Video Games Won't Kill Your Kid

toddlers video gamesYawn. Did you hear the news? More toddlers are playing video games. You don't think this is news either? Then you must have a toddler and an Xbox 360 Kinect. Or an iPad, iPhone, or any handheld device that screams out for tiny hands to come and play. Got Wii? Then you've probably got a toddler who knows how to virtually ski, bowl, and skateboard.

In fact, toddler video gaming is so prevalent, an ardent anti-gamer like myself has finally given in as I sit and cheer my toddler on as he plays Kinectimals. It's totally a 180 from when I told my boyfriend that playing video games when I was at home was the same thing as telling me I wasn't as interesting as his avatar.

But there's a secret all parents (and girl- and boyfriends) should know about video gamers.

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All things in moderation, my annoyed friends. All things in moderation. We limit our toddler's screen time to the weekends or in emergency situations like airplanes, restaurants that pride themselves on incredibly slow service, and any time an urgent adult conversation is needed, yet a toddler needs to be entertained.

We also read to our toddler every single day, multiple times per day, and the kid gets tons of exercise and outdoor time as well. Which is what a psychologist says is key if you allow your little ones to game. Your child needs balance, and you should watch your kid for signs that he's out of balance, and getting obsessive about his joystick.

If your toddler can't seem to let go of "game time" or completely blocks out everyone and everything while he's hyper-focused on his video game, it's time to break his screen habit. But if you use video games as part of the big picture of entertainment, and you supervise your toddler -- even playing along with her -- then you don't need to sweat it.

And you know you want to play along, because the whole reason your kid is getting into video games in the first place is because one of his parents is already there.

Do you let your toddlers play video games?

 

Image via kidperez/Flickr

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