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3 Ideas for Dads Struggling with Video Games

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 21-05-2007

We can’t help but wonder what the long-term
effects of video game playing will be and we limit the games in our house. And until now, we’ve said
“later” to hand-held games and TV games such as PlayStation and Nintendo. However, more and more
evidence actually points to a correlation between increasing IQ scores and technology advances in
the last 40 years. Therefore, we haven’t made a black and white decision on video games in the same
way we would cigarettes, for example.

In a recent book, How Computers Help Children Learn,
Dr. David Shaffer of the University of Wisconsin offers a few ideas for helping kids get the most
out of their time gaming. 

  1. Talk to your child about the games he’s playing and what
    they mean to him.
  2. Enforce moderation. It’s up to you to keep an eye out for too much
    video game playing and its effects.
  3. Look for games that build skills. Games like SimCity
    help develop skills that are applicable to the real world.

You can use the power of
the purse to guide your child to the right choices rather than passively allowing variations on the
“DOOM” model into the house. If you can’t always be right on top of computer usage, keep the family
computer in a very public area that makes it hard to use privately. This in itself will cut down on
extreme uses of games and the Internet.

– Paul Banas
Founder / Editor