5 Ways to Know if Your Kid is a Game Addict
Children can easily lose themselves to the virtual world. It is impossible for them not to become mesmerised and affected by the (almost too realistic) world of games.
So, how can parents identify when their child has become addicted to playing games?
It is not easy. However, there are signs that can give parents some clues, which manifest themselves physically or emotionally in the child. Let's take a look at the symptoms that will help you to understand if your child is a game addict:
1. They lose interest in all other activities
While a few hours of playing games is not unusual during the weekends, when this time reaches up to 20 hours, this might be a red flag. Children who spend the majority of their free time playing games often isolate themselves from the outside world, skip meals, avoid socialisation, and lose sleep.
If your kids aren’t spending time on activities they used to enjoy, they might have become addicted to games. Moreover, if your child often speaks to themselves or to the screen while playing, it is the biggest sign that they have become fully immersed in the game’s virtual world.
2. They use games to avoid processing negative emotions
When your child feels depressed or anxious, they may choose to play games instead of discussing or resolving their issues. This is a sign of addiction. Games have become their escape from reality, and they have become emotionally connected to the world of games without realising it.
3. They play games secretly or if they try to justify playing for long hours
If your child tries to justify the situation with excuses, such as ”my friends are playing more than me” after being told not to play games, they may be dependent on the virtual world of games.
You need to monitor your children if they do not leave their room for hours. If they’re telling you that they are doing homework or sleeping, this might be a sign of them playing games secretly instead.
4. They get angry or aggressive when you restrict games
When children become dependent on computer games, the slightest limitation will annoy them. They may try to argue back with their parents and adopt a negative attitude.
5. They lose time perception while playing
Many children don't experience the passing of time when they’re playing games, especially if there is no interference. This might be a matter of concern after a while because this means your child is completely isolating themselves from the outside world.
So, is there a solution?
The way to resolve your child’s gaming addiction isn’t to prohibit them from playing games completely. Instead, you should provide games that allow them to have fun while developing their cognitive skills, and where you can also limit daily use.
A good example is the MentalUP app. MentalUP Educational Games For Kids is developed by academics with pedagogical experience. The app allows parents to retain full control over the gaming experience, including screen time limitations.
Children who spend time with MentalUP improve their intelligence with fun exercises, and avoid the negative effects of technology. On the MentalUP app, parents can track their child's visual, verbal and mental development on a daily basis, as well as their screen time.