Parents should limit child's computer gaming
Parents of a child who plays computer games excessively should limit computer use but not issue blanket condemnations, a social education worker advised, dpa reported.
Remarks such as, "Playing computer games is the reason you have to repeat a school year!" or "The developers of computer games should be sued!" only aggravate family discord, said Jannis Wlachojiannis, director of Lost in Space, a counselling centre for computer-game and internet addiction under the auspices of the archdiocese of Berlin's Caritas Association, a group of Roman Catholic charitable organizations.
Instead, Wlachojiannis said, the parents and child should try to agree on a weekly maximum of playing time that the child can budget as he or she sees fit. If the time has been used up before the weekend, for example, the computer is off-limits until the start of the following week.
The recommendations by Wlachojiannis appear in the January edition of a magazine published by Germany's Federal Union for the Protection of Children and Adolescents.
He said it was important that parents monitor the child's adherence to the agreement. They can do this by downloading user-friendly -- and sometimes free -- software from the internet that keeps track of the duration of computer and internet use.