What You Need to Know About Video Games and Your Kids

Video games are the best invention in the world, aren’t they? They keep your kids out of trouble for hours. They have something to do with their friends besides tear the house down around your ears. Best of all, it gives you the chance to enjoy some well-deserved peace and quiet!

If only it was that simple.

What you don’t know is that video games aren’t as great as they seem. Yes, they keep kids busy for hours. Yes, they’re (relatively) cheap for the amount of entertainment they provide. And yes, they’ve been proven to help kids improve their hand/eye coordination. But did you know that video games also:

a) Promote addictive behavior? Kids of all ages display signs of video game addiction when their playing time isn’t curbed properly, including irritability, decreased school performance and anti-social behavior. Their behavior becomes so focused on in-game achievements that they lose sight of their out-of-game goals.

b) Promote a sedentary lifestyle that could lead to childhood obesity? Studies show that kids need at least an hour a day of cardiovascular activity to stay healthy-preferably 2. They’re not going to be out running around with their friends if they’re spending every free minute they have sitting in front of a video game console.

c) Encourage poor eating habits? Video games are kind of like TV in that it’s really, really easy to snack your way through and entire bag of 3 Musketeers minis before you know what happened! Poor snacking habits as a child can lead to a lifetime of bad eating habits, and all the health problems that go with them.

Instead of Video Games…

…encourage your kids to get up and get moving. Kids weren’t meant to sit around the house all day. They have too much energy for that! Instead, encourage them to get out the door and get moving.

It doesn’t matter whether that’s going out and playing in the backyard or joining the school swim team. It doesn’t have to be jogging around the block or spending hours on a stationary bike. Although it could be fun to watch them try-they’ll be bored with the stationary bike in a matter of minutes!

As parents, it’s up to you to nudge your children toward living a healthy lifestyle. They’re going to follow your example, so for a couple of hours a day turn off the electronics, shut down the computers and find something else to do. Breaking them out of their addiction to video games and helping them fill their time with healthier pursuits will pave their way toward a brighter, healthier future.