After battling her son and his obsession with electronic devices and games, a friend recently threw out a comment that got her son worrying…
“You’ll get game-itis if you keep playing that iPad!”
She told him it affects his eyes and means he can’t play on any device for a week until it clears up. Rushing off to look at his eyes and see if he really had contracted game-itis, the little gamer has now severely reduced his amount of screen time. We giggled about his concern and how just the suggestion of an illness had worked for him.
I told Megan and Alex about game-itis and told them of how they can keep it at bay! We told the kids that for every hour of game time, they needed to compensate with an hour of outside time. Both kids avoid playing outside, and almost never go outside alone. But as an incentive to iPad time….perhaps things would be different.
Even of horribly cold days like today, when it would be easy for the kids to stay warm inside with a device, we sent the kids outdoors, rugged up, to play! And they happily did.
I was surprised that they didn’t argue when told they needed to even up the device time/outside time scale. Normally, when asked to spend time outside, the kids would fight tooth and nail against it. But perhaps because it only needed to be in small amounts of time, they are more willing to venture out.
Though I would love to throw in some ‘book time‘ to the mix, I think giving the kids’ eyes a break from up-close focussing and getting their bodies moving is most important for now.
Time will tell if this works!