Be prepared for resistance. When you decide to reduce or eliminate the time your children spend playing video games, expect them to fight your choice. They’ll go through withdrawal symptoms like depression and agitation if they’ve been addicted. But be assured that you all can get through the tough transition well with God’s help. Pray for the strong resolve you need to stick with your decision, and remind yourself of the many benefits to your kids. If you’re married, present a united front when communicating with your kids about your decision. Explain the reasons for your decision clearly and lovingly when talking with your kids.

Point the way toward healthier activities. As your kids start to spend less time playing video games, make sure that you spend more time with your kids. Use the time to build a closer relationship with them. Assume responsibility for the mistake of letting them play video games too much in the past, rather than blaming them. Work together to find healthier activities your kids can pursue, like starting to play a sport or taking music lessons. Be willing to invest time and money into some activities about which your kids are excited. Plan more family fun times together. Choose some service projects to pursue together. Encourage your kids to move away from the self-gratification they focused on while playing video games and use their time more productively through service. Help your kids discover the many opportunities they have to engage in healthy and fulfilling activities now that they’re free from a video game habit.

Adapted from PlayStation Nation: Protect Your Child from Video Game Addiction, copyright 2006 by Olivia and Kurt Bruner. Published by Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group, USA, New York, NY,

Olivia and Kurt Bruner serve on the faculty of the Center for Strong Families and the Heritage Builders Association. Olivia is a former sixth-grade teacher and mother of four. Kurt is the former vice president of Focus on the Family Resource Group and the author of a dozen books. They live with their children in Colorado Springs, Co.