9 Tips to Prevent Video Game Addiction
These days it’s very common to see children playing video games regularly before they reach adolescence. Because of this, it’s important to prevent video game addiction before it escalates.
Some years ago, children would go out to play in the street with their friends. In the playground they played marbles or other games to keep themselves entertained. Now, they live in an era where video games, cell phones, tablets, Play Stations, Xbox, PC games etc., are very much the norm.
Nowadays, children and teenagers can’t wait to finish school so that they can get home and play video games. This is becoming an increasingly worrying problem for parents. Would you like to know how to prevent video game addiction? In this article, we’ll show you how.
Why are video games addictive?
Having them completely within reach only makes them even more addictive than they were in the first place. In addition to that, game designers and programmers are investing more and more time, money, and effort to make them increasingly more attractive, and building better and more realistic interfaces with more options to choose from in the games.
In neuroscientific tests, experts have shown that electronic devices generate an increase in the production of dopamine and cortisol, both of which are related to happiness. This is one of the reasons why an adolescent brain is attracted to these types of games, and they can create a high level of addiction relatively quickly.
Tips to prevent video game addiction
There are other entertainment activities apart from video games
Children and teens need to be clear that playing video games is simply one activity they can carry out in their free time, but by no means the only one. For this reason, parents need to promote a family environment where there’s a wealth of different family activities. This will decrease their interest in video games.
Controlling playing time
Experts say that children should play for no longer than an hour in order to avoid eye strain and anxiety. You should set limits to when they can play: for example, only on one particular day of the week, only a few hours at the weekend, etc.
More support and love, and less technology
All human beings need love, security and protection, but children and adolescents need it even more. So, rather than letting them use game consoles, why not share your time with them instead? Precious times with parents can never be replaced by a video game.
Know what games your kids are playing
If you do occasionally let them play, make sure you know what kind of games they’re playing and what the age rating is.
Suggest alternatives to prevent video game addiction
Why not promote some creative hobbies like painting or drawing? You could even do it together. Take advantage of activities like these to spend quality time together. Outdoor activities are also a great option; anything entertaining…as long as it’s not video games.
Promote reading to prevent video game addiction
Reading is very important at all ages. It increases a child’s comprehension skills, as well as the acquisition of a greater vocabulary. This will have a positive effect for their school work.
Minimize screen time
When children have a smartphone, tablet, computer and video console, it’ll be very difficult for them not to be using them several hours a day. For this reason, it’s important that you minimize the screen time they have, and how much they’re allowed to use their devices, both at home and when they’re out.
Finding a balance
It’s normal for you to worry that your child may become addicted to video games. However, if your child goes to school, does their homework, plays sports, goes to extracurricular classes and isn’t just playing video games, then there’s no need to create unnecessary tensions at home.
Ask for professional help to prevent video game addiction
If you have any questions or think your child really may have a problem with video games, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with an expert. We’re sure that they’ll be able to guide you and answer your questions.
So, we hope these tips will have been useful for you to prevent video game addiction. It’s important that you put them into practice, and thus avoid more serious addiction problems in the future.
Finally, and most important of all, spend quality time with your children. There’s nothing more satisfying for children than having you dedicate your time to them.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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