Child

Common questions about your child's gaming addiction:
  • What can I do about my child's gaming addiction?
  • Why are more likely for a child to be addicted to video games than an adult?
  • Why is my kid, child, son, or daughter suffering from a video gaming addiction?
  • Should I get treatment for my child and their gaming addiction?

Answers:

We have received gaming addiction stories about gamers playing for over 20 hours at a time and in almost every case it is a young man under 25 years old.  A recent study at Stanford showed that men tend to have more brain activity while playing video games but does this mean that every child has a potential for a gaming addiction?

We have several answers for these questions for you concerning your child's gaming addiction.  First, the average age for gamers is actually around 30 years old.  However, the largest demographic of gamers is young men and many of these are still a child.  Why?  M
en tend to biologically be of a warrior ethos characterized by being macho or fighting  with each other.  Video games provide the perfect place to "be a man" which is particularly attractive to single men and boys.

Perhaps more importantly, for your child at home and school, they are not likely to be the boss and have respect from many people.  At the same time, online your child can feel like a giant with a high level character that dominates "casual" players and even adults.  For many of you with a child addicted to games, playing video games and using the Internet is the best way to feel important and powerful (which they likely do not in their personal life) and to escape reality for that child.  Many parents have tried everything from physically cutting the cable to canceling accounts and treatment but the child continues to still want to play the video games for several hours each day. Understanding that excessive gaming is usually the physical manifestation of other emotional problems in a child can help a parent to know what is going on with their child's gaming addiction rather than fighting with them.  The best approach may be to try to understand what is being avoided, suppressed, or enabled by a child with gaming addiction instead of simply providing them negative attention every time they are gaming.  This is similar to other addictions but the main difference is the second possibility: playing games is simply fun and there is nothing else as fun as getting online and playing for a child. The key difference is that, like introducing any new technology from television to the printing press and wider availability of novels to read (some kids no doubt had "reading addictions" that prevented them from doing well in school or playing outside), people take a while to adapt and use exciting new parts of life and a child will usually be the first to embrace these new innovations in a family.

The moral of the story is that THERE IS NO MAGIC RECIPE ANYWHERE for getting your child quit their gaming addiction but there are ways you can understand why they do what they do.  To this end, this will help you deal with a child that has a gaming addiction. Some of the most comprehensive self-help resources for helping a child with gaming addiction are found on our books page here.  We also have videos for parents with a gaming addicted child specifically to help you relate to your child's gaming addiction.
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