Managing Kids' Gaming Time

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With summer rapidly approaching (and for some of us, already here!), I'm starting to think about the ways my kids will be spending their summer time. And since my two boys are arguably obsessed with video games, I have to consider ways to manage their gaming. Do you have a system for limiting or granting access to video games?

During the school year, we rely on the classic paradigm: no video games on school days, and on the weekend, we limit time on a case by case basis. But as the long summer days stretch on, managing gaming gets a little more complicated.

I've spoken to many parents with different systems. Some allow their kids to earn game time; an hour of reading might be worth fifteen minutes of Skylanders. Others simply limit the time per day, or set a time per week and let their kids decide how they want to divide it up. I've even talked to parents who set no limits one day a week, hoping to let their kids experiment with managing their own screen time.

Do you count gaming as part of an overall screen time system? Does building a world in Minecraft count the same as sitting and watching Sponge Bob? How about family gaming time: should having a family MarioKart race count as part of your kids' set amount of computer or game system time?

We'd like to hear your thoughts. Let us know how you manage in the comments!

(Image: Flickr user Sean Dreilinger licensed under Creative Commons)

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Main, Family, Tech, Gaming, Parenting

Beth is a writer, crafter, DIYer and design enthusiast, living in L.A. with her husband, 2 young boys, and a large mutt named Caesar. She loves fonts, yoga, matcha lattes, and home-grown tomatoes and is not shy about being a consummate nerd.

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