Worried your kid spends too much time playing video games? It can be a real concern for some parents, but how do you know if it’s a serious problem? Cybersecurity expert Lauren Mak shares some warning signs that your child may be addicted to gaming.
Early signs of gaming addiction include:
- No longer being interested in things they used to be into and having no desire to do activities other than gaming. “This can limit a child from being able to pursue other hobbies that they could be exceptional at and even go on to have a career in,” Mak explains.
- Showing withdrawal symptoms when they’re not at a screen, including irritability, mood swings, impatience, depression, anxiety and anger.
- Not being concerned about their personal care and hygiene.
- Struggling to concentrate at school.
- Showing less compassion for things and people. Mak warns this can make it harder for them to create healthy social connections with people and can lead to “serious mental health problems.”
If you notice these issues with your child, these are five things you can do to help stop the problem in its tracks:
- Talk to them to try to pinpoint every symptom they’re dealing with and explain to them that you want to make a plan to help them overcome them.
- Encourage healthy use of screens and downtime and lead by example by following the rules yourself.
- Suggest coping strategies if your child is dealing with withdrawal symptoms. This could include exercise or something else to stimulate their brain, which will help take their mind off gaming.
- Consider using parental controls. Mak doesn’t advise “complete surveillance” of your kid’s device, but she does suggest monitoring their gaming by setting up screen time limits.
- Try to look at gaming more positively. She explains, “It may seem counterintuitive, but showing an interest in gaming could lead to more positive conversations toward making healthier choices and make them sympathetic towards your wishes.
Source: The Sun