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12/28/23

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3 min

5 Tips for Parents to Promote Healthy Video Game Hygiene

by Dr. Alok Kanojia, MD MPH

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Dr. Alok Kanojia

1. Lead by Example: Demonstrate healthy technology habits by setting limits on your own screen time and prioritizing shared activities.

  • Limit your own screen time: Model healthy screen habits for your child by demonstrating balanced technology use.
  • Prioritize shared activities: Make time for non-screen activities like walks, sports, or reading together, building connection and positive memories.
  • Make screen time a shared, enjoyable activity instead of something that is done passively: Let’s watch a movie together! Let’s play some games together!

2. Cultivate Open Communication: Begin by creating a safe space for open and honest communication. Learn about what your child enjoys about playing video games and listen to your child’s perspective.

  • Understand their passion: Learn what your child enjoys about gaming, fostering mutual understanding and open communication.
  • Express your concerns: Discuss your concerns about video game use openly and honestly, establishing clear expectations.

3. Discover New Interests: Help your child explore hobbies and activities that align with their interests, fostering well-being and providing alternative sources of enjoyment.

  • Explore alternative activities: Based on your child’s video game preferences, help them explore hobbies like sports, music, or art, broadening their interests and promoting well-being.
  • Nurture diverse skills: Encourage activities that develop new skills and talents, creating a balanced and fulfilling life outside of gaming.

4. Set Limits and Foster Responsibility: Establish clear guidelines for game time and promote responsible behavior by prioritizing homework and chores.

  • Collaboratively establish guidelines: Discuss and agree upon clear limits for video game usage, ensuring a balance with other important activities.
  • Prioritize shared responsibilities: Encourage your child to participate in setting time limits and prioritizing responsibilities like homework and chores, fostering ownership and accountability.

5. Be a Supportive Partner: Acknowledge your child’s efforts and offer consistent support throughout the process. Be patient and understanding as they develop new habits.

  • Recognize progress: Acknowledge and celebrate your child’s efforts in managing video game use and developing new interests.
  • Offer consistent support: Remember, you’re on the same team! Be a patient and understanding partner as they form new habits, offering encouragement and guidance throughout the process. Work together to find solutions that work for everyone.

For more parenting resources from Healthy Gamer, check out https://www.healthygamer.gg/about/hg-parent.

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Healthy Gamer is the leading mental health platform designed to help gamers, parents, and people who grew up with the internet succeed. Built on the expertise of Harvard-trained psychiatrist, Dr. Alok Kanojia (aka Dr.K), HG has helped millions take meaningful steps towards better mental health.

Healthy Gamer applies performance psychology, holistic mental health modalities, and evidence-based neuroscience for a deep, integrative understanding of the mind. Their accessible, inclusive, and affordable mental health resources empower people to find peace and purpose. Through content on Youtube /TwitchGuides to Mental HealthCoaching Services, and community events – HG meets people where they are at.

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