Thursday, June 20, 2024

What To Do If Your Child Is Addicted To Videogames

Phone Games App Installs And Bad Ads

Video games: Are your kids addicted?

During the past decade, the business model of gaming companies has changed radically. In the past, video games were bought as hardware. That was it. There were no updates or ads. As cloud technology has evolved, so did video games. Now, the initial price of the game is not all you are going to pay. It is just the start.

As you play the game, you will start receiving ads for updates and upgrades that you need to buy. That is how modern video games have turned into a gateway for future spending opportunities. With kids, the problem of in-game ads is more serious.

Young children cannot differentiate between the games they play and the ads. Some of the gaming ads are even designed to look like a part of the game. The cancel or exit button on these ads is often impossible to find and click on. That is why many kids open ads or in-app purchases by mistake. Other times, the ads push children to make the purchase. They manipulate the kids on an emotional level.

Some parents have no clue that the games their children play, come with hidden ads. These ads can lead to purchases or show adult-related content. That is why the parents should familiarize themselves with the games their kids play. They should also educate the children and show them how to close these ads.

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Signs That Gaming Is Becoming A Problem:

  • Consistent sleep deprivation issues due to gaming, affecting school
  • Reduction in self-care and prioritising gaming
  • Not managing IRL interactions and actually replacing gaming ones for real-world ones rather than enhancing or complimenting
  • Obsessing about gaming and only having this as a topic of conversation
  • Not having any other interests outside of gaming and online activities

Noel McDermott says: “The best approach is always to talk to your child and help them manage more effectively, but if your child becomes angry and aggressive in their using or start to use drugs to prolong their sessions then seek professional help.

“The gaming use may also be a symptom of another issue so its important not to label until a proper assessment has been conducted. If your child is for example isolating and gaming due to bullying, diagnosing them as a gaming addict wont help and in fact will cause severe harm.”

A Reaction To Not Being Loved Unconditionally

For emphasis, Im going to say all this in a slightly different way:

When children behave badlywhen they are addicted to their games, for exampleit is almost always a reaction to them not feeling loved unconditionallyloved with no disappointment, irritation, frustration, or anger.

Your child uses their smart phone to ESCAPE the pain of the world. Full stop.

What are you willing to do about that?

This could sound discouraging, even bleak. In some ways it IS bleak. Look at the worldat the utter obsession with things that are distractions from our pain, from our not feeling loved: like endless entertainment, addiction to electronics, anger, controlling people, drugs, alcohol, sex, and on and on.

THERE is the proofin our addiction to all those behaviorsthat overall we do not know how to love people unconditionally. If we did, and I speak here with vast experience, these behaviors would not exist.

Also Check: Where Can Addicts Go For Help

Enforce The Rules Of Video Game Play

At first, you may have to lock up the game or otherwise make sure that the game and its controls are physically unavailable when gaming is off-limits. When hes allowed to play, you can hand them over and remind him, Youve got 30 minutes.

When playtime begins, set a timer a visible timer, such as the TimeTimer , may be especially effective. Then, step in with periodic warnings: You have 15 minutes left,Ten minutes to go. When times almost up, announce, You can play for five more minutes. Then it will be time to save your game. Ill give you a few more minutes while I wait here.

If your child does well with the time limit for several days in a row, consider tracking his progress and awarding a few extra minutes at weeks end. Emphasize that, as he demonstrates greater responsibility, hell earn greater privileges.

If, on the other hand, your child continues to play, despite your step-by-step warnings, do not shout or disconnect the power or get into a wrestling match to take back the equipment. Such approaches will only escalate anger. Instead, calmly remind him of the rules.

Then announce that, for each minute he continues to play, one minute will be subtracted from the time allowed the next day. If you check on him after lights out and find him playing the game under the covers, he might lose the privilege for several days.

Similarity To Other Addictions

How to know if your child is addicted to video games and ...

Video game addictions are similar to other addictions in terms of the amount of time spent playing, the strong emotional attachment to the activity, and the patterns of social difficulties experienced by gaming addicts.

As with other addictions, gaming addicts become preoccupied with game-playing, and it disrupts family and other areas of life, such as school.

The younger that children begin playing video games, the more likely they are to develop dependence-like behaviors.

As with other addictive behaviors, there is a range of different responses to the activity. While some gamers feel unable to reduce the time they spend playing, others do not experience cravings if they are unable to play.

Read Also: What To Do If Your Friend Is Addicted To Drugs

Children And Teenagers Who Are Loved Unconditionally Don’t Become Addicted To Video Games

Ive been teaching unconditional love now for so many years to so many parents that I can tell you this with complete certainty: When a child truly feels loved unconditionally, he or she DOES NOT become addicted to games.

Instead theyre HAPPYand responsible, and have all those qualities you wish they had.

With sufficient love, there is simply no NEED to turn to video games and other unproductive behaviors. Happy people dont behave badlylike being addicted to their phone, for example. Period. Full stop. It seems almost like this statement is too broad, too much. Its not.

What Happens When You Stare Into A Mirror For 10 Minutes

In the study conducted by Dr. Caputo of the University of Urbino, participants were asked to stare into a mirror in dim lighting for ten minutes. Results demonstrated that 66% of participants experienced huge deformations of their own face, 28% saw an unknown person, and 48% saw fantastical and monstrous beings.

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Are There Different Types Of Video Game Addictions

There are two major types of video games and therefore two major types of video game addictions. Standard video games are generally designed to be played by a single player and involve a clear goal or mission, such as rescuing a princess. The addiction in these games is often related to completing that mission or beating a high score or preset standard.

The other type of video game addiction is associated with online multiplayer games. These games are played online with other people and are especially addictive because they generally have no ending. Gamers with this type of addiction enjoy creating and temporarily becoming an online character. They often build relationships with other online players as an escape from reality. For some, this community may be the place where they feel theyre the most accepted.

Understand The Appeal Of Video Games For Children

Help Your Child Break a Video Game Addiction

Video games hold special attractions for children with ADHD. A child whos bothered by distractibility in the real world may be capable of intense focus, or hyperfocus, while playing. Nor is hyperactivity a problem a child can hold the controllers and stand or pace back and forth in front of the TV as he plays.

For children who struggle with making friends, or lack the skills to play team sports, these games entertain and level the playing field. Computer games are emotionally safe. When a child strikes out in a baseball game, hes doing it in front of a crowd of peers. But when he makes a mistake while playing a video game, no one else has to know.

Video-game errors arent circled in red ink by teachers, either. In fact, making mistakes helps the player improve. By trial and error, he learns the specific action needed to advance the next time. There is satisfaction in steadily improving and, ultimately, winning, with no chance of failing or being teased.

Recommended Reading: How Do Drugs Cause Addiction

How Gaming Addiction Affects Your Child

While video gaming isnt a bad thing in itself, and can in fact have benefits for your child, problematic gaming is known to have a number of negative effects. Research has shown that playing video games before bed can affect sleep, with children taking 39 minutes longer than usual to get to sleep, and sleeping for 27 minutes less. There is also evidence from the University of Innsbruck that playing violent or antisocial games leads to an increase in aggressive behaviour.

Excessive gaming could also have knock-on effects on your childs performance at school, especially if they would rather be playing games than doing their homework, reading or revising for exams.

The bigger issue is that gaming particularly online gaming, which is by far the most addictive tends to replace face-to-face contact, which leads to children feeling less confident and even fearful about normal social interaction, says Ciaran. It can also contribute to a sense of powerlessness, as children get used to being all-powerful in the context of a game and struggle to work out how to make a difference in the real world.

Ways To Wean Your Child Off Video Games

  • Health & Wellness
The appeal of todays ubiquitous video games is based on sound value: the games are fun, the action is fast, the challenges are inviting. Yet when kids and teens spend time in front of small screens whether its the TV, computer or hand-held games it takes away from the time they could spend playing sport, learning other skills or enjoying active play.

When children constantly receive their entertainment through computer games, they develop an increasing desire for instant entertainment which decreases their attention span and hurts their listening skills. And while studies link excessive gaming with conditions like depression, anxiety and social phobia, simple common sense dictates that too much time spent playing online games is counter-productive to a childs healthy growth and development.

The goal of a frustrated parent should not be to remove the childs access to these activities, but to help the child find balance between time spent using these devices and time spent in independent activity, outdoor experiences in nature, and plenty of physical activity which a growing body craves.

What not to do

Cooperation and respect should be the tools of first choice. I think the best way to wean kids of video-game dependence is to have the children themselves see the consequences of too much time online and make the decision for themselves to bring more balance into their lives.

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Why Should Mirrors Be Covered At Night

According to the principles of feng shui, mirrors are a powerful tool when it comes to increasing lighting and reflecting energy. Mirrors apparently increase energy and direct it the opposite way. Experts say you shouldnt place the mirror opposite your bed because it will reflect energy back at you and keep you awake.

How To Prevent Video Game Addiction

How to know if your child is addicted to video games and ...

Of course, another way of preventing video game addiction is to get ahead of it and stop it before it becomes a problem. You can do this by

1. Playing video games with your child: This way you get to control what kind of video games your child gets to play in terms of content and style. This way, your child will not be exposed to video games that are highly addictive such as online interactive games.

2. Signing up your child for extracurricular activities: Sign your child up for other activities such as music lessons, dance lessons, ballet, or sporting activities that will consume most of their time and tire them out so they do not have time to play video games. Between school, the extra activity, getting homework done, and getting enough rest, they will have no time to even think of video games.

Recommended Reading: How To Treat Video Game Addiction

Handling An Angry Teen

When your thought patterns rub up against those of your teenager, you can either take it personally and get upset yourself, or you can use it as an opportunity to help bring healing and a new perspective to your child.

Teens get angry for a number of reasons from fear, feelings of injustice, insecurity, loneliness, overactive hormones, lack of sleep, peer bullying, a growing need for independence and just trying to make sense out of life. Parents get angry when their teens behave in ways that arent appropriate or if they feel their children arent showing them proper respect. If parents dont understand that their teenagers anger may be about something totally separate from them, they might go about lighting the fuse in the dynamite by reacting too harshly. So, guess which party needs to man up and defuse the situation? Continue readingHandling an Angry Teen

Healing The Wounds Surrounding Cutting

When the pain in life gets too hard, too overwhelming, teens may take it out on themselves with drastic measures. While many kids will respond with symptoms of low self-esteem, depression, or withdrawing from the family, other teens will try to mask the pain by cutting, a form of self harm.

In my ministry at Heartlight, I have seen dozens of self-inflicted injuries. Some have used a razors to make slices in their arms. Others use small pieces of glass or even paper clips to scratch themselves. Ive seen some rub their skin with an pencil erasure till it bleeds and others use a curling iron to burn themselves. Whatever method they choose to employ, its usually very painful.

Tragically, in our culture today this type of bizarre behavior is no longer a rare occurrence. While it used to be considered a sign of mental illness, now kids openly talk about it with one another. For any parent with a child who chooses to inflict this kind of self-pain, the question is obvious: what can we do about it?

Causes of Cutting

This world is difficult for our kids. They are bombarded by so many conflicting messages and pressures that they have a hard time coping with daily life. And when the anxiety, emotions, and tension go up, teens look for a way out. When adequate coping skills are absent, Often, that way out is through self-harm.


You can also find out more about Heartlight or request the booklet The Phenomenon of Cutting at

Read Also: What Are The 12 Steps Of Addiction

Convert Online Excitement To Real

Arguably one of the most constructive ways of dealing with addiction to gaming is reminding your child that they can have fun in real-life and not just the online reality that theyre immersed in. Social activities that also have a purpose can work to improve their self-esteem and social development. Team sports and after school clubs can be a great way to start, as it also introduces them to lots of new people. Activities can also include things that boost emotional enjoyment such as reading, volunteering or learning to play an instrument.

The Army Cadet Force is a perfect way to get your child outside again. It also provides guidance, life skills, social development and the opportunity to form close bonds along the way. Browse online through the large number of activities your child will take part in if they join the cadets. Your child may discover a love for camping, kayaking, or mountain biking, which will help them forget about that computer or Xbox sitting at home.

With over 1,600 detachments all over the UK – fun, friendship, action and adventure is bound to be on your familys doorstep. Find out more about the ACF and the valuable qualifications and social skills that your child can achieve whilst with us.

Video Game Addiction Effects On Family Research

Mayo Clinic Minute: 3 tips on what to do if your child is addicted to gaming
  • One study showed that when parents played video games with their children, it resulted in positive outcomes such as decreased levels of aggressive behavior. The fascinating finding was that parents gaming with their children increased pro-social behavior , specifically in girls.
  • A study analyzed data from 536 parent-child pairs on parentsâ strategies to handle their childâs gaming habits. The study measured three forms of parenting: playing with their child, checking the gameâs rating before allowing their child to play it, and stopping their child from gaming altogether. It found that parents who thought that gaming was bad were more likely to stop their children from gaming altogether.
  • Another study found that gaming together fosters relationships between older and younger adults.
  • The results from a study conducted by Wang et al. in 2018 show that the more family members play video games together, the higher they rate their family satisfaction and closeness.

Gaming can actually result in very authentic relationships. Hereâs why:

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How Can You Tell If Your Child Is Addicted

A teen developing an interest in gaming is not cause for alarm, as studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities. But parents should be vigilant for signs that gaming is becoming a compulsion.

Gaming can be a very positive experience but like most things when it comes to the online world its a matter of proportion, explains Internet Matters ambassador and psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos. The problem arises when children and teenagers start to neglect other areas of their lives in order to play online games, or when the only way they can relax is by playing games – as over time a child may start to turn to video games as a way of coping with difficult life issues.

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