Are you concerned about the amount of time your child is spending playing video games?
Does your child seem to be fatigued and lethargic as a result of gaming?
Does your child meltdown when they finish gaming?
Are you concerned that gaming is dominating your child's life?
There is a point for some children where gaming may become an addiction or gaming disorder. Pathological gamers spend about twice as much time playing games (approximately 24 hours per week) and are more likely to have game systems in their bedrooms. Though the percentage of players who are addicted to video games is small, between 1% and 9% of all gamers across all ages, it's important to watch for the signs. Signs may include spending an increased amount of time gaming to "feel good", having difficulties at school or home due to refusal to stop, melting down when being forced to quit, feeling bad when they're unable to play, constantly thinking of gaming, ceasing hobbies they once enjoyed, amongst other symptoms. Children with video gaming addiction are also more likely to have trouble paying attention in school, achieve poorer grades, and suffer more physical health problems. If you're unsure if your child is simply enthusiastic about video games, or may be facing an addiction, you're doing the right thing by taking this first step.
Though these situations can feel overwhelming, it's important not to despair. There is hope, and there are effective and evidence-based treatments for behaviour that becomes excessive, dysfunctional, or begin to dominate lives. A lot can be done to support, guide and assist you and your child, in navigating and managing gaming addictions.
While it can be extremely difficult knowing your child may be battling an addiction, we praise you in taking the first step. Now, please don't be afraid to take the next!