Video games. Those are the two favorite words of most kids. Your kids seemingly can sit in front of a Wii, Xbox, Nintendo DS, and so on, for the whole day. Now think back to the days when your weekends were spent with your nose in a book, at a soda fountain with your friends, or playing various sports. Compare the two pictures in your head. You’re both having the same amount of fun, so what is different?

Well, from personal experience, I can tell you (and I bet you’ve seen this too) that gamers are less social, don’t have as good manners, and in general are less fun to be around. Now, I’m not saying that I don’t play games on my iPad – I most certainly do, and I’m sure most of you have a fun game that you like to play on your iPhone, iPad, Android, whatever.

I’m talking about kids who come home after school and instantly sit down in front of their device. Kids for whom you must enforce homework. Kids for whom you must encourage to read books. Books especially. Everyone has a favorite book, one that, once you start reading, you can’t keep your nose out of. They are great pleasures and everyone should get to experience that. Video games, while fun and entertaining, can sometimes block out other fun things like great books (for serious gamers).

But that barricade isn’t just for books. As I mentioned earlier, socially, I believe they have a negative effect. Gamers get so focused on Mario or whatever, and not on whomever they’re talking to, eating with, whatever. It’s impolite, and it’s a bad habit for life. Put very simply, it’s not nice. You don’t get a job having bad manners! Pretty much what I’m trying to say is, video games often get in the way of life.

School seems to get lost sometimes too. Instead of getting home and doing homework, whether math, social studies or language arts, they’ll come home and play their new video game. Then you have a problem. If you don’t do your schoolwork, you get bad grades. If you get bad grades, then you don’t get into college. If you don’t get into college, then you don’t get a job. It’s like the social thing; you won’t get a job.

So, what to do about video games? It’s a question whose answer is wanted by everyone: How should you use and limit these sometimes obnoxious but fun games.