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Breaking Your Tween’s Obsession with Video Games

by T Akery | July 10th, 2014 | Behavior, Tweens

file000198935450Video games are addictive for many Tweens. While they can be fun and entertaining, they are also very time-consuming. This can disrupt the other things that your Tween needs to be doing such as homework, reading, socializing with other friends face-to-face and doing chores. After all, this is the time that Tweens are starting to learn that playtime is fun but work is also necessary. So, these are some things you can do to help break their video game habit.

One of the first things you can do is to make it a privilege that they have to earn rather than having it accessible at all hours of the day or night. While they may protest at having to clean their room or do the dishes before they can earn playtime, this will help them understand that there are some things that they have to work for in life. They are at the stage where they need some help in figuring out how to balance both play and work.

Another thing you can do is to encourage them to invest their own money in games. There are several different ways to do this. One way you can approach this is to offer extra chores for cash. You can also offer support if they want to do something like mow the neighbor’s yard or sell lemonade. The trick with this is to make sure they are doing the bulk of the work. Your assistance should be limited to helping with the acquiring of supplies and supervising when necessary. You can also help them with figuring out a financial plan for their money in regards to what they want to save for and how much they have to put away each month. This is a great time to discuss how much things cost. While it doesn’t seem like this is breaking their obsession, if they understand how much work goes into buying a video game, they will have a greater understanding of if their game time is better spent elsewhere.

Take the time to establish clear rules about how long they can play. Once you have defined the boundaries, enforce your time limit and pull the plug at the end of the time. Then put the video game console away until it is time to play it again. Putting the console away will help with encouraging your Tween to go do something else. Make sure the rules are clear in regards to the times that they can play it and establish consequences for when they attempt to play it without your supervision.

While video games are a fun way to help your Tween unwind and relieve stress, there is such a thing as too much playtime. When it starts interfering with their responsibilities, it is time to pull the plug and encourage them to take care of those responsibilities first. Breaking the addiction won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

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