Talking about gaming

You may be asking yourself if your child is addicted to gaming. Naming this addiction can actually cause awkward conversations and discussions. The best way to solve the problem is to have a conversation with your child about his/her gaming behaviour.

Try to keep the conversation light-hearted and mention that you feel your child is gaming too much. Tell him/her that you regret that you are spending less time together. Without immediately passing judgment on the behaviour, you can agree boundaries with each other about screen time.

5 Tips for a good conversation:

1. Choose the right setting

Make sure you pick the right moment to have a conversation with your child (in the car, at dinner, on a day trip). Take your time for this and don’t do it when you are angry about the game behaviour. He/she will not listen at this time anyway and the conversation will not be recorded.

2. Show interest

Show that you are interested in the fictional worlds your child enters. Ask what they learn from it, who they meet and why they feel comfortable playing the games. By doing so, you will take the tension out of the conversation. Your child will feel more inclined to listen to your side of the story and will be more open to change. Also ask where your child thinks the limit is.

3. Indicate where your pain points are

Don’t say that your child is gaming too much and needs to stop. This leads to discussions about friends who are allowed to game for a long time and what is ‘a lot’ etc. I see gaming 8 hours a day now, you don’t go out anymore and no friends come over, that worries me.

4. Say what you do, and do what you say

When you fail to live up to a sanction or threat once, you are no longer taken seriously. Often in discussions with a lot of emotion, many threats are made. Understandable, but it won’t work. When you threaten sanctions, they have to be carried out.

5. Gametimer

The best thing you can do is to make agreements concrete. There is no better tool than Gametimer to safeguard the agreements made together. After you have come to a solution together with your child, your child will be given responsibility for his/her own screen time. This way, you will create support and you will see that the Gametimer is quickly accepted.