Alternatives to gaming - By Brooke Strickland

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

It’s 8am on a summer morning. Your teenager just woke up and they went straight from their bed to the computer to start playing their favorite online role playing game.
It is 11 o’clock at night and the glare of the computer screen lights up a dark room. Your son or daughter sits in front of the screen, zoned out, playing hour after hour of their favorite video game.
Sound familiar?

Parents, if you are tired of video games becoming the “go-to” activity for your children, it’s time you help them find a new activity, one that is enriching and doesn’t mess around with their brain development.  Removing gaming systems from your home might be hard to do at first, but once you do it, it’s worth it. However, you will need to come up with some alternative ways for your children to fill their time once you remove the gaming.  We’ve compiled some activity ideas to help ease the transition from a gaming to non-gaming household.
-Get involved with exercising or sports teams: You might have an athletic child, you just didn’t know it yet. When games are taken away and children are forced to get out and get active, they might discover that they really enjoy a certain sport or sports-related activity.
-Take up a musical instrument: Same with sports, you might not know how gifted your child is musically until you give them the opportunity to try to learn a new instrument.  Let them pick the instrument they want to learn, whether it’s piano, saxophone, tuba, or guitar, giving them the option to learn something that appeals to them will help motivate them.
-Start a blog: If your son or daughter is gifted in writing, encourage them to start and maintain a blog.  This will give your child an outlet to think creatively and express themselves in a way that sitting in front of a gaming console simply can’t.
-Do service: Volunteering at places around the community, whether it’s at church, at school, at a homeless shelter, or somewhere else that benefits from volunteer help, is a wonderful way to spend time, while maturing and teaching valuable social skills.
Video game and technology addiction is very real. Life is too short to waste it in front of a video game. Without games, your children will be happier, more engaged kids and teenagers that are better rested and less lethargic. They will be tapped into their God-given gifts and Sounds good, right?
For more information on gaming addiction, visit www.hooked-on-games.com