Enough of Video Games: Unplug that thing and find something else to do!

Kids playing video game

I have two school-age children. In my view, they spend too much time on screens, most especially in video games. I worry about my kids and video games, as most parents do, I know.

I personally believe that video games are great fun and often beneficial — educationally, emotionally and socially. They are relaxing and diverting, a bit like watching TV or reading books. I wouldn't want my kids to overdo those things either.

SEE: 3 Ways Indoor Play Can Enhance Child Development.

Too much of anything is just too much. It's true that some studies have shown certain video games can improve hand-eye coordination, problem-solving skills, and the mind's ability to process information. But too much video game playing may lead to health problems.

It's hard to get enough active play and exercise if you're always inside playing video games. And without enough exercise, kids can become overweight.

Really overdoing video games also could affect other important stuff, like friendships and how well a kid does in school. And kids who play violent video games might act more aggressively.

But here's the good news: Playing video games some of the time can be OK. Just choose quality games and limit screen time — which includes TV, computer, smartphone, tablet, and video game time combined — to no more than 2 hours a day. SEE: HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN ONLINE.

Researchers in the U.K. surveyed nearly 5,000 boys and girls ages 10 to 15. They found that kids who spent less than an hour a day playing video games ranked highest in terms of peer relationships, attention and overall satisfaction with life.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of any type of screen time, but as a parent of two school-age children. Limiting game time to one hour may be tough to enforce.

I will just have to unplug it!
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