My Child Won’t Shut Off the Video Game!

Video game time is not a right; it’s a privilege and one we want to give to our children often.  Effective parenting means teaching your child that all good things (including fun things) are enjoyed in moderation.  Time activities such as these and get agreements with your child up front as to how long the game time playing will be.  Set a visual timer to manage it.  If the timer goes off and the child continues to play the game, put your hand gently on his back and guide him away from the screen and to where he needs to go.  

This is likely to work if you’ve taken the measures to set up the previous agreement.  What causes the biggest problem for us is what we say and the energy attached to it when we don’t get the cooperation we need and expect. A parent may say in frustration, “I TOLD you we have to go to the grocery store now let’s go!”  All that talking creates the largest part of the problem. When you demonstrate that you are not talking and not reacting, and you move forward calmly, you actually create a non-oppositional environment in the room. Don’t fight with the child. Move forward peacefully and calmly.  

I know that doing this is going to take some practice for many parents.  Another parent asked the question, “What if the child refuses to move away from the game and you can’t physically move them?”  Of course, just guiding the child isn’t going to work in this situation so you’re going to have to come up with a different game plan.   You must first ask yourself, “What would motivate my child to dig in their heels so deeply and resist? What’s going on with him that he is willing to fight with me over an issue?”  The first step is to let the child be angry.  Do not try to stuff his emotions by attempting to control how he feels.  It could be an indication that you’ve not been setting up very clear boundaries at home and being consistent with them.  

Now, let’s talk about all the things that I consider to be entertainment electronics, not academic or educational electronics.  I’m talking about television, video games, the Internet, or movies.  These things have little or no value and should be supervised and limited. I encourage parents to consider limiting their child’s access to entertainment electronics to no more than one hour per day.  If you set that up in advance and you announce, “Times up” when that hour has expired, then the child will not be surprised because you created that limitation in advance. If the child is getting angry, then the parent has not done their job to set things up calmly ahead of time.

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This is an excerpt from Bill Corbett’s new eBook, “10 Little-Known Facts About Kids That Will Change How You Parent Forever!”  Download the book today for just $4.99 by going to  Bill Corbett is the author of the award-winning parenting book series, LOVE, LIMITS, & LESSONS: A PARENT'S GUIDE TO RAISING COOPERATIVE KIDS (in English and in Spanish) and the executive producer and host of the public access television show CREATING COOPERATIVE KIDS. As a member of the American Psychological Association and the North American Society for Adlerian Psychology, Bill provides parent coaching and keynote presentations to parent and professional audiences across the country ( He sits on the board of the Network Against Domestic Abuse, the Resource Advisory Committee for Attachment Parenting International, and the management team of the Springfield Parent Academy.  Get more parenting help at


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