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Sunday, 12 January 2014

How to Prevent Video Game Addiction

What should be a fun diversion can become an all-consuming addiction if left unchecked. Make sure you set limits on your children's video game use. Don't think of it as denying your children something. Rather, think of it as cultivating healthy habits. Read on to learn how to prevent video game addiction.

1. Delay use of all visual media. The American Association of Pediatricians recommends no screen time of any sort for children under two years of age. They suggest the use of media should be limited for all children. The younger children start using video games, the more likely they are to develop a video game addiction.

2. Keep children involved in a variety of activities. Include outdoor play, interaction with peers, reading and organized sports in your child's schedule.

3. Plan weekly family nights where you do an activity together. Try lots of different things and revisit your family's favorites.

4. Put computers and game systems in the living room or family room. By keeping video games out of a child's room you reduce the chance she may use them for hours without you realizing it.

5. Set limits on media use. Give children an allotted amount of time per day and let them select how much of the time they will use for TV, computer and video games. Be inflexible with your limits. "Stop now" means now, not in a few more minutes.

6. Help your child find healthy ways to deal with stress and anxiety. Many times an addiction develops as a way for a person to escape problems. Rather than let your child use video games to avoid facing difficulties, encourage him to talk to you, another family member or friend.

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