A recent study shows that at least 91 percent of all children play video games either on computers, cell phones, handheld devices or game consoles. It is a common thing to find children in places with computer games since they are fascinated with technology even more than adults.
This has led many parents to try and set limits on how and when their children can play online games. In fact, for some parents, their kids addiction to electronic entertainments is not only frustrating and depressing but they feel like they have no more energy left to take control of their kids. However, the good news is that children with unhealthy gaming habits can recover with a little interventions and support from parents.
Effects of Computer Game Addiction On Kids Video game addiction can cause several negative effects that include: – Obsessive behavior or a preoccupation with gaming – Kids fail to engage in physical exercise – Kids do not get enough time to sleep – Physical problems such as migraine headaches, dry eyes and back pains – Social isolation – Kids neglect school activities and responsibilities – Depression, annoyance and irritability when kids are unable to play Here are some helpful tips for parents whose kids have developed unhealthy gaming habits or are addicted to computer games.
1. Talk to your children and explain the consequences of bad gaming habits
It is important to explain to your child that computer games are supposed to be a past time or an entertainment and not a full time activity.
Parents should set a rule allowing video games to be played only after the child has completed his or her homework and taken care of other important duties and responsibilities.
Make your child understand that real life success is more important than gaming success which is virtual and imaginary. Getting good grades in school and earning real money is more worthwhile than living in a fantasy world.
2. Allow your kid to play in moderation at a reasonable time
Computer game addiction can take hold of your child hence parents should determine a reasonable time when their kids can play these games in moderation. For instance, during the school year computer games should not be played for more than one or two hours daily and three hours maximum on weekends. Ensure that computer games are not your child’s only activity or primary form on entertainment.
3. Parents should create consequences while making game time a reward
If the child does not follow your rule on gaming, create some form of punishment such as banning computer games for some time. The child should view gaming time as a reward or an earned privilege and not an automatic right.
As much as parents would want their kid’s computer gaming limited to appropriate educational programs, the truth is that computer games are designed purely for children’s entertainment and not for educational purposes. Studies have shown that video games are not necessarily harmful as long as they are age-appropriate but the problem comes in when kids start to develop unhealthy gaming habits like refusing to participate in other activities or even failing to do their homework. Gaming becomes their most important priority which ultimately worries their parents.