Is My Teen Addicted to Video Games?
In this modern era, children are more exposed to internet use unlike when their parents were growing up. The internet is here to stay, and the only thing you can do is monitor what your kids do on it every day. Video games have become the in-thing with today’s teenagers, which might be a big problem for both them and their parents.
Video games are fun and exciting to play and can sometimes be educational. They have also been found to help you improve your hand and eye coordination. However, spending long hours playing video games can do more harm than good. If you are worried that your kids might have a video game addiction, you are not alone. More and more parents are concerned about the same. So, how do you tell if your child has a video gaming addiction problem?
- They cannot stop talking about their games- if you find that your kids are always talking about their exciting video games, it might be due to the fact that they are addicted to them. Children always talk about things that fascinate them.
- Get defensive- if you try talking to your teenagers about their gaming habits and they end up becoming defensive, it is a clear indication they have a video game addiction and you should be worried.
- Hide time spent gaming- an addict of video games will even sneak in the dead of the night to just play one extra game. This is a clear indication that they cannot stop.
- Play for hours- when the video games play time goes for hours; it should tell you that your teenagers are getting addicted.
- Being withdrawn-addiction from anything including video games causes signs of depression, loneliness, and withdrawal. This might due to the fact that, in their virtual world of video games, they don’t get to interact with anyone. This is bad for anyone’s social skills.
- Sacrifice sleep to play- if your teenager is willing to overgo a basic need like sleeping just to play video games, just know they are hooked. An addiction will make someone overlook a basic necessity just to satisfy that urge. Some will even give up spending time with age mates just to play a game.
- Gets volatile when made to stop- a teenager that gets explosive when made to stop playing video games is addicted.
These are some of the many tell tales that should alert you that your teenagers are addicted to playing video games. When you realize that they have a teen video game addiction, you should proceed to take actions to reverse this behavior. The good thing is that your child can overcome this addiction. These are some of the ways you can break the addiction:
- You can achieve this by outlining specific rules. Be firm with your children and let them know they have to follow these rules without them expecting you to compromise. Let them know there will be consequences for each broken rule. Sit them down and firmly tell them what is going to happen. State to them the number of hours they are allowed to play video games. Also, let them know from which specific time they should not be awake playing. You are bound to get negative reactions, but this should not deter you.
- Make your children know the specific consequences that will come with them disobeying your rules. Make sure you follow up with these consequences to demonstrate how serious you are. Letting them get away with it will only make them never to take you seriously.
- Always make sure your children complete their chores and homework before playing video games.
- Put the video game system in a commonplace- this will discourage sneaking and help you monitor your children effectively.
Help Your Child Transition
Help your child with the transition. It might be a difficult thing, and that is why your child needs your help in adjusting. Reward your child for each success no matter how small.
Take it slow- it is not advisable to cut their playtime completely all at once. Start by limiting the amount of time they spend playing. The American Academy of Pediatricians gives recommendations of shortening the time spent playing video games to one hour daily. This might be hard for your child at first, and that is why you should offer moral support. You can help by giving them a physical activity that they should do after play time.
Encourage Other Activities
Encourage your teenager to embrace other social activities that will help them pass time without getting tempted to play video games.
If you feel like you are overwhelmed and unable to help your child, seek professional help. Such services can be found at Centered Health, which is an inpatient treatment center for teenagers suffering from addiction issues and behavioral health problems.