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Real Talk: Dealing with video game addiction

A professional's perspective

real talk, parents of teens, dealing with video game addiction

Get the other perspective. See how a mom of teens answers the same question.

How has your child been occupying the majority of their time? Playing outside? Reading?

Likely, or at least according to research, screen time has been occupying our youth.

Kids can be addicted to video gaming. The World Health Organization in June 2018 declared gaming addiction as a mental health disorder. A study by the Minneapolis-based National Institute for Media and the Family suggests that video games can be addictive for kids, and that the kids’ addiction to video games increases their depression and anxiety levels. Addicted kids also exhibit social phobias. Not surprisingly, kids addicted to video games see their school performance suffer.

RELATED: Dr. Paul Schwartz continues the conversation. Do video games create a violent culture?

Too much video game playing makes your kid socially isolated. Also, he may spend less time in other activities such as doing homework, reading, sports, and interacting with the family and friends.

Some video games teach kids the wrong values. Violent behavior, vengeance and aggression are rewarded. Negotiating and other nonviolent solutions are often not options. Additionally women are often portrayed as weaker characters that are helpless or sexually provocative. Games can also confuse reality and fantasy.

Academic achievement may be negatively related to overall time spent playing video games.

Studies have shown that the more time a kid spends playing video games, the poorer is his performance in school

Video games may also have bad effects on some children’s health, including obesity.

RELATED: Ditch the video games and head outside

Kids spending too much time playing video games may exhibit impulsive behavior and have attention problems.

My advice to parents would be this; if your child or adolescent has issues with aggression or aggressive tendencies, these games might provide the “tipping point” for him or her, and it would be best if they were kept away from them. Additionally, monitor your kids’ activities. Keep track of what they are playing and for ‘how long”, like any activity, an excessive element of compulsivity might be an indication that something may require your attention, or possibly the attention of a professional.

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