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How a gaming addiction can lead to a bad-tempered child

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), emotional issues or depression are at greater risk of developing a gaming addiction than other children.
  • Spending more time with your children, including taking them out to participate in activities they enjoy, can reduce their chances of feeling lonely or bored and is one solution for their gaming addiction.
  • Parents who have done everything in their power but have ultimately been unsuccessful in treating their child’s gaming addiction should bring the child to see a psychiatrist. The child might be suffering from a mental illness or emotional disorder.

 

gaming addiction in child

All forms of persuasive media, whether they involve inviting images, bright colors or brash sounds, can have an effect on the mind of a child, and can even cause them to copy the behaviors they see. When the media that a child encounters every day becomes associated with happiness, entertainment, excitement and thrills, the child is bound to associate these media with instant gratification and an increased sense of self. Therefore, if a child is forced into quitting or temporarily cutting their connection to a particular form of media, it can often lead to resistance, unhappiness and severe frustration that might lead to aggression and violence.

Causes:

When it comes to listing media or devices that children have easy access to, near the top of every list is games. Gaming addictions are not normally caused by a single influence. They are caused by a combination of factors, including:

1. Upbringing

Children with gaming addictions tend to come from families with parents who have a lot of responsibilities and busy lifestyles, meaning they don’t give sufficient time and attention to their child. This results in the child lacking discipline and respect for rules and authority. When these parents do find the time to spend with their child, they often give in to the child’s demands as compensation for not spending much time with them. Parents may not be strict enough when issuing consequences for their child’s misbehaviour. And some families lack any form of quality time such as taking part in shared activities. All of this can result in a child feeling lonely or bored. Children often turn to other activities, such as games, for happiness and to forget about their situation.

2. A rapidly changing society

Today’s consumer society has resulted in children turning to devices for entertainment and excitement. These days there is a shortage of child-friendly spaces where young people can lose themselves in safe and engaging activities or relieve stress that may have built up in school and throughout the day. This is yet another reason why children are turning to games in greater numbers than ever before.

3. Child-specific factors

Some children are at an increased risk of developing a gaming addiction, including children with ADHD, children with emotional disorders, children with depression and children experiencing issues at school.

Solutions:

  1. If you have not already put in place a set of household rules or guidelines relating to the playing of games, consult your child and allow them to have a say in setting out such rules, including appropriate times to play their games.
  2. Spend more time with your children. Take them out to participate in activities they enjoy in order to reduce their chances of feeling lonely or bored.
  3. Avoid being too strict, placing blame, moaning or losing your temper and saying hurtful things when your child breaks the rules. Instead of blaming your child, try to empathize with their situation.
  4. Parents should work together with their child to find a solution to any problems within the household.
  5. Parents with a child addicted to gaming may need to get to know their child better. Parents can organize shared activities to take place after school and on days off, such as visiting a zoo, going to an amusement park or venturing to tourist destinations and other provinces, all of which can keep your child engaged during their free time.
  6. Should a child display tendencies associated with severe gaming addiction, including exhibiting aggressive behavior and extreme defiance, parents may want to play the game their child is addicted to in order to assess whether it contains suitable content. If it is unsuitable, parents should try to gently convince the child to do something else that interests them or play a different, more appropriate game. Also, when children are playing their games, try sitting and chatting with them regarding the positive aspects of the game and exchange opinions to help the child see that game from a different point of view. As the condition improves, parents should try to distract the child from games altogether by gradually introducing other fun activities into their lives that they may eventually come to enjoy.

Parents who have been unsuccessful, despite trying everything mentioned above, may find it necessary to bring their child to a psychiatrist to determine if they are suffering from mental illness or emotional disorder. A psychiatrist will be able to properly diagnose the child, and make effective and appropriate plans regarding any subsequent treatment that may be necessary.


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