Games are enjoyable forms of entertainment, particularly for young imaginative minds longing to be the heroes of their own exciting adventures. Indeed, by gaming moderately kids gain access to many great benefits such as an improvement to their fine motor skills and problem-solving ability (just to name a few)!
Without moderation however and no clear boundaries younger people become particularly susceptible to a developing a type of gaming behaviour that resembles more of an addiction than a recreational activity. This puts them at risk to developing many issues that can affect their personal, social and educational wellbeing. Recently the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised this form of gaming as a mental health condition.
If you are worried about your child’s gameplay and are uncertain if they are at risk, I want you to know that you are not alone, many parents report with concern how much time their children are spending gaming.
Warning Signs you child is addicted:
Here is a list of signs to watch out for if you think your child may be addicted to games:
1) They talk about their game/s incessantly.
2) They spend countless hours gaming.
3) They sacrifice important needs such as sleep in order to game.
4) They hide and downplay the amount of time they spend gaming.
5) They become defensive when you bring up the amount of time they spend gaming and ask them to cut back.
6) They become angry and explosive when they are made to stop.
7) They appear sad, distant or distressed and are using gaming to cope.
If you believe your child may be addicted to games, and want some guidance, talk to your GP about whether they can recommend a psychologist who can help you come up with effective strategies to help moderate your child’s gaming and allow them to experience a happy and healthy life style.