Video Game Addiction is very real and can have lasting affects on children and youths. Parents don’t want to limit what their children are allowed to do in their free time, but when a hobby or activity is interfering in other aspects of the child’s life, it can have serious consequences.
Kids playing video games with their friends is normal behaviour. Even today’s teens can play with their friends from different houses, as everyone is connected by the web.
Many youths game on their computers. You might have noticed that they’ve added some accessories to the holiday wish list this year, such as gaming chairs or specialty keyboards. This isn’t necessarily cause for concern, as it’s normal for kids to want items relating to their hobbies.
So, when does a hobby become Video Game Addiction?
While we are not parenting experts, social workers or child psychologists, we can offer some tips on how to look for signs of trouble. Remember not to jump to conclusions or blame others or yourselves. because we aren’t experts on video game addictions, we cannot tell you what to do, but rather that you should seek the advice of experts.
Before jumping to conclusions, here are some signs that your child’s quality of life is being negatively affected by excessive gaming and/or screen time.
- Grades slipping/Homework not getting done
- Late nights and child/teen is difficult to wake in the morning
- He or she is displaying anti-social tendencies (more than general shyness)
- Has a negative or explosive response when asked to turn the game off
- Child only talks about video games and nothing else – it’s an all consuming part of his or her life
- You suspect your child is lying to you about how much screen time they’ve logged in
Of course these signs don’t necessarily mean there’s an addiction, but at the very least it points to problematic behaviour. If you’re worried, seek the opinion of a trained professional.
Technology can be a wonderful tool. It can help our children complete their homework assignments, it can make basic tasks simpler and it can entertain us. Video games whether played on a console or a computer should be be for entertainment. If that entertainment is affecting your child’s life negatively, it’s no longer serving them well and something has to change.
At TwinBytes, we love computers and technology – but we also know that family life, school and positive social interaction should not be sacrificed.
We also know that family computers can be a mess – with unfamiliar downloads and clutter. Talk to us about ensuring your family computer is safe, secure and running smoothly.