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Help Your Child to Overcome Negative Impact of Video Games

kids addicted to computer games

Help Your Child to Overcome Negative Impact of Video Games
It's obvious video games are having a negative impact on your child's life. Back in the good old days they were a lot more basic. Children were still able to drag themselves outside to play. Things changed as games evolved and designers manufactured them to be as addictive as possible.

Multiple studies have shown around 1 in 10 kids are addicted to video games. It wouldn't be so bad if their addiction was a good thing, but it's causing them all sorts of problems. You might not even know a few of them exist, so we're going to cover the major issues and solutions to overcome them.

Major Problems Associated With Video Game Addiction

• A Sharp Decline In Cognitive Abilities
• Serious Physical And Health Problems
• An Increase In Psychological Issues
• The Destruction Of The Family Bond
• A Disconnect From The Real World

A Sharp Decline In Cognitive Abilities

If someone is addicted to playing video games it's been shown to have a negative impact on cognitive abilities like memory and concentration. The Psychology of Popular Media Culture published a study showing it's terribly damaging to long-term concentration.

This will have repercussions in the classroom, which is scary because your child's future is at stake. It would help out a lot if you encouraged them to work their brain in more productive ways, like learning to play an instrument or studying a foreign language.

Serious Physical And Health Problems

Sitting in front of a computer all day will have immediate problems on their physical health. Over the years they'll also put on weight if they don't move much. Their general health  will suffer too, with a lack of sleep and terrible personal hygiene being problematic.

This can be fixed in a couple of different ways, both of which are easy as long as you can drag them away from the computer. First of all, make them go outside and move around so they remember what fresh air smells like. Ensure they eat healthy meals instead of resorting to junk food too.

An Increase In Psychological Issues

It's scary when you realize how many young kids are suffering from depression and anxiety disorders these days. A study in Norway showed video game addiction doesn't just cause these issues. It facilitates them because children use the games to hide from their problems.

We've discovered our brains haven't evolved to deal with the constant stimuli it's bombarded with every day, which can make our mental problems worse. You should limit the time your child spends on their smartphone as well as their computer. Encourage them to lose themselves inside a physical book.

The Destruction Of The Family Bond

If it's not happened already it's only a matter of time before video games will destroy your family bond. This will happen when you've let them feed their addiction for too long, but when you force them to stop they won't be happy. In poorer families arguments over their expensive habit don't help either.

In extreme cases an addiction to video games is almost like being addicted to drugs. If you wanted a heavy drug user to clean up it wouldn't be a good idea to force them to go cold turkey. Try to wean them off gradually to reduce the chances of it hurting your family.

A Disconnect From The Real World

One of the biggest differences today is the social aspect of video games. It's much more likely your child will have dozens of online 'friends' they speak to on a daily basis. Unfortunately, studies show the bigger your video game addiction, the less social skills you have in real life.

You can't expect anyone to learn how to interact socially through a video game. The only way you'll be able to deal with this is by encouraging your child to make friends in the real world. Maybe they could take up a new hobby or join a sports team.

They Don't Need To Stop Completely

There are actually a lot of benefits children will get when they play video games like sportsmanship and hand-eye coordination, so don't think they should stop playing them altogether. It's only when it turns into an addiction you'll see problems, so limit the amount of time they spend in front of the computer each week and they'll be fine.

katica.maric's picture
Author, Psychologist

Katica Marica is a child psychologist and parent educator with 15 years of experience in helping kids and parents to better understand each other and overcome various problems by joint efforts. She is also a mother of two beautiful angles, passionate traveler and dreamer.