In an effort to better understand the growing phenomenon of Internet Addiction, family therapist Larry Borins, MSW, RSW, will be holding a parenting workshop on the topic of setting limits for video game misuse.
Research has shown that household rules about how, when and how much children and teens can use media are effective in reducing media time. In households that have such rules, tweens and teens spend an average of three fewer hours engaged in media. Only a third of all households have such rules, however making this an area where parents could perhaps do more to reduce the ill effects of media use on children and teens.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommendations for parents:
Limit children’s total media time to no more than one to two hours of quality programming per day.
Remove television sets from children’s bedrooms.
Discourage television viewing for children younger than two years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading together.
Monitor the shows children and adolescents are viewing. Most programs should be informational, educational and nonviolent.
It is probably safe to conclude that your own children or grandchildren are currently playing for more than the recommendations suggested above. For most parents these targets may seem entirely unrealistic. Despite this, trying at least to narrow the large gap is worthwhile.
Unplugged: Parenting In A Digital Age – Tuesday January 19th, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the group room at Mind Health Toronto. There is a 20$ fee for this group and participants must send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org reserve their spot. Space is limited to 15 people.