Gaming vs Schoolwork – How to Encourage a Healthy Balance

Although the majority of gamers are adults, a significant proportion of the gaming community is made up of under-18s. In fact, as many as 76% of children in the United States play video games regularly. For many kids, video games can be an enriching experience, encouraging cooperative play and allowing them to connect with friends virtually. However, it can be difficult for parents to police screen time. In the US, the average teenager spends more than 8 hours every day glued to a tablet, television, or video console. If you’re worried about grades slipping, you must promote a healthy balance between schoolwork and gaming. 

Set Clear Limits 

If your kids don’t have much of an issue with scheduling, this is one of the easiest methods of ensuring they’re not spending too much time at the keyboard or console controller. How much screen time you allow them is up to you, but there’s some solid guidance out there you can follow. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than 60 minutes of play per day on school days. You can be a little laxer during the weekend, but even then, it’s best to place a gap of around 2 hours. 

Additionally, make sure that gaming sessions come second to schoolwork. If an outstanding assignment hasn’t been completed, don’t be afraid to keep those consoles locked down until the last word has been written. 

Say No to Consoles in the Bedroom 

It’s hard to keep tabs on what your kids are doing behind closed doors. Even if they’ve finished all their schoolwork ahead of time, it can be tricky to police screen time and gaming sessions if they have a console or PC setup in their bedrooms. Try to migrate gaming hardware to family rooms whenever possible. If this isn’t practical, turn to parental controls to limit how much time they can actually spend working on their scores or in-game rankings. 

Some games are more age-appropriate than others. To make life easy, use video game content rating systems to help you make the right choice. However, if you have a more relaxed approach to virtual violence, it’s best to do your own research. Check out a few in-game videos on YouTube to get a handle on content or find CSGO matches streaming here

Know Who Your Kids Are Playing With 

Just as in the real world, online friends can prove a bad influence on kids. In the era of accessible multiplayer games, it’s crucial you know who your children are playing with. If you’re happy to allow them to play alongside their friends, just 

make sure you’ve pre-approved the gaming group beforehand. If you know your kids are easily led, simply use parental controls to ensure they’re not breaking the play limits you’ve agreed upon. 

Look for Signs of Addictive Behavior 

Video game addiction was recently recognized as a real disorder. Keeping an eye out for telltale signs of gaming disorder in your kids takes work, but there are a few telltale symptoms to watch out for. 

Negative mood changes if they can’t play is a clear sign they’re suffering from a gaming disorder. Any drop in grades or waning interest in activities they used to enjoy is also a clear indication of the disorder. 

If your child is experiencing any of the above, you need to rethink your entire approach to gaming guidelines. In some cases, it may be best to steer them away from the console completely. Ultimately, it’s best to introduce stimulating activities they can engage with away from video games. You don’t need to eradicate gaming from their lives entirely, but if they have other options, they’re more likely to cooperate when it comes to sticking to play limits.

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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