Consulting, Research and Speaking on Health and Media Issues

For parents


Managing Your Child’s Video Game Play

When many of us think of video games, we picture a time-wasting child plunked on the sofa, or a teen entranced by violent images and blasting away with a game controller. These images are at odds with the reality that electronic games are a normal part of modern childhood. Video and computer games (even ones not labeled “educational”) can be a social, intellectual or emotional boost. As with other media, electronic games have their downsides; to maximize benefits and limit risks, parents must be savvy consumers and help their children develop good habits.Teenage Boys Series

To reframe the perception of video games, and give parents specific, useful guidance, I produced a series of seven research-based videos (with no-strings funding from the game company Activision|Blizzard).

Video topics were selected based on our Harvard focus group research with parents, funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. These include concerns about setting limits and choosing appropriate games; using games to teach; effects of games on friendships and social skills; concerns about violent game content; playing games over the Internet; problems with game overuse; and encouraging young gamers to get up off the sofa and exercise.

You can watch all seven videos on my YouTube channel.

Here are two examples:

Setting Limits on Video Play Game



What Children Learn from Video Games

(Download the list of research studies.)


2 Girls playing video game

For more information, download “The Many Roles Video Games Play in Our Children’s Lives” (presentation summary with photos).