Parents! Are your kids playing Fortnight too much, whether the game is on Xbox or their Android device? Well, if they are I want to share some negative effects in this blog so you as a parent can be smart about how your family approaches these games with their addictive behaviours.
We all know that things like substance abuse are a huge deal and all kinds of other things can be addictive. But we today are seeing that not only is screen time bad but video games made by mobile game companies and other developers are really heightened. This is the reason we observe our kids dive into these games for several hours a day.
Like most hobbies playing video games can be okay in moderation, however young kids who have not yet developed the ability to self-regulate their behaviour need guidance and support to develop this skill. This blog will act as a guide for parents to understand gaming addiction, the red flags they should look out for and prevention tips that could help curb down your kid’s obsession towards gaming.
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Why Should Parents Care?
Some parents believe that their kids are not safe online if they done log into social media too much, however as an alternate they play video games, they are at the same risk. Parents may think that they are aware that their child is playing games at home so they are safe and might also seem to right in front of them but they are a million miles away.
Playing games online with a headset on your kids are talking to people that do not love them like you do. Not only this but the people your kids might come across online are throwing those four-letter-words like you wouldn’t believe because of the immersive environment and tight competition.
Also because of the ultra-competitive environment and violence introduced by Mobile Game Development Company, your kids are learning behaviours that are really harmful for the household environment. So, it becomes essential for parents to step in so that a controlled environment is provided when kids play games at home.
What is gaming disorder?
In 2018 the WHO officially began recognizing gaming disorder as a mental health condition. The internal classification of diseases is the foundation that identifies health trends and statistics worldwide. In the latest edition of its internal classification of diseases the WHO also recognized gaming disorder as a disease.
According to the WHO here are mainly three signs that indicate that someone might be struggling with gaming disorder. One is the impaired control over gaming which can be with the onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context and more.
Second sign is the increment in priority given to gaming activities and to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other daily activities. Thirdly it’s the continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. For example the anger and rage expressed when game time is disturbed by other important activities.
Red Flags to look out for:
If you find all or some of the following behaviour red flags, then your child is struggling with screen and game addiction:
Tempers That Are Aggravated By Screen Time:
If your kids are playing video games you can sometimes see them getting frustrated at the game, be on a lookout for a quick temper tantrums to observe whether the game that they are playing has a control over their mood.
Inability to Self-Sooth:
Video game obsession can be observed if the kids are not able to self-sooth. This translated that kids with a heavy reliance on gaming find it very hard to calm themselves to sleep.
Over Relience on Mobile Devices and Consoles:
If you let your kids use devices without some rules and structure, the kids build their dependence around them. This dependence silently becomes into an obsession. This obsession then becomes the silent agent of change in behaviour and routine.
Passing up Face-to-Face activities for Screen Time:
Another red flag is that the child passes up opportunities for socialization or outside play. There is a lot of social learning that goes on with neighbourhood pick-up games. If the child’s only interaction is through screen time activities then they are missing out on a lot of social learning activities which severely becomes a dent on the child’s interactive confidence.
What can Parents do?
Asking Why Are The Kids Interested In a Certain Game:
Before giving your kid access to a new game released by mobile game app companies ask them to explain why they want to play it. It is also good to spend some time on your own with the game and decide whether it is suited for your kids to play. The idea is that the deciding power should be with the parent when it comes to letting your kids play new games.
Schedule Game Time:
It is essential to teach your kids that video games are only to be played in moderation. It is also important to ask the kid if all the important tasks are completed before they start to play their games. This way the kids will start to see gaming as a reward after paying attention to other more important things throughout the day.
Make Other Offline Activities Seem Important:
It is beneficial for parents to challenge their kids to find other offline activities they can enjoy and can add to their skill set. Also highlight the importance to learning skills that be added into your kids resume.
Keep The Dialogue Open:
Have an open dialogue about video games with your children and highlight the fact the mobile game app companies design games so that engaging with a game becomes time consuming. Consider talking about the danger of playing games with strangers online, sharing personal information in chats, exposure to graphic video game content and bullying behaviours.
Having these discussions with your children will help them understand why game time guidelines are set and encourage them to self-regulate their behaviour.