Addressing Video Addiction in Teens: How You Can Help as a Parent

two people playing a video game

When done in moderation, playing video games can be beneficial to one’s health. It can enhance a growing teenager’s IQ. However, nowadays, too many teens are compulsively playing video games, with some playing starting from the afternoon to the next day — eventually leading to gaming addiction. This issue has become a significant concern for parents at large.

It’s important to instill limits and boundaries in your teenager while they are still under your care. The discipline helps them become responsible adults in the next few years — the kind of people who know better than to drink and drive. Or, are wise enough to hire the services of attorneys when they get involved in a motorcycle accident.

With that in mind, here are different ways you can address your teen’s video game addiction and how you can prevent it from happening in the first place.

Efficiently Track Your Teen’s Gaming Activity — Subtly

One of the best ways to address your child’s possible gaming addiction is by getting involved in their gaming adventures by tracking their game time. Since the average time that teens aged 13 to 17 years old spend on gaming is 2.5 hours every day, you can help improve their behavior by letting them play for one hour and track it.

It’s easy for teenagers to lose track of playing games, especially if it’s one they’ve been eagerly waiting for to come out. If you don’t monitor their game time, they can easily spend hours on end on a game but think they’ve only spent around an hour. If you set a rule that gaming should only be an hour or less and help them stick to it, your teen will come to terms with it in no time — curbing the habit.

Educate Your child

You need to help your teen understand that though gaming can benefit their mental health, it may also affect them if they don’t place the habit in perspective. Make it clear to them that playing video games is an aspect of entertainment and that every achievement they make in the gaming world isn’t real — and when they get involved in it far too deep, it can ruin their lives.

Instill in their minds that the only ‘aspect’ that matters is reality. Getting good grades in school, learning real-life skills, and building good relationships with family and friends is better than earning meaningless points in a virtual world. By properly educating your teens at home, they’ll understand better and eventually fall out of the habit.

person gaming on laptop

Leverage Technology to Manage Game Time

An efficient way to help teens with gaming addiction is by leveraging tools like Kitchen timers and other devices. These can be useful when you want to track their gaming time correctly. You can also install a timer on your teen’s computer or smartphones, so their gadgets turn off automatically after a specified time limit.

A great tool that can help you cut your teen’s excessive gaming habit is cold turkey blocker, a software program that automatically blocks certain games on their devices.

Preventing Gaming Addiction

The best way to help your teens is by preventing them from getting addicted in the first place, which you can do by following these techniques:

Let them play for only an hour max every day and stick to them.
Confiscate all gadgets out of their bedrooms, so they don’t play into the night.
Encourage them to do other daily activities, such as walking the dogs every afternoon or gardening.

Although addiction to video games may not be as severe as being addicted to alcohol, it can still be debilitating to a teen’s life, affecting their overall health and lifestyle. Gaming addiction may not be the easiest to treat, but it is possible. Following the tips mentioned can help you address the issue efficiently—helping you remove your child’s dependency on video games and help them get back on track.

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