Our guest Rosabel Yip shares her thoughts on video games, how they affect our children, and some healthy alternatives:

In today’s world, most children are exposed to video games, play station, internet online games, mobile phone games etc. In fact, video games are dominating our childs lives today. It is a trend. Older children are now talking about latest games in the market or internet. They compete with each other on the scores that they get from the games. Children beg their parents to buy them play station or computer so that they can keep up the trend. Even younger children, who do not understand “trend”, will just follow what their older brothers or peers do. Some parents even use them as a reward if their child behaves or achieve the parents’ academic expectations.

I’m not against video games, but I do agree that adults should control the video gaming. We should set some rules and limitations. Some of the games are very violent – killing, beating, hitting, bombing, slashing and so on. There are researchers claims that the violent video games do not have any effect on our children. People are still debating the issue.

I discourage young children’s exposure to violent video games. They do not grasp what is violent, what is right and what is wrong. They might not know how to differentiate appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.

Children love to imitate other people. If a child snatches a toy from another child and the adult involved just lets it be without taking any action, the other child who sees this might imitate the action without understanding appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Imagine if he is exposed to violent video games where the characters in the game can just keep beating one another, what does he captured in his subconscious mind? Beating can be one of the solutions to get what he wants? Moreover, children get addicted to video games easily if we do not control the gaming. Do you want your child to sit in front of the TV or computer just playing video games?

There are many games that we can get our child to be involved in. Games such as running, jogging, basketball, football, climbing and so on are very healthy for our child. These games enable them to stretch and move their body. Your child gets to reinforce his large and fine motor skills as well as better body coordination. He gets to sweat to promote detoxification. The whole body movements also improve blood circulation of his body. More oxygen is carried in the blood to the brain which helps in his intellectual development.

Take the child to the park, water fall, lake, beach, jungle tracking etc. enjoy and learn to appreciate nature. Do gardening together with the child. Cultivate the love of nature among our young children. Take the child to the library or book shop. Cultivate the good reading habits. Reading provides information and knowledge. The child who reads more tends to be more flexible in their thinking and more open to new ideas. He also develops the ability to understand how other people feel and think.

Start by selecting video games that are educational and appropriate for their age. Read the rating symbols on the cover before buying any game – EC (Early Childhood), AO (for adults only 18+), E (for everyone), E10 (for Everyone 10+), T (for Teen) and M (for Mature 17+). Restrict the time and day of the video game activity, encourage your child to participate in the outdoor activities that can bring physical, mental and emotional benefits.

With our world becoming so addicted to technology, we tend to become less active, leading to an unhealthier society. Maybe we want to include some old school activities into our childs lives?  Rosabel has so much to share, visit her at Nurture Our Child with Love and Patience!