kids playing video game

Does this sound familiar:


Your child is more sullen and moody when he/she comes off their video game. Compare their emotions after playing a video game with other activities like playing outside or completing a creative activity.


Pleading for more game time when asked to come off. Promising to finish at the end of a level, then starting the next level when you are not looking. Claiming that the game can’t be saved without losing all their progress?


When not playing the game they are constantly thinking about playing it, or watch Youtube videos of other people playing video games.


So, what’s the problem with kids playing video games?

Actually, there is no problem. Playing video games is not harmful at all and can be good for your childs development in a number of important ways; coordination, reaction times, problem solving, perseverence etc

As with everything, it’s a question of balance. Reading is great for your child’s development, but how would you feel if your child sat down to read the same book, for 5 hours, without a break, every day?

This report shows that too much time playing video games can lead to physical and mental issues. Video gaming is a stationery activity which doesn’t improve physical fitness and can contribute to weight gain. Playing video games excessively can cause children to become less sociable, more introspective and can even lower their self esteem.*

How to keep a healthy balance

Everyone knows that a mix of physical games, mental games, reading and socialising with other people is best for a well rounded personality. The difficult part is making it happen.

What is a ‘safe’ period of time for gaming? Authorities in the field of child welfare are recommending that no more than half your child’s free time should be spent playing video games.

For us that means less than 2 hrs on a school day and 4 hours at weekends. Two hours feels OK to us because it leaves time for other activities like homework, physical play and socialising.

Making it happen

Many parents have tried the usual methods of persuasion with mixed success. We can sometimes end up arguing about how long they’ve had and nagging them to finish the game and ‘do something else’.

That often causes conflict in our home.

Restricting video game time:

The tried and tested methods. Have you tried any of these?

  1. Ask them nicely to stop playing their game and suggest they do something else
    Chance of success 2/10 Conflict level: 1/10
  2.  Count to three (with a significant threat if you get to three)
    Chance of success 5/10 Conflict level: 7/10
  3. Grab the remote control and turn off the TV
    Chance of success 9/10 Conflict level 8/10
  4. Sell the TV on ebay
    Chance of success 10/10 Conflict level 10/10

Some of these could cause an issue!

A better way to restrict video game time:

We think the best way to manage your kids video game time is to get them to manage it themselves.

By that I mean you set a fair daily time limit and let them plan how that time is spent (playing a game or watching TV).

You are unlikely to be standing next to them with a stopwatch, so we’ve developed a tool to do that for you.

The Off-It smart switch connects your TV to an app on your phone.

You simply set a daily time allowance for your child.

When their time runs out the TV switches off (with a 2 min warning).

Harmony at home

We hate fighting with the kids over game time, or anything else come to that. The Off-IT smart switch is designed to reduce conflict in your home.

It will accurately record game time, which you won’t need to enforce. Plus, your kids will learn the basics of time management.

Busy parents have enough to worry about without stressing over monitoring their childs video game time.

Find out more about the Off-IT smart switch here: