Unplugged: parents worried about computer games

Jannen Trubody
Jannen Trubody

LIKE many other eight-year-olds, Jannen Trubody is an avid video game player.

While he's always keen to spend more time behind the screen, homework and chores have to be finished before Jannen can go online.

Mum Kylie Armstrong said sticking to a daily routine was vital when it came to "hypnotising" games kids could easily play for hours.

Kylie's not alone, with many Morning Bulletin readers sharing similar advice on our Facebook page when asked what they do to limit screen time.

Although it's a rule that's been in place for Jannen since he started school, Kylie said he always asked for more time once the half hour was up.

"They get so wrapped up in these games," she said.

Kylie said it was important to understand game ratings and monitor use with online games where kids connect with and talk to other players.

"I do think there are benefits; some games help with hand-eye co-ordination and it's good for memory," she said.

"I've also found it's really good for his reading because there are messages that come up on screen that you have to read. There is too much of a good thing though. I think it's about finding a good balance."

While Jannen gets a little more screen time on Friday nights, Kylie said the family tried to spend the weekend unplugged.

She said family time without screens was important for everyone.

"We're all so time poor... you can all be together in the one house but not have a proper conversation," Kylie said.

Topics:  computer games gaming parenting

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