Is my child addicted to video games?

It's no secret that young people love video games. Not surprising, since they were born at a time when technology and screens are simply ubiquitous. But should we worry about the amount of time they spend playing?

As for just about everything in life, moderation is our best friend! In other words, there is no point in completely forbidding them to play video games (anyway, they will always find a way to play games with friends or elsewhere); it is enough to teach them how to dose everything as it should be.

Hobby or addiction?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not the number of hours spent playing that determines whether or not it is an addiction, but rather the impact that the game has on the life and behavior of the children. In other words, even if your child or teenager spends 3 hours a day on a computer or console, but it does not affect his or her academic performance, mood, or social life, there is absolutely no need to worry.

For example, the World Health Organization, which added the video game disorder to its International Classification of Diseases last year, explains this dependence as "a behavior related to the practice of video games or digital games that is characterized by loss of control over gaming, an increased focus on gaming, to the point that it overtakes other interests and daily activities, and the continuation or increasing practice of gaming despite damaging repercussions." In addition, this extreme behavior must be clearly evident for at least 12 months for a diagnosis to be made. You will understand that true dependence affects only a minority of video game enthusiasts!

Talk about it!

Most importantly, if you are worried in any way or simply want your child to develop more diverse interests, take the time to talk to them. Take an interest in the games the love and learn more about this world; putting yourself in their place may allow you to see things differently. Talk to them about the importance of having a variety of passions and encourage them to try new things and open up their horizons.

Look on the bright side

Lastly, do not forget that even though the passion for video games is one you may never share or perhaps never understand, your child will certainly benefit from it. Indeed, it has been shown that, when used reasonably and properly, video games increase coordination, memory and problem-solving skills. They can also have a very positive impact on self-esteem, not to mention that they could earn them a very nice job later!

In short, everything is never completely black or completely white. The important thing is simply to find the balance!

Image de Vanessa Maisonneuve-Rocheleau

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