How To Digital Detox Your Child From Video Games

Does your child only surface from their gaming pit to eat, use the bathroom and occasionally go to school? There might be a problem. But you’re not alone, and Thumsters is here to help. This blog will give you tips on how to digital detox your child from video games!

Does your child only surface from their gaming pit to eat, use the bathroom and occasionally go to school? Are they rarely seen without a pair of giant, call centre-style headphones? Perhaps you’re worried about all the randos they could be talking to while playing Fortnite or Plants vs Zombies. Either way, you’re not alone, and Thumsters is here to help. This blog is focussing on how to Digital Detox your child from video games.

You will find the following topics in this blog:

1. How to tell if your child is addicted to gaming
2. How can Thumsters help?
3. Setting boundaries and ground rules around gaming time
4. Rewards are addictive
5. Gaming isn’t always a bad thing
6. Track their progress
7. Conclusion

How to tell if your child is addicted to gaming

digital detox from video games

Aside from the usual telltale signs of gaming addiction such as anti-social tendencies and spending 90% of their time in their bedroom, there are other things to look out for such as:

- Disinterest in family activities
- Struggling to engage in conversation
- Preferring to stay home than hang out with their friends
- Not spending any time outside
- Mood swings
- No interest in sports or hobbies

Over time, these behavior patterns can have a detrimental effect on a child’s physical and mental health, so it’s important to recognise when the situation gets out of control and when you might need to step in and take action.

How can Thumsters help?

The Thumsters app is all about behavior patterns and how to make the most of them using accountability and reward. When it comes to gaming addiction, it’s important to identify a suitable reward that isn’t just more gaming time, or money towards a new game.

The reward offered should be chosen by your child and could be earned in increments if they respond well to goal setting. 

Once you’ve found a healthy, beneficial reward that’s actually going to motivate your child to want to earn it, you can use the Thumsters app to wean your child off video games by rewarding them for sticking to some ground rules.

Setting boundaries and ground rules around gaming time

The boundaries and rules you put in place will depend on your family dynamic, schedule and personal preferences. Your idea of too much gaming time will be different from other parents, so find a limit that feels right for you and build some rules around it. You can always further reduce gaming time later on if you still feel that your child is spending too much time on it, or it’s still affecting their personality.

One instant way to knock an hour or so off your child’s daily gaming time, is to introduce a policy of zero gaming before school. Not only will this help your child start their day in the right frame of mind, it will also help you nail the morning routine and get everyone out of the door on time.

Another beneficial option is to lay down some rules about gaming before bed. We all know the science behind reducing screentime in the evenings, and the same applies to gaming. Spending the last few hours of each day sitting in the dark in their pyjamas staring at their Xbox screen is a sure-fire way to reduce their quality of sleep and upset the balance of the household.

Video games can trigger bouts of stress, anxiety and increased heart rate to mention a few, none of which are helpful or conducive to a rejuvenating night’s rest. 

Rewards are addictive

digital detox from video games

Gaming is addictive because the games are based on instant gratification and entertainment, which when repeated consistently can lead to reduced attention span and lower levels of concentration. The Thumsters app is a powerful method of addressing gaming addiction because it technically works on the same principle; taking action and receiving instant gratification (a thumbs up, and eventually a goal reward).

Over time, a Thumsters thumbs-up moment and the reward attached to it will become just as gratifying to your child as completing a level or defeating a monster in their favourite game, so use the app to your advantage to essentially beat them at their own game.

Gaming isn’t always a bad thing

Taking a stance that’s entirely anti-video games could derail your gaming detox plan before it’s even begun, so be sure to show that you’re open-minded and try and maintain both respectful communication and connection.

Thankfully, there are some great games out there that provide education, engaging entertainment and even connection with peers, so it is possible for gaming to have a positive place in your lives.

You could try asking your child to teach you how to play their favourite game with them, or help them choose a game that’ll get them learning while having fun such as Where on Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego or Little Big Planet

Track their progress

Tracking your child’s gaming detox journey will be helpful for parent and child alike, but it’ll also give you an opportunity to show them the situation from another angle.

digital detox from video games

Sit down together and work out how much time your child spends gaming per week, and what that amount of time could equate to when applied to other activities.

For example, let’s say your child spends 25% of their time gaming (terrifying!), what could they achieve if they replaced 10-15% of that time with something else such as learning to play an instrument or taking up a new sport?


Gaming addiction is a real issue that can have some pretty scary effects on our children when left to develop, and it’s super important that we take steps to address unhealthy gaming behaviors before they get out of control.

The Thumsters app is your gaming detox bff and will provide you with the tools and secret weapons you need to beat the Xbox battle for good.

Start small, track your progress and make it a positive experience for everyone involved by being open-minded, taking steps to understand gaming and why they love it so much, and demonstrating that a reduction in time spent playing video games can result in more fulfilment and overall happiness.

So, are you ready to cross swords with the console?

If you’ve attempted to detox your child from gaming, or you’re planning to start the battle soon using your Thumsters app, let us know in the comments.

We love hearing from Thumsters users and the wider parenting community so get in touch, tell us about your journey with gaming, and share this article if you found it helpful.