Video gaming is a popular form of entertainment. However, the magnitude of the negative impact that it has on children has increased so much over the years that the World Health Organisation had to officially recognise gaming as a mental health disorder.
Too much of anything is dangerous, so is the case when it comes to kids video games. Investing too much time into playing video games can negatively impact a child in a number of ways.
Cons of Video Games
To go into more detail and understand the negative effects of too much video gaming, here are a few cons of video games.
Continuously looking at a screen for a prolonged period of time can cause vision impairment in children’s eyes at a very young age. This can result in visual disabilities. Common symptoms that result from prolonged staring at the screen include headaches, discomfort in the eyes, blurred visions, red and sore eyes, etc.
Neck pain and shoulder pain can also be a further consequence of it. To avoid the problem of damaged visions, the 20-20-20 rule is applied, which states that after an interval of 20 minutes, the eyes should focus on an object that is 20 feet away from the person, for a period of 20 seconds.
Video games are a leading factor of causing behavioral changes in a child. It has been studied and proven that children who indulge into playing violent games, tend to develop an aggressive personality. They become aggressive and hostile, both physically and mentally. The attitude with which they encounter people becomes passive aggressive.
They turn impatient while dealing with the littlest of things. They tend to get irritated very easily. They start prioritising video games over other important duties and commitments. They become socially isolated and eventually turn into a virtual recluse.
Excessive time spent on video games can be considered unhealthy for a child and can also be a sign of addiction. Anything, which is not practised in moderation can be detrimental to a child’s health and development. Unrestrained video gaming can hamper a child’s growth and lifestyle in the long run. School grades start falling apart. Sleep cycles are disturbed. Management skills are hindered. A child fails in developing the basic communication skills and many more drawbacks of excessive video gaming can be identified.
How to Avoid Kids From Spending Too Much Time on Video Games
It is important for a parent or a guardian to regulate the time spent on playing video games, before it becomes an addiction. Here are a few ways through which parents can persuade their children to spend less time on video games:
Introduce the children to more outdoor games. Invest into buying good outdoor games for the children that keep them fascinated. Talk to them about the pros of outdoor activity and how it can expedite their growth and development, without any compromise on their entertainment.
Manage and supervise the screen time alloted to the children. Along with that,it should be ensured by the parents that their child follows the 20-20-20 rule to keep their visions controlled.
Children should be discouraged from playing any sort of violent games that can put them into the risk of developing an aggressive or hostile personality.
It is important to spend quality time with the children and explain to them the disadvantages and negative effects of spending too much time playing video games.
Kids should be inculcated with the habit of reading from a very young age in order to avoid them resorting to playing video games at times of leisure or boredom.
They should be encouraged to learn different skills such as learning to play an instrument, painting, cooking, joining dance, music classes, and much more.
A log should be maintained by the parents, which should include the time spent by a child, over a week, into playing video games. This log can be further used to visually represent a child how much time they could have spent into doing other constructive work.
Excessive video gaming can be just the beginning for other repugnant conditions such as obesity, wrist and elbow pain, laziness, skin blisters, anxiety, depression, impaired relationships, and much more. In order to avoid the occurrence of any aforementioned problems, it is important for a parent to regulate the time being spent on playing video games by a child and practise the act of “prevention, better than cure.”