Have Video Games Taken Over Your Child’s Life? They May Have an Addiction!
Today, the video game industry is one of the biggest markets- valued at over 85 billion dollars in the United States. From the origin of basic video games in the 90s to the high-tech PlayStation games we have today, the youth have always been hooked to their consoles.
Video Games are considered a welcome escape from the real world, a fun distraction that gives the player purpose and a mission to complete.
Today, over 5 million people are playing the game Fortnite, 240 million people are playing Candy Crush, and similarly, millions of others are hooked on the other games that have entrapped them. However, this has led to a rise in gaming addiction in teens, proven to have several harmful effects.
What is Mobile/Video Game Addiction?
Video Game or Mobile Game addiction is a growing concern among parents today, affecting most teens and pre-teens.
The excessive or uncontrolled use of Video Games to such an extent that it begins to affect other aspects of one’s life.
Video game addiction can negatively impact academics, relationships, food habits, health, and mood.
Over 16% of young adults that play video games show signs of addiction. Children and teenagers addicted to video games often isolate themselves and avoid social situations to play these games.
Symptoms Child is Addicted to Video Games
- If your child is always thinking of and talking about video games.
- Your child avoids social situations to play video games.
- Your child spends excessive amounts of time playing video games.
- Your child’s only hobby is playing video games.
- Your child gets angry or throws a tantrum when asked to stop playing video games.
- Your child has academic problems due to playing video games all the time.
- Your child has no other hobbies and refuses to participate in activities they used to enjoy.
- Your child isolates themself from friends and family to play video games.
- Your child is in a bad mood when they cannot play video games.
- Your child lies to you about playing video games.
A Solution To Video Game Addiction
1. Set Screen Time Limit
As a parent, one of the most effective ways to curb your child’s video game Addiction or prevent it before it forms is to limit screen time.
Enforce a screen time limit on your child’s electronic devices using parental control app like TiSPY. For example, allow your child to use their iPad/phone/gaming console for an hour a day.
By setting a screen time limit, you can ensure that your child has plenty of time to participate in other activities during the day.
An hour a day limit on devices also encourages discipline and healthy development in your child.
2. Teach teens to use mobile for knowledge or growth
Today, the lives of most teenagers revolve around their phones. However, this does not have to be a bad thing.
Technology today has allowed learning to become easily accessible and even fun utilizing apps and videos.
Encourage your teenagers to use educational apps that facilitate learning through fun games and interactions. Ensure that they spend an hour or two a day watching informational videos and content.
By ensuring that your teenagers make this a part of their daily routine, they will develop the habit of learning on their mobiles.
3. Change the daily routine of your child.
To curb addiction in your children, keep your child engaged by introducing them to new activities.
If your child is addicted to video games, their whole day likely revolves around playing their games.
To prevent this or put an end to this, change up your child’s daily routine by introducing them to new activities that will capture their attention.
This can include sports, creative arts, exercise, meeting their friends, learning new skills, etc.
This distracts your child from their video games, but it will also facilitate essential life skills like restraint, discipline, and new life skills.
Hobbies To Replace Video Games
1. Read Books With Teens
Today, most teenagers begin to play video games out of boredom or a need to do something that will distract them.
Encourage your teenagers to begin reading books and novels during their free time instead. Let them pick any genre that interests them, and ensure they start reading a few chapters every day.
This will lead to your teenagers developing the habit of reading, which will keep them distracted and content.
This will also help them develop better vocabulary and grammatical skills and encourage creativity.
2. Outdoor Games
Ensure that your children engage themselves in playing any outdoor game every day.
This can be something as simple as hiding and seek, or it can even be a sport like basketball or a tennis.
Once you get your teenagers to go outside and play games or sports, they will automatically begin to enjoy it.
Outdoor games and exercise facilitate the release of “happy chemicals” in your body, like serotonin and endorphins.
Soon, your teenagers will be able to replace the temporary pleasure they gain from playing video games with sports and outdoor activities.
3. Dance, Music, or Other Creative Activities
If your teenager has a creative side, encourage them to pick up new hobbies like dance, music, art, or writing.
Help them enroll in classes that will help them hone these abilities. They might end up discovering a hidden talent or passion.
4. Martial Arts or Judo
Practising Martial Arts or Judo can also be an excellent solution to curb teens’ video game addiction.
Like any other physical exercise, martial arts can help your teenagers make friends, learn a new skill, and control their emotions better. It also teaches values like discipline in them.
Martial arts can also help teenagers overcome anxiety and attention disorders, depression, and sleeping disorders.
Today, video games have taken our youth by storm. With the wide range of games, easy accessibility, and ease of playing, children and teenagers find themselves trapped in the grips of these games. As parents, it is vital to ensure that your children do not fall into the depths of addiction to develop into functional adults. Hence, if you have a teenager addicted to gaming, ensure that you check out these solutions to curb addiction and inculcate hobbies to replace video games in your children!