Friday, July 17, 2009

Game Time

Your child may be too into playing video games. A new study from Iowa State University found that almost 1 in 10 gamers ages 8 to 18 show signs of addiction, such as getting irritable if they are asked to play less and lying about how long they've played. Previous studies have shown that playing can make preschoolers more violent. "Video games are powerful tools that let kids learn in a rehearse-and-reward environment," says Parents advisor Michael Rich, M.D., director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston. "But it's important to set limits."

Keep your child's total screen time under 2 hours a day.

Choose active games like those from the wii.
They're rewarding for kids under age 6 or 7, who don't have the fine motor skills or large hands needed to operate many controllers.

Don't use games as babysitters.
Play them with your child so that it's an experience you share.

Pay extra-special attention if your child has ADHD.
The study found that kids with the disorder are more susceptible to gaming addiction.

Skip violent video games.
"Kids' brains get wired in response to any stimulus you give them," says Dr. Rich.

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