I realized that my kids truly enjoy playing video games and I saw an opportunity to turn games into a teachable moment about moderation. When Connar was about 5 I created Video Game tickets that were worth a set amount of "screen time" including TV and video games. He redeemed the tickets to play and watch TV...when the tickets were gone, screen time was over.
The phrase "play a ticket" has persisted even though the actual tickets did not. When my kids head down to the family room to play games they ask if they can, "play a ticket." I have a digital timer by the gaming system which gets turned on before the game system. If the boys forget to turn on the timer, game time is automatically over. This system allows them to enjoy their free time and me to help them learn to control the amount of time they spend playing.
How do you help your kids moderate their time?