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Kids and Video Games

By Stephen R. Farris

With the Christmas holiday coming up, schools are closed and the kiddos are home for a couple of weeks or so. That means more time spent watching TV or playing video games. 

Have you kept tabs on the type of video games your kids are playing? Have you noticed changes in their behavior, such as being somewhat more aggressive? Well, according to research, it might depend on how violent the video game is that they're playing. 

But you, as the parent, can set guidelines on which ones they play and for how long. After all, you don't want them to be completely inactive the whole time they're off from school.

Here's a few tips on setting playing time limits and what types of games your kids should be playing.

Newborns to the Terrible Twos

This is a no-brainer. Children in this age group are still developing their minds and bodies, therefore, they shouldn't be exposed to television or video games at this stage in their young lives. It is hard sometimes, especially if parents are busy around the house, to break down and let cartoons do the babysitting. But it's not the healthiest of routes to choose.

After the Terrible Twos to Pre-K Kids

Even though this age group has figured out the remote controls to your devices, studies suggest it's still too early for video game exposure. Instead, give them lots of books to read or do more activities outdoors with them. Maybe find games they can play inside that will peak their interest and help them learn.

7 to Infinity

Maybe not infinite per se, but from this age to the time they leave home around 18 or 19. And good luck with that last age group in setting time limits and parental control on games. Research suggests no more than 5 to 10 hours per week. Basically any amount of time longer is just wasting time and could lead to childhood obesity as well. Longer periods of playing video games can also affect their social interactions with other kids in their age group. Most all video games sold these days come with a rating system posted on the game itself. This is one way you can monitor the type of games they want to play. An E rating is the least violent. From there the ratings can range from moderately violent to extreme violence. 

However, it's more important for kids to spend less time holding a controller and more time doing physical activities instead.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenville, S.C.

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