Does your child spend all his time in front of the TV screen or computer playing games? Does he refuse to go and spend time outdoors? If yes, then there is a possibility that he has become a video game addict.
Playing video game occasionally for fun is harmless. After all, it is one of the activities that your child can enjoy during his leisure time. But teenagers these days become so immersed in video games that they start neglecting everything around them. It leads to video gaming addiction. So is teen video game addiction a big deal? Yes, it is a big deal. This addiction can have serious emotional, physical and social consequences. Read on to know the signs of video game addiction in teens.
Signs And Symptoms Of Video Game Addiction:
Here are some signs to look out if you suspect that your teenager has become a video game addict. You must intervene even if your teen exhibits two or three of the following behaviors.
If your teen is suffering from video
[ Read: Negative Effects Of Video Games On Teens ]
2. Play In Secret:
Your teen will start playing in secret or will lie to you about how long he or she has been playing. He either will lie blatantly or will find ways to hide when he is playing. He will also make excuses to play video games.
Aggression is another specific sign of teenage addiction to video games. Your teen may show aggression if he loses a game.
[ Read: Solutions To Control Aggression In Teens ]
4. Lack Of Control:
A video game addict will be unable to control the amount of time he spends on the computer. He will go online with the intention of spending just 20 minutes gaming, but will keep prolonging the time until several hours have passed.
5. Neglecting Other Areas:
Video gaming addiction will lead your child to neglect other areas of life. He will prefer staying home and playing games rather than spending time with friends. He will also neglect his studies, causing his grades to slip. In some cases, teens may also neglect personal hygiene, choosing to play video games rather than taking a shower.
6. Misuse Of Money:
Your teen may spend enormous amounts of money on games related items. He will continually upgrade the software and hardware packages and accessories. It can become a greater problem if he spends the money that he has to use for groceries and bills.
He will become defensive when asked about his time spent gaming. If your teen denies, then it is an indication that something is wrong, especially is he looks unconcerned that his friends and family are feeling left out of his life.
So you must look out for these symptoms of video game addiction in teens. It will serve as a self-diagnosis tool.
[ Read: Outdoor Activities For Teens ]
Treatment For Teenage Video Game Addiction:
Video gaming addiction must be treated the same way as any other addiction. Like other addicts, your teen may try to escape the problem rather than facing it. Taking away their gaming console or computer is not the solution. So how do you begin to fight the addiction? Here are some ways to treat video gaming addiction in teens.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the most popular approach to video gaming addiction. It involves replacing unhealthy thoughts about games and introducing behavior to reduce the time spent playing games. You have to introduce it by giving rewards for following new rules, giving constant reminders to stop playing and involving the addict in other activities.
[ Read: Teenage Behavioural Problems ]
2. Talk To Your Teen:
Verbal communication is one of the most useful ways to help an addict. By talking to your teen, you can make him open up and recognize the compulsive behavior. Explain to your teen that you are worried about the amount of time he spends gaming. When you are talking about gaming addiction, try not to be judgmental in any way. He may feel embarrassed or ashamed if you behave harshly with him.
4. Limit The Time:
Do not let video game consume your child’s fun time. Limit the amount of time to not more than an hour a day.
5. Consult A Therapist:
A therapist or a program that specializes in teens could treat video game addiction. Counseling will provide the foundation for recovery success. Through the methods of counseling, he will learn to cope with the stress that causes him to use video games as an escape.
6. Summer Camp:
Send your teen to a summer camp to get him out from his usual environment to the place that will force him to experience reality. The activities at these camps will instill confidence and will foster social skills in him.
Just like other addicts, video game addicts are also helpless with their addiction. So, it is imperative to help your teen find the perfect treatment and teach him the joys of real life. It will take time, but it will show results.
Do you have a video game addict at home? How did you treat his addiction? Share some tips with us by commenting below.