Something to think about, Video Games

Preventing And Breaking Video Game Addiction In Children

The video game industry is a worldwide sensation. These games are more and more elaborate and entertaining every day, causing millions of young people to be deeply engaged in them. And that has become a worry for plenty of parents.

However, it’s difficult to tell when video games are a fun hobby or a dangerous addiction for children.

Gaming Addiction Prevention

Children can play video games on multiple devices, with smartphones, computers, and gaming consoles being the most popular choices. Although some of these might be needed for educational purposes, the chance to develop gaming addiction becomes a real possibility. And it’s normal to feel worried.

If you want your children to avoid being obsessed with video games, then you need to create a healthy lifestyle for them. Almost every boy and girl in their teens play games on one or more devices. So, forbidding video games might not be the ideal solution. The key is that they learn to balance casual gaming with the more important aspects of life.

For example, encourage children to enroll in activities outside the house. Sports and school clubs will help them socialize with people their age and healthily spend their energy. And all being away from a screen.

Also, set time limits for playing video games. There are days where kids have many spare hours. Additionally, young boys and girls must sleep enough at night. In that order, make sure to keep playing devices outside the bedrooms to prevent them from playing instead of getting rest.

Dealing With Video Game Addiction

A strong attraction to computer or smartphone games has negative effects on a young person. Firstly, kids and teenagers neglect their health due to the lack of physical activity. Additionally, they may develop poor social skills and also become worse students. However, there are ways to deal with increasing interest in video games.

Arrange activities with your child’s friends or family

When kids get caught up in a video game, they easily forget how actually fun are other activities. Not to mention healthier and fulfilling. So, arranging family dinners, or game nights with friends every week can effectively keep gaming time to a minimum.

Encourage skill learning

Video games provide a dangerous element to young people’s lives. A false sense of achievement. This takes teenagers to overly engage in the virtual worlds depicted by video games, making them put off their responsibilities.

Practicing real-world skills such as playing an instrument or learning about interesting topics in books can help relieve the need for video games. However, these skills are hard to learn.

It’s your duty as a parent to support children through the hard learning process. Over time, the learned skill will become as enjoyable as playing on the computer.

Use others’ experience to advise children

Many people have lost themselves in video games at some point in life, and most of them regret it. This is because later they realized the importance of making strong friendships and developing valuable skills.

Tell your children about these multiple stories so that they are more conscious about the dangers of video game addiction. You can find great stories on Game Quitters, which provides support for gamers, parents and partners alike.

Identifying a Severe Case of Video Gaming Addiction

Kids might spend several hours every day playing video games, but they still can handle being without gaming devices. However, specific signs show us there is already a dangerous addiction. The symptoms that tell us it’s time to stop children from playing video games include:

  • Problems at school
  • Being angry when not allowed to play
  • Telling lies about the hours spent playing
  • Excessive thinking and talking about video games
  • Inability to voluntarily stop playing so much
  • Social phobia

What to do in those cases

Seeking professional help should be the priority when the physical and emotional health of a young person is at risk. A doctor will recommend the best therapy based on their experience. For example, a common treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which improves the child’s addictive behaviors.

In the worst cases, the doctor could recommend inpatient facilities. Here, kids receive support and vigilance to ease their way into recovery.

Parents of compulsive gamers should try to be understanding with their kids. A good long term strategy is teaching children self-control and balancing video games with reality, and not simply imposing strict measures such as forbidding any use of the gaming devices.

Conclusion

You don’t have to ban video games completely from your children’s life. They can be a great way to de-stress and connect with friends, and even make some new ones. And yes, internet friends are real friends. My friend wrote an article on this topic for my blog here.

However, for some kids it’s easier to slip into addiction to video games, so make sure to create a balance between gaming time and other hobbies and offline activities.

If you think your child has a video game addiction problem, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.


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