My Child Can Not Stop Playing Video Games

The neural patterns that appear in video game addicts indicate that there is an imbalance in the part of the brain that controls the reward system. Exaggeration of playing video games is similar to other addictive disorders.
My child can not stop playing video games

It’s more common than ever to hear parents say, “My child can’t stop playing video games.” This is an increasingly desperate cry from parents. They have trouble getting their children to leave electronics and lead a healthier and more present life.

Arguing between children and parents about how much time should be spent on the computer, tablet, phone or video game has become a daily routine for many. While some children have become accustomed to spending a limited amount of time on electronics, many more have become addicted to electronic devices. Furthermore, the number of children and teenagers who are addicted to computer games has also increased.

As with all types of addiction, psychological treatment is necessary. However, that does not mean it will be easy. Many parents notice that their children are unable or unwilling to stop playing video games. That is when it is important to take action before the situation gets out of control.

Is it safe for children to play video games?

Roblox, a popular video game platform for kids and teens, has had several disturbing incidents as a result of some users hacking the system. Unfortunately, one of the cases was the rape of the avatar of a 7-year-old girl, committed by two other users.

The girl’s mother, Amber Petersen, told on Facebook that one morning she saw her daughter playing on her tablet with a shocked expression. When she looked closer, she saw two other avatars raping her daughter’s female character. Despite feeling disgusted, she managed to take a screenshot of the incident and then immediately file a complaint.

Roblox lets users create their own avatars, virtual worlds and games. In addition, the platform guarantees that it has strict filters that protect the many children who play this game all over the world. However, the creator of the game acknowledges that the perpetrators in this case were able to walk around the security system.

The platform, which has over 40 million games online, is a favorite of more than 60 million children and young people worldwide. Although the platform is recognized for its security, this story provides an important lesson : Online gaming can never be guaranteed to be 100% safe.

The effects video games have on children

The effects of playing video games.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children do not play more than two hours of video games per day. Playing video games in moderation can be beneficial for children in several ways. However, this should not get out of control.

The most important thing is that the time spent on video games does not take up the time spent on physical activity, rest or sleep. The problem arises when children and young people can not control their urge to play video games, and it becomes more of an addiction than a hobby or activity.

Neural patterns that appear in video game addicts indicate that there is an imbalance in the part of the brain that controls the reward system. This is similar to other addictive disorders.

In cases where there is constant exposure to the violent content of certain video games, desensitization occurs. These processes affect parts of the brain that are linked to the control of emotions, attention and concentration.

Parental responsibility

The reality is that children are surrounded by technology. However, this does not mean that we do not have control over their use of technology. We can control the age at which our children have access to certain electronic devices. We can also largely control what content they are exposed to and how many hours they spend in front of a screen.

If they use smartphones or tablets daily from a young age, how can we be surprised if they develop an addiction?

As they grow up, the daily hours spent in front of a screen increase. We also often do not know which games they play or which websites they visit. This can be a concern for many parents, and it is only natural that these children do not want to limit the time in front of the screen.

Parents are responsible for preventing their children from developing an unhealthy addiction to video games and all kinds of technology in general. After all, a gambling addiction can affect a child’s life.

From the moment they have their first unit, it is important to establish clear and firm rules. These rules should cover aspects such as how long the technology can be used, what technology can be used and what type of content is allowed.

However, it is not just about setting rules and supervising your child, you must also be a good example. For example, if your child wants to tell you something or wants to play with you and finds you engrossed in the phone, this is not a good example. Any rules you set will not have the desired effect if you are not a good example yourself.

Warning signs for addiction

When your child does not want to stop playing video games, you may notice one or more of the following characters. If you think that your child is suffering from a video game addiction or that video game habits can lead to addiction, it is time to take action.  This is important to do before the situation gets out of control and possibly affects the stability of your child.

  • Your child shows unusual concern or importance in the video game when he or she is not playing. He or she is just talking about the game.
  • When your child is not playing, he or she has mood swings, becomes discouraged, shows aggression, and is sad or defensive.
  • Your child is spending more and more time playing video games.
  • Your child loses interest in playing with other children, hobbies or hanging out with friends. He or she is isolated from social interaction.
  • When you try to stop or reduce the time your child spends playing video games, you do not succeed.
  • Your child does not understand or lies about how much time they have spent playing.
  • Your child does not sleep or eat or becomes unhygienic to spend more time playing.
  • There is an increase in bad grades and little interest in the study. Playing a few minutes before they do their homework turns into hours without stopping.
  • Instead of encountering something difficult, the child puts all his energy into the video game. He or she does not want to talk, discuss or face the problem. The video game becomes an escape from reality.

What should I do if my child cannot stop playing video games?

Family playing video games.

When your child does not want to stop playing video games, you need to take the necessary steps.

Keep in mind, however, that arguments or limitations are not necessarily more effective than a compromise or mutual agreement. Negotiation is the best way to establish clear boundaries and rules. Always remember to affirm these rules and restrictions with love.

Below are some methods to help your child limit the time they spend playing video games:

  • Remove the device or computer from the child’s room. Put it in a common area that you can easily monitor.
  • Make sure that the video game time only comes after they have completed their homework and other housework.
  • Agree on how much time per day your child should spend playing video games. You can choose to start with a more spacious period that you can gradually reduce over time.
  • Let the child know when he or she has 15 minutes, 10 minutes and 5 minutes left. This will ensure that your child is not surprised when the time is up.
  • Teach your child how to save the game. After spending a lot of time and effort moving forward in the game, it can be difficult for the child to leave the game. Then it is very important to save at each end point.
  • Limit which games your child plays. Monitor rankings based on age and violence.
  • Encourage your child to participate in other activities. This includes sports, participating in social activities or clubs, performing artistic work, etc.
  • Start family activities. Share time with your kids. You can play board games, go to the park or even play video games together. Family time is important.
  • State clearly and firmly the consequences of not complying with any of the restrictions or rules. For example, a penalty can be an hour less with games or a day without playing any video games at all.
  • Remember to be determined with these consequences.

Final reflection

After you have agreed and set limits and the situation does not improve, your child may have a gambling addiction. The best option in this case is to see a specialist for help.

There can be serious side effects to video game addiction in both the long and short term. It can affect a person’s physical, emotional and mental health. As parents, we must help our children overcome this problem. The safety and health of our children depends to a large extent on adequate parental supervision.

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