As a parent, you are aware that video/online gaming activity has become the norm among teenagers and kids. You’ll certainly agree that playing video/online game is a real addiction among children and teenagers. Some interpretive signs will reveal to you that your children are video game addicts. Here are facts you need to be aware of about gaming disorder.
Video/Online Gaming Is an Illness
You need to know that video/online gaming is now a mental health condition. Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) classified video/online gaming as a gaming disorder because of the addiction associated with the game. The chances are that you are delighted with this decision to call attention to the challenges some of your children may encounter in curtailing their gaming habits.
Signs of the Disorder
Gaming always has an addictive quality. Gaming disorder can continue with its progression, just like other addictions. In extreme cases, addicts may forgo wearing diapers or skip meals so that to keep gaming.
Just notice that the time children spend playing video games and continue to gaming reflects the addiction and increased adverse effects on their life. Over the course of time, symptoms worsen.
You might have seen that a child plays games four or more hours a night and even longer during weekends.
You may have experienced cases whereby children lie about video game use, withdraw from family or friends, lack interests in areas they used to enjoy or drop school grades. You may also have experienced that adults are negatively affected as the addiction can progress to more problems to the extent of losing marriage or jobs due to inability to stop the habit.
You need to be on the look. Some of your children might game without your knowledge. You may have heard of cases whereby children fall asleep on their bed and wake up at 2.am and game until early morning.
The Number of People Addicted To Gaming
You don’t need to be told that there are many young people addicted to gaming. An estimate of 10% of young people is addicted to the condition. This is about 3.5 million children in the US. Majority of children don’t have the problem. But based on how the prevalence of gaming is, lots of children encounter the problem.
You have a role to play to understand better how to identify gaming disorder and deal with it appropriately. Children are highly vulnerable, and therefore you should be on alert. But you need to bear in mind that not all games have an adverse influence. Lots of gaming are used to help children develop problem-solving, connection with others, and hand-eye coordination.
Therefore, you need to help your children understand a more comprehensive picture, and help them identify when they are becoming addicted to something.
Setting Game Limits
You should limit children’s screen time to two hours each day. If you are setting time limits on gaming for children, it’s vital not make those limits appear arbitrary and justify the reasons behind them.
You don’t want to appear as if you are setting limits for the sake of it. Several times that’s when children will rebel and do things secretly or without informing you. If you introduce time limits, help them understand why.
Symptoms Versus Cause: Is There A Deeper Underlying Problem At Play?
If your child is genuinely experiencing gaming disorder, the central question to ask is why? You have to be cautious about what online game is masking. In some instances, it’s hiding an underlying issue. You may think that if the child is addicted to a game, it’ll be ok to separate him from the game. But it may be a complicated issue. The child may have another underlying problem.
Perhaps the child can’t perform in school or has difficulty making friends or doesn’t have friends. Gaming addiction could be a sign of manifesting something else. When treating the problem you believe is the concern, don’t merely look at the problem. You should always look at the cause of the problem.
What You Should Watch
If you experience that your child feels a loss of control over gaming, prioritize gaming over other activities and increase the use of gaming regardless of the occurrence of adverse effects, then your loved one has an extreme level of addiction. You need to seek assistance from a mental health professional.
Online/video gaming is within parent’s court. You must take the concern seriously and agree on the WHO’s recommendation. You have the responsibility to help children to understand limits and not to go out of control. You need therefore to understand facts about gaming disorder to address children’s wellbeing.