When it comes to recreational activities, kids and teens nowadays can already choose from a long list of options. However, some kids may find video games far more entertaining than usual everyday games. While video games can truly be fun, it can also make a child susceptible to addiction especially when parents do not set firm limits on gaming.

Kids are lured into gaming due to varied reasons. Shy and reserved kids may be able to express themselves through role-playing games, while others just can’t resist the excitement it brings. A child’s growing interest with the activity may lead to longer playing hours, withdrawal from routine social activities among others. If this practice goes on without proper supervision, it has the potential to develop into an addiction.

Many experts believe that an individual’s addiction to video games can be comparable to that of compulsive gambling. Although the biological aspect of video game addiction is still uncertain, it still meets the criteria of addiction in general. A person with an addiction may have an increasing need of a particular substance or activity to keep him going. If that person is not able to get the desired substance or behavior, he may become irritable or miserable. Some addicts may even resort to violent behavior or even depression.

While the dangers of gaming addiction may not be as harmful as substance abuse, it still has the potential to ruin lives. A child who plays four to five hours a day can miss out on plenty of activities that are essential for his growth. If kids are drawn to gaming and they skip on doing normal activities that other kids do, they may not be able to socialize as much, make homework, or even participate in sports. In other words, it can have an effect on a child’s growth and development.

It is crucial for parents to identify signs that can indicate a growing problem in kids and teens. Here are common warning signs of an individual with gaming addiction:

– Playing for longer periods of time
– Preoccupied with gaming while doing other activities
– Playing video games as a means of escaping from problems, stress or depression
– Concealment of gaming activities to friends or loved ones
– Isolation or withdrawal from the group
– Lack of interest in school work or a drop in grades
– Feelings of irritability or misery when asked to cut down on the gaming activity

If your child exhibits any of these signs, try not to take things too lightly. These signs may already indicate a problem, and parents should already keep track of a child’s gaming behavior. Do not hesitate to seek help when you feel that your child’s behavior is no longer healthy.

Since computers have already become part of our everyday lives, the treatment with gaming addiction is particularly aimed at developing responsible behavior. It can be difficult for a child to avoid gaming when he can easily have access to one at school or at home. But therapy teaches kids to utilize computers productively instead of using it for recreational purposes like gaming.

Technology has really opened its doors for kids to experience modern recreational activities. While these can truly be entertaining, there is a need for parents to provide proper guidance in terms of setting limits, and encouraging responsible behavior. With proper parental supervision, this type of addiction can be prevented.