Updated: May 24
It’s common for kids to play online video games with their friends. Rather than spending time in person, kids will stay at home and talk with their friends while playing video games.
Some online gaming is okay. With the majority of kids play video games, it can be a great way to bond and form relationships. But there needs to be a healthy balance of online and offline time with friends.
It’s difficult to change a generation of kids whose main source of socialization is online. However, we can help them spend time with friends in person.
Here are 6 things you can do to help with offline interactions for your child.
1. Get the Buy-In From Other Parents
Talk with other parent about ways to bring your kids together. Brainstorm fun activities the kids would enjoy. Coordinate schedules and plan “play dates.” Just talking about this with other parents will give you support in the struggle of pulling your kids away from screens.
2. Have Open Discussions With Your Child
Talk with your child about the benefits of diversifying how they socialize. Discuss the importance of spending time with friends in-person. It’s okay for your child to play games online with their friends. But it’s healthy to spend time in real life with friends too.
It’s also good to listen to why your child likes to play online with his friends. Hear their perspective. Integrate the things they enjoy about their online play with offline activities.
3. Give Reasons to Turn Off Video Games
When games are taken away, most every child will respond with, “Now I have nothing to do.” This is after they get angry and scream at you. Replace the gaming time with something kids will enjoy. Let them do something exciting, competitive, different, fun, and social. Explore these fun activities in Dallas to peek your child’s interest.
4. Have Fun Offline Activities Available Everyday
The weekends are great for special visits to the Perot Museum or the Zoo. But if your child has free time during the weekday, they need some fun activities to engage in offline. Let them play a sport, tag, or ride bikes with friends. They can even come over to your house and play a board game. Have activities at the ready for your child and their friends to do during the week.
5. Set Gaming Time Limits
When given the freedom, many kids will play as many video games as possible. You have the right as a parent to set healthy gaming limits. They can still socialize with their friends online. But within reason. Your child’s friends probably have the same academic responsibilities as your child. Setting limits will not only help your child but maybe your child’s friends too.
6. Create Offline Projects
Guide your child and their friends to create a project. Let them build something together, work on a puzzle, or make up a game. Go to Hobby Lobby or Lowe's, give them a budget, and let them pick out items to make something. Building and creating something can be a fantastic way for kids to spend time offline.
Video games aren’t going anywhere. Kids play video games for fun and to socialize. But promote offline play as well. Encourage your child to improve their relationships through in-person interactions. There are many great and fun things to do offline. Rather than only exploring the virtual world, help them explore the real world.
Having trouble talking with your child about healthy gaming? Check out this article for some tips on how to talk with your child about gaming.