“Gaming disorder” is an official disease included in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases, by the World Health Organization.
In recent years, children started getting more and ore attached to screens. They spend a good amount of time playing video games on their smartphones, and their parents have no clue how much this behavior can affect them in the long term.
In this day and age, most children receive their first smartphone around the age of 10. That is when parents start to notice that their child starts to gain weight, refuses to take part in outdoor activities, starts receiving bad grades at school, becomes more violent, and many more behavioral changes that can cause concerns in any parent.
When we hear the word “addiction,” we most likely think substance abuse. However, video gaming is now considered a non–substance addiction recognized by health experts.
For addicts, the source of their addiction becomes their priority, and they start neglecting other aspects of their life. When the addict no longer has access to their source of addiction, a series of negative reactions are triggered.
If you are a parent and you wish to find a way to distance your child from their gaming addiction, here are a few tips recommended by the Canadian Paediatric Society:
- Manage Smart Devices Use
In order to do this, you should create a family media plan to set some individualized time and content limits. Also, you should learn about parental controls and privacy settings. Even more, you can have an honest discussion with your child to discourage the use of multiple devices simultaneously, gain access to all of their online accounts, and set some boundaries.
- Encourage them to use the internet wisely
Encourage your child to choose content appropriate for their age and teach them to recognize problematic content.
- Be a role model
If you spend every minute of your free time online, you can’t expect your child to do any different. After all, our children copy our behavior. Try to review your own habits and encourage screen¨-free time.