Is Your Child Addicted to Video Games?
Phone, tablet or TV, video games are very attractive for kids and adults. Over two billion people play video games worldwide. That's a lot! It's one of the most profitable and money-making industries.
The average gamer plays six hours every week. For most people, it is a way to connect with friends and relax. Unfortunately for some people, the hobby escalates into an addiction, like alcohol addiction. Some people are using too often a wine cooler (translated to Dutch: wijnkoelkast).
Is your child spending hours playing video games you might be worried? The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games is a mental health condition.
Living inside a video game..
Children love to play video games. It is like living inside a movie. It is a fun way to spend time. A lot of parents believe that their child is being addicted to video games. Especially when their kids run to their notebook 17 inches (translated to Dutch: laptoptas 17 inch) every free moment and suffer withdrawal effects when they stop. They stay home, don't do their homework, do not socialize with other people or lost interest in other activities.
Here is some advice for parents:
Playing in a community
It's important not to focus on the individual child. Playing together, set limits and find different activities for children to consume online. This approach will keep gaming safe for young children.
Entertainment for a while..
Talk to your child and explain that playing video games is entertainment. That's it. It is a fantasy world. Not the real world. It is way more important to get points in real life. Introduce your child to other hobbies and interests like going out with friends, reading, sport, or learning to play an instrument or play a board game like Monopoly.
Make clear to your child dat he or she can play one hour on a school day and three hours maximum on weekends. Take the rule seriously and create consequences for not following the rule. For example not gaming for a week. Log the game time. There is also software called "Cold Turke Block". The software automates blocking games. Some children can not deal with something like that. They need time to quit a game.
In seriously bad situations consult a therapist or go to a clinic. In a clinic, there is a whole staff available. It can take months to help children and young people to help tackle their addiction. It's maybe comparable to leave the country and go to a sunny place, also called ''Overwinteren'' in Dutch. When you return you make a brand new start for your whole life.