Does your child get defensive or even angry when you ask them to stop playing games? If that is the case, your child may be in a state of game addiction!
In this article, we will go over the impacts of game addiction on children and prevention strategies.
Understanding Gaming Addiction
Gaming addiction or Gaming disorder is defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming.
This happens when an increasing priority is given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and the continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
Signs and Symptoms of Gaming Addiction in Children:
- Constantly playing games for long hours
- Isolation from surroundings people
- Having no interest in other activities
- Having no plan, excluding how to win in games
- Paying no attention to studying or researching
Causes of Gaming Addiction
There is no clear evidence to confirm what causes game addiction, but there are several factors that heavily influence game addiction development in children.
- Lack of Self-Esteem: Children’s low ability to learn and prove themselves in school may lead to a lack of self-esteem. They play video games as a cure.
- Escaping Reality: Children play video games to get away from stress or unpleasant situations in the real world.
- Easy access to games: Today we can easily download games online for free, and there are tons of games everywhere! Besides, your children are attracted to games because of their fantastic designs and reward system.
- Lack of parental advisory: Some parents are passionate about making money and do not pay enough attention to their children. Moreover, children playing games without parental supervision easily led to game addiction.
Impact of Gaming Addiction on Children
Children who play games for more than 10 hours a day for a week are likely to have reduced activity in functional areas of the brain which seriously affect their health.
Physical and Mental Health Consequences
Children always feel tired, lose energy, are bored, pessimistic, insecure, and lose interest in things surrounding them. Children do not have the need to communicate or receive attention from people.
In addition, children easily feel frustrated, irritable, and easily quarrel even though it is a very small thing. Children are prone to stress and depression. Sitting in front of the screen for too long can also lead to a vision decrease.
Difficulty controlling children’s desire to play games leads to sleep disturbances, anorexia, malnutrition, and stunting.
Social and Academic Consequences
Because playing games a lot reduces the ability to concentrate and slows down memory, it can be difficult for children to maintain learning results.
The more serious consequence is a serious drop in academic performance which can lead to dropouts.
In many cases, game addiction can bring unemployment, debt, mortgage, and theft which can cause harm to society. No parent wants their child to be in this situation!
Prevention is better than cure. Parents need to be aware that game addiction is dangerous and need to focus on prevention.
Setting Limits and Boundaries
Ensure playing games is under control:
- Set time limits for playing and stick to them
- Keep phones and other computers out of the bedroom so that children will not play games through the nights
- Set rules to make sure your child is only allowed to play after finishing homework.
- If academic study goes down, your child must immediately improve by reducing gaming time.
Encouraging Alternative Activities
It is also important to encourage your children to pursue other activities outside such as swimming, playing basketball, football, or riding a bicycle. Any physical activity will help them stay well-rounded and avoid being obsessed with games.
You can also organize outings and extracurricular activities to help children find their passion, and lead a healthy, scientific lifestyle.
Promote Healthy Eating
Establish a scientific menu and encourage children to learn more about nutrition to choose healthy meals. This helps children get more health and energy for further learning.
Seeking Professional Help
Observe children’s unusual expressions to intervene promptly if they show signs of game addiction. If children unluckily fall into a serious condition, parents seek a psychotherapist to help them recover quickly.
There is no doubt that games can be addictive. Your children still have a long road ahead of them, so you need to keep an eye on them for their comprehensive development.
Be there ready to talk and show understanding because sometimes your child may be there waiting for you to help.
How long should a 12-year-old play video games per day?
Parents should set time limits and gaming habits for children. Children above five should spend a maximum of 2 hours on video games.
How do I detox my child from video games?
To detox your child from his computer game addition, simply follow these activities:
- Arrange outdoor activities
- Tell them to have deeper research on study subjects
- Try to understand the experiences children might be going through.
- Congratulate them on their progress
What can kids do instead of playing video games?
There are lots of activities your kids can do such as:
- Take time to go outside for a walk or picnic
- Join a swimming club or any other sport team
- Encourage children to attend art, or dancing if they like it
- Go to the library to read a good book
- Play traditional board games as a family
- Assign children to help you with housework
How much gaming screen time is appropriate for children?
Children under five should spend less than an hour a day on screening. Older children should limit their daily gaming to 2 hours.