carrot logo
up hm learn first img
The #1 Screen Time Solution for busy parents.
tab cont 5 star

Video Games Holding Kids Back From Sports?

website article thumbnails 1024x580 new (27)

Does your child spend more time on a screen than on a sports field?

Playing video games is easy, comfortable, and never gets rained out. Sports take time, practice, and effort. Kids may not see many ticks in the win column even after years of playing sports, but they can master Mario Kart in the afternoon.

Why does my child prefer video games?

kids playing video games not doing sports

Video games for kids are easily mastered. It's intentional on the part of game designers and ensures constant triggers to kids' brain reward center.

Studies tell us playing video games provides a rush of pleasure that activates kids’ mesolimbic dopamine pathway. They enter a flow state and lose the concept of time. This makes it hard for kids to stop playing even when a parent says it’s time for dinner.

“Positive rewards are the main reason people become addicted to things,” says Dr. Kimberly Young, an expert on the Internet and gaming. “When you play the game, you feel better about yourself.”

Conversely, with sports, there’s a steep learning curve. Kids must develop mechanisms to understand delayed rewards.

Is my child out of control?

children tantrum not doing sports

Falling prey to the pleasure of instant gratification is, unfortunately, hard-wired into our kids.

The brain’s prefrontal cortex develops until age 25. It's the final area of the brain to mature, and it’s required for impulse control and good judgment. Without a developed prefrontal cortex, kids have no braking mechanism when they experience pleasure. They will eat a box of cookies instead of one. They will watch Spongebob instead of going to bed. They will play video games until their computer explodes. 

The hours kids devote to video games is time they won’t get back. It has little positive impact on their development and takes time away from relationship-building, hobbies, and sports.

Carrots&Cake Top Tip:

Explain to kids the science behind their impulse to play video games. Reassure them. They are not alone.

Hollow Accomplishments

Kids playing video games gain a false sense of accomplishment and confidence. 

A girl who is unbeatable at WII tennis might feel she could dominate the actual court in a game of doubles. The reality is, she can’t even hold a racquet.

Carrots&Cake Top Tip:

Remind kids of past accomplishments. They can do hard things. 

happy family doing sports

Sports are a healthy way to promote teamwork, competition, and a sense of purpose. Achieving goals in sports sets a child up to make good decisions in the future. Physical activity promotes well-being in kids’ minds and bodies.

Get your kids interested in sports:

  • Sign them up.  Take charge, get them on a team, enroll them in classes. 
  • Grab a friend. Get other parents to sign up their kids. Children get motivated when they play with friends. Just think of the carpooling benefits. 
  • Inspire them. 
  • Share inspirational stories of athletes and artists. Cultivate their passion. 

Maybe your child isn’t inclined to play baseball, basketball, or soccer, in that case look out for non-traditional sport sign ups: kickball, ultimate frisbee, fencing, Parkour, geocaching.

Carrots&Cake Top Tip:

Make a no-device rule in the car. It increases face-to-face time and helps kids build better screen time habits. 

Put those video games away. Pick an activity, grab your kids, and head over to the park.  Use sports to balance screen time. It will set your kids on a course for a lifetime of winning seasons.

Also read: The Science Behind Carrots&Cake

cnc nov cta button high res 3x v2 17
Sam McDonald

Related Post

Halve your kids’ overall screen time in 7 days with Carrots&Cake
Now you can encourage your little ones to use good educational apps without the tantrums.
check mark
Increase educational app usage by 200%
To unblock their games, kids must complete educational apps
check mark
Cut overall screen time in half
Enhance your family's digital well-being by setting personalized screen time limits.
check mark
Enjoy your first 14 days absolutely free
Enjoy all the premium features of Carrots&Cake without spending a penny. No credit card required.
download app button landing page
section2 last
carrotsandcake brandmark monogram light rgbcarrotsandcake brandmark logotype white rgb
Carrots&Cake Parental Control is a member of the kidSAFE Seal Program.
tiktok (1)