Not so long ago, playing video games was a fun and exciting way to spend the evening. Kids were so thrilled to delve into the surreal and mind-blowing world of the game that they would run to their laptops once the lessons are finished.
The excitement of video games has not vanished over the years. In fact, for some youngsters, it has become even more overwhelming and turned into an addiction.
Although gaming disorder is not common among all kids who love video games, many of them suffer from game addiction. Here is some advice for parents who want to treat their kid’s video game addiction.
Why Do Video Gamers Become Addicted?
Children spend a lot of time playing video games. But not all of them become addicted or experience some obsession. It may bring down to the conclusion that a considerable amount of time spent gaming doesn’t always contribute to addiction. Then what exactly leads to video games obsession?
Dr. Peter Gray, a research professor of psychology at Boston College, believes that when it comes to gaming addiction the amount of time spent is not what matters.
He addresses video games as a hobby. Children have different hobbies: some like reading, others skiing, etc., and when a kid devotes time to mastering Chinese, for example, no one recognizes it as an addiction.
But, like any hobby, video games may become addictive, if they start to interfere with other aspects of a kid’s life. When a child prefers playing games oversleeping and eating, that is alarming.
Though, sometimes, an obsession with video games may be caused by things a child lacks. By transferring themselves into artificial reality, kids often want to fill the void of the loss of friends.
Sometimes mocking and cyberbullying makes children choose to play games over communication with peers. Nevertheless, online harassment has a solution: many parents use Snapchat spy app to monitor kid’s online activities and prevent bullies from contacting them.
Although video games obsession helps kids to forget about their own worries and fears temporarily, it also brings about a change of priorities, problems with time management, and socialization.
When you notice your child becomes addicted to video games, you need to take action to treat this obsession correctly. Move on to learn how to help your child curb gaming addiction.
Do Not Stop The Video Games Addiction: Learn How To Curb It
If you notice your child starts to become obsessed with a video game, avoid being too strict. Taking away the computer isn’t a solution.
The proper way to addressing the addiction is to limit the time a kid spends playing. Cooperate with your kid to decide on the comfortable time limits, which will teach them to manage their time better.
How Parental Lock May Help?
Another thing that may help you curb the kid’s addiction is the PUBG parental lock. Tencent, the PUBG battle game publisher, has recently started testing the feature. The parental lock was introduced as the response to major cyberbullying cases the PUBG was involved in.
Many PUBG players were confirmed to be addicted to the game, and an 18-year old boy even committed suicide after his family members refused to buy him a new mobile phone to play PUBG Mobile on.
This tragic incident made game developers take a step forward making their gaming experience safer.
The PUBG parental lock requires parents of the minor users to unlock the game. Unlocking includes a verification process that confirms a young player is older 13.
The company plans to test the new digital lock total of 12 cities. The digital lock will prevent underage users from exposing themselves to cyberbullying, violence, and other threats of the PUBG game.
Help Your Child Control Gaming
Although the parental lock is a good way to prevent underage users from playing, it is not a long-term solution. The right approach is to give your child freedom and time to quit gaming. With your constant support and patience, the child will be able to overcome video game addiction.
If you are uncertain about how you should address kid’s games obsession, look through some tips below.
- Set time restrictions for playing
Setting time limits will teach your child to manage their spare time better. Determine a rule that your child can only play video games after the homework is finished.
If your kid always completes homework in time, engage them in another activity. It may be helping you with housework or walking the neighbor’s dog – anything that will make your child distract from gaming and do something useful.
- Establish firm but fair rules
It is easy to set the rule, but it requires much more effort to make a child follow them. Once the allocated time for gaming ends, many addicted kids start protesting and insisting on having some additional 5,10 or even 30 minutes.
But you need to stay firm with your decision. Once the time is over, the kid can’t continue playing. If they do, tell them about the consequences of their disobedience and reduce the amount of playing time the next day.
- Introduce them to other engaging activities
Being captivated by the game, kids often do not consider other activities they can try. But you can help your child find new hobbies and interests.
For example, you can bring a basketball ball and teach your kid some of the dribbling techniques. Or you can ask them to help you decorate a cake with buttercream icing.
Introduce your kid to other fun ways of spending time. So, they would be able to distract from virtual reality and learn something new.
We can assure you, video games addiction is a treatable thing. With the supportive and understanding parent besides, the kid will learn how to balance video games with real-life and find time for new people and interests.
Mokhtar is the founder of LikeGeeks.com. He works as a Linux system administrator since 2010. He is responsible for maintaining, securing, and troubleshooting Linux servers for multiple clients around the world. He loves writing shell and Python scripts to automate his work.