7 steps to take your child out from gaming addiction
In the wake of smartphone revolution, more and more people are taking up gaming, especially children of all age groups. In fact, they can be some of the most impressionable ones and easy targets for game developers
The debate as to whether video games are good or bad for us has been going for a long time now. The exciting world of games continues to fascinate both children and adults alike. In the wake of smartphone revolution, more and more people are taking up gaming, especially children of all age groups. In fact, they can be some of the most impressionable ones and easy targets for game developers. Unfortunately, this has also given rise to gaming addiction among children. And the government has to step in to and fight the growing menace. I’ve spoken with many parents who are looking for ways to take their children out of gaming addiction.
Here are some effective ways:
1. Monitor your child & gaming behaviour
There’s no need to become a ‘helicopter parent’ but you should keep your eyes on when the child plays and for how long. If he/she is spending hours after hours playing video games, put time limits and be firm about it. Explain to your child that gaming is just a mode of entertainment or a past time, and it is not what his/her life is about.
2. Encourage Outdoor Activity
If your child is getting lost in the activity to the point of neglecting even the most essential daily tasks, encourage him/her to go out. Not just parents, it is also the responsibility of schools to encourage children to participate in co-curricular activities and sports. Most importantly to start young when inculcating certain habits.
3. Set a Good Example/Teach them about the dangers
You must set a good example at home by limiting your own technology use. And its always a good idea to invite your child to do something together in the real world. Furthermore, schools should have a sound system which educates children about healthy online/gaming habits. They should also formulate appropriate lessons and provide students with the right guidance.
4. Digital Detox
Remove access to any type of digital device—no smartphones, no computers. This applies to both children and their parents. You can regard this opportunity as a way to reduce stress or focus on studies and social interaction in the physical world. Give your kid a variety of other
entertaining things such as cycling, playing cricket, etc.
5. Make certain that TV/ video games aren’t used as a babysitter
There are babies and children playing games on their parents’ smartphones; I think that’s not a good trend. Kids - as young as 2 years - are getting access to smartphones. Parents should wise up and stop using gadgets as babysitters.
6. Providing a listening ear
Teachers and parents should know when to listen to students. It is no simple endeavour to know when to listen and adapt, and when to guide. But with the right training, teachers can provide the right guidance to students.
7. Professional Help
If the problem is severe, do not delay seeking professional help. There’s no need to panic as it can’t be classified as a ‘mental disorder’. But a professional can help you and your child recover from this form of addiction. Select a counsellor who is familiar with the world of online games and is willing to consider the possibility that computer game addiction does exist.
(The author is founder director – Shemford Group of Futuristic Schools and renowned Parenting Expert.for kind perusal.)