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Healthy Video Gaming Tips For Kids With Infinite Screentime

Little Steps Facebook Live With Arcadia Kim

Image of child playing video games Hong Kong

At Little Steps, one of our aims is to educate parents on important issues we are facing as families. One that we’ve probably all struggled with at some point is how to manage kid’s screen time and set healthy limits around this. Our kids are often on devices, whether it’s smartphones, tablets, games consoles or simply watching TV. A study in the US found that children aged 8-12 can spend anywhere between four to six hours on screens, while for teenagers it can be up to nine hours a day. With screens a part of everyday life, it’s a question of finding the right balance of screen and non-screen time for you and your family.

We were lucky to interview Arcadia Kim, the founder and President of Infinite Screentime in Hong Kong, a movement dedicated to building a community of coaches & educators and advocate for screen-smart kids. She was formerly COO of US video game company Electronic Arts Los Angeles, where she worked on blockbusters including Lord of the Rings and the Sims. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and BA from Wellesley College in Theatre & Film.

Below we highlight some of the key points of Arcadia’s interview to help you set boundaries around healthy video gaming with younger and older children.

  • Turn Obsession Into A Passion & Learn Self Control

    Children play, learn and interact with these new mediums of the 21st century, and don’t have the same toys and tools as we did when we were growing up. Being a kid means having fun, exploring, and learning and they do this with technology.

    • During the pandemic, technology has become our savior and satan at the same time! Families may have had certain rules around technology pre-pandemic but the switch to social distancing and e-learning made those more difficult to implement.
    • Video games have a built-in compulsion loop. You play, gain points, get stronger and then you can play more. This is a formula for addiction. It’s also what motivates us in everything we do in life. Children can “gamify” their way to success on many levels in life, whether it’s learning a musical instrument or becoming a better soccer player.
    • The more children are told they can’t do something, the more they will obsess over it. This creates a pressure cooker of obsession and addiction. To break that, you need to unlock self-control for your child, so they can recognize when they have had enough.
    • Ask what makes your family tick, what you’re comfortable with, and what you aren’t, and work out some guidelines that speak to your family values.
  • Weed Out Good Or Bad Video Games For Kids

    Screen time control apps are important. There’s a lot of screen time apps that control screen time, so kids need to ask permission to download and unlock games. Use the screen time control apps to see what your kids are interested in and start a conversation about it.

    • Games like Minecraft and Roblox can be enriching and cultivating so long as parents keep a close eye on their children’s gaming and find out what they’re doing when playing.
    • The best way to control children’s night-time use of screens is for parents to do the same. Try putting your screens to bed one hour before bedtime and do offline activities as a family to wind down.
  • Be Part Of A Community With No Shame Or Strife

    Parents can’t stay on top of everything and know about everything that their kid plays on, or engages with, online. One may know Fortnite, another may be good on Instagram. Build a squad that you can count on and bounce ideas off without any shame. Celebrate your triumphs when you’ve conquered technology.

    • Technology can be a tool for good and children have been able to thrive doing online learning.
    • Don’t equate kids not being on a screen to being a good parent or be too controlling about screen time. Parents are bad at self-control, too, and we need to admit that.
    • Kids will use this technology for the rest of their lives. Let your kids be your coach with this new technology.

      To learn more tips and strategies to build stronger, safer and smarter screentime families, visit https://infinitescreentime.com to sign up for a weekly newsletter or follow on Instagram or Facebook.

      Arcadia offers a free screentime rules cheat sheet based on Infinite Screentime's Screentime Serenity methodology that has transformed multiple families worldwide.

      Join the Infinite Screentime movement on Facebook here and learn from a community of people trying their best to figure out this screentime challenge together.

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