Computers and The Internet

Establish limits for your child's TV, computer time.

Playing video games can be fun. It can help kids reduce stress and relax. But too much time playing video games or watching TV keeps kids from exercising and socializing. It keeps them from reading and experiencing new things.

To cut back on “screen” time:

  • Set reasonable limits. Let your child play for an hour on school days, two hours on other days. Or set a weekly maximum for screen time—for TV, video games and computers. Maintain a firm rule that homework and chores come first.
  • Enforce the new rules. It helps to set a kitchen timer. When the timer rings, media time is over.
  • Provide fun alternatives: good books and magazines, arts and crafts, family outings and games, baking or special one-on-one time with you.

Reprinted with permission from the May 2005 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2005 The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS, Inc. Source: Pam Abrams, "Making Peace With Video Games," Parents, September 2002 (Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing, 1-800-727-3682,