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Winter 2018 Letter to Parents

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year!  2018 has arrived with freezing temperatures, with many of us staying inside.  Armed with new video games, children happily entertain themselves for hours.  While video games can be exciting and tempting this cold season, I wanted to share some suggestions, based on my observations as a school counselor:

  1. Review the content of the games to ensure the game is age appropriate for your child’s age and development.
  2. Monitor and control the amount of time spent playing video games. Experts say that over three hours a day cause difficulty for a child’s socialization.
  3. Video games are best played in a central part of your home in order that you, as a parent, can monitor the time.

 I am writing about this issue at this time because:

  • I observe some students barely able to keep their eyes open in class. They report they were playing video games throughout the night.
  • I see some students referring to video characters as if they were real people frequently…
  • I hear some students say they eat their meals in their bedrooms while playing their games.

Games have their positive side as well, as stated by Dr. Greg Snyder, Boys’ Town Center for Behavioral Health, “Games played in moderation, less than one hour a day, have shown in some limited studies, to improve problem solving, even improve or address creativity, improve psych-social adjustments.”

The challenge for all of us, both parents and grandparents, is the number of hours our children are playing the games. 

I would love to hear your thoughts. I invite your response.  I can be reached at lsball@smcps.org or by phone at 301-863-4085.

We look forward to an exciting and productive year of learning.

Sincerely,

Linda Ball

School Counselor