Home > Entertainment and Activities > Movies, TV, Internet > Kids and Video Games > Your Teen and Video Games: How to Set Limits
|

Your Teen and Video Games: How to Set Limits

Info Flash

In response to a Congressional hearing on violent content in video and computer games, the industry has implemented a ratings system. There are five categories:

  • EC (early childhood; three and older)
  • K—A (kids six and older to adults)
  • T (teenagers, 13 and older)
  • M (mature, 17 and older)
  • AO (adults only)

These ratings are accompanied by descriptions such as “realistic blood and gore” and “use of drugs.”

Teens are attracted to video games for different reasons. Many games feature dreamy alternative landscapes, mind-bending puzzles, realistic graphics, and, of course, blood and guts. Glance at a game like Mortal Kombat—where winning a fight allows you to do away with your opponent in several inventive and gruesome ways, including ripping his head off—and it's easy to see why parents are concerned.

Video games do have their benefits, though. Not all games involve graphically killing an opponent. A slew of puzzle games that make you think (such as Tetris and Zoop) are still popular with teens. Also, many video games, from Super Mario Brothers to Street Fighter, help develop eye-hand coordination, and because the games come without instructions or blueprints, teens have a great time sharing gaming secrets and strategies.

However, when the love of video games becomes too compelling, it's time to pull the plug, or at least set some limits. If your teen is placing video or computer games above chores, homework, or even social gatherings, it's time to lay down some clear rules: No video games until homework is finished, or only one hour of video gaming a night.

Video games are not something that should be banned, but they shouldn't dominate everything else in your teen's life.

|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Teenager © 1996 by Kate Kelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


highlights

Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks