Let’s continue our goal to reign in the video game craze among our young people. I hope you’ve been able to watch this month’s Online Parenting Class on the topic of having healthy boundaries with video games.

I know most of you have heard the question “What’s so wrong with video games?” The answer to that question cannot be answered with a simple sentence or two. In fact, there are positive aspects to SOME video games (educational, visual stimulation, eye/hand coordination) in SMALL doses.

So…when setting boundaries and establishing a video game strategy in your home, remember to be Firm, Fair, and Consistent.

#1 FIRM: Set limits on the amount of time a child is allowed to game. Be resolute on what types of games are allowed to be played in and out of your home. Insist on placing parental guides on all gaming devices—including where games are allowed to be played.

#2 FAIR: Don’t ban a game based on hearsay. Review it yourself before saying yes or no. Make the rules age-appropriate (what’s fair for a 9 year old isn’ t the same for a 17 year-old).

#3 CONSISTENT: If you use gaming as a privilege to be earned, don’t go soft and let it slide. Don’t allow extra time when friends are over unless your child knows it is a privilege to be respected. Don’t relax the rules on what kinds of games are allowed. Have pre-set and pre-described disciplinary measures in place if/when your child breaks the rules.

God’s Word reminds us to ‘test’ what we do to make sure it is beneficial to our spiritual well-being.

The following verses will help you do just that:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:1-2