Play safe – Avoid online gaming addiction
27 Oct 2014
Retired principal, Mrs Jenny Yeo, shares tips on how parents can help their child avoid getting addicted to online gaming.
Gary+ screamed and yelled at the adults who refused to open the door to the computer room. When this did not work, he grabbed a chopper and threatened to use it on them! Gary’s parents had to call the police in to restrain him. They also sought professional help for his online gaming addiction. It was a long and difficult time for the family.
Online gaming can be a fun recreational activity to relieve stress. However, when a child becomes addicted to online gaming, he or she tends to become restless or withdraw from family and friends when they are not getting their online ‘fix’. Other symptoms like tardy behaviour in school, isolating themselves or even neglecting their health may be observed.
As parents, we need to proactively protect our children from being addicted to online gaming. Here are some tips on preventing this from happening:
- Use parental control tools to protect your child. For example, a parental lock to limit the online applications your child can access.
- Set a limit on the duration and time that your child can spend on online gaming
- Place the computer in a common area in the house, so that you can keep an eye on your child's online gaming.
- Understand about internet addiction - what leads to it and how it works - so that you can have an informed conversation with your child.
- Encourage your child to develop other interests other than online gaming, for example, by picking up a sport or learning a craft.
The best way to protect your child from being addicted to online gaming is to build a healthy relationship with him or her and inculcate values and practices that they can apply both online and offline.
+Name has been changed to protect the identity of the student.
Check out this link for more resources on cyber wellness.