What You Need to Know About Video Games and Your Kids

Video games are the best invention in the world, aren’t they? They keep your kids out of trouble for hours. They have something to do with their friends besides tear the house down around your ears. Best of all, it gives you the chance to enjoy some well-deserved peace and quiet!

If only it was that simple.

What you don’t know is that video games aren’t as great as they seem. Yes, they keep kids busy for hours. Yes, they’re (relatively) cheap for the amount of entertainment they provide. And yes, they’ve been proven to help kids improve their hand/eye coordination. But did you know that video games also:

a) Promote addictive behavior? Kids of all ages display signs of video game addiction when their playing time isn’t curbed properly, including irritability, decreased school performance and anti-social behavior. Their behavior becomes so focused on in-game achievements that they lose sight of their out-of-game goals.

b) Promote a sedentary lifestyle that could lead to childhood obesity? Studies show that kids need at least an hour a day of cardiovascular activity to stay healthy-preferably 2. They’re not going to be out running around with their friends if they’re spending every free minute they have sitting in front of a video game console.

c) Encourage poor eating habits? Video games are kind of like TV in that it’s really, really easy to snack your way through and entire bag of 3 Musketeers minis before you know what happened! Poor snacking habits as a child can lead to a lifetime of bad eating habits, and all the health problems that go with them.

Instead of Video Games…

…encourage your kids to get up and get moving. Kids weren’t meant to sit around the house all day. They have too much energy for that! Instead, encourage them to get out the door and get moving.

It doesn’t matter whether that’s going out and playing in the backyard or joining the school swim team. It doesn’t have to be jogging around the block or spending hours on a stationary bike. Although it could be fun to watch them try-they’ll be bored with the stationary bike in a matter of minutes!

As parents, it’s up to you to nudge your children toward living a healthy lifestyle. They’re going to follow your example, so for a couple of hours a day turn off the electronics, shut down the computers and find something else to do. Breaking them out of their addiction to video games and helping them fill their time with healthier pursuits will pave their way toward a brighter, healthier future.

Internet Games and Your Child’s Intelligence

Young people and computer games are seldom seen apart these days; often some parents experience times when a child would have a temper fit and cry their lungs out just to get to play their game even for five minutes more. This is an issue that an increasing amount of parents are finding difficulty with and in that sense, parents can also be informed, so to speak, about the different opportunities that online gaming can offer to their children.

It is true that there are some games in the Internet that can encourage hostility and aggressiveness in children. But parents shouldn’t shun the internet just because of this fact. Just like much in life, there is a bad and a positive side to things. There are also games that can increase a child’s IQ and stimulate mental and thinking ability. Research says that children exposed to computer games conducive to learning actually have a better attention span and concentrate better on their studies and in school participation, strengthening the child’s natural talents and abilities.

Games that require a child to critically think and plan out strategies in games can be a deciding factor for their development. Online games like Tetris, Backgammon and other strategy games can help the child think and plan on how to approach certain situations, where they may be able to apply them in real life.

Games that require a child to use memory and logical thinking are also present in the internet; memory blocks and color determination are some games that improve this aspect of children’s thinking abilities. There are also games based on language and word play, such as Scrabble, Literati and Lexulous, which would greatly help improve your child’s English vocabulary skills and also his ability to form a strategy for the game.

There are online games that will also train your child’s mental alertness such as adventure and role playing games. These games come with a story, and would hone your child’s alertness. There are also online games which are based on genuine board games such as Chess, Checkers and many more.

As said before, some games will not be suitable for children because it may contain harsh or foul words, so it is the challenge to parents that they monitor the games that their children play in order for them to benefit from online games.

It can be even better when parents actively join in with their children on these Internet games. After all, this kind of activity would mean better understanding for children and they will be monitored to ensure that the content of the what they are playing would be seen by the parents.

Although online gaming can be of benefit to your child, parents should continue to remember that a child also needs to socialize with other children for them to develop other life skills. Internet games can enhance mental activity and mental capacity but these games can also become a source for unwanted behavior. This is why it is extremely important to make time for outdoor activities for children in order for them to become healthy and happy, giving time for academics and physical exercise.

Christmas Party Games and Activities

Christmas party games and activities are like so many other holiday traditions: a layering of multinational customs. Centuries of evolution have brought the current trends to holiday celebrations. And our own times are taking those trends in yet newer directions. When planning a Christmas party it is best to consider the guest list and choose from the rich variety of holiday customs to plan the appropriate mix of cultural themes. If the guest list crosses age groups maybe Victorian themed activities could draw everyone’s interest. If the crowd is culturally mixed consider adding traditional games from each of the ethnic groups represented. If the guest list veers away from the Christian traditions plan a party that highlights cultural rather than religious traditions. Celebrate Christmas according to one’s own traditions privately and still enjoy the season with members of others cultures at the annual Christmas party.

If there are enough guests with foreign languages a quick lesson from each in traditional holiday greetings in each person’s second language might be fun. If time permits each could give examples of the way in which their families celebrate. Crafts make a nice way to interact. Cards and ornaments are the best take home party favors. It might be nice to make up a quick printed copy if a scanner is among available computer equipment. Don’t overlook holiday baking as a fun group activity if a large enough kitchen is available. It also takes some of the work out of menu preparations in Christmas celebrations.

Are there normal snowfalls before Christmas that can be counted on for party activities? If weather permits then outdoor fun is the best! But don’t despair if sun is the dominant weather pattern. Decorate the cactus a sing a chorus of “Feliz Navidad.” You and your guests should still have a good time.