Video Game Addiction?

I’ve often wondered if my kids are addicted to video games. Since they only play them on the weekend and we have stayed informed about the games they play, I don’t think so…check out this quiz to see if your kid is a video game addict. Still, if given the choice, they would rather stay home to play video games than go on a family outing (We don’t usually give them the choice). Just today Curt was wanted to do something fun and suggested that Adam and he go to the movie, “The Secret Life of Pets.” Adam’s first response was “no,” and I knew he wanted to stay home because he was looking forward to coming home from musical practice and playing video games. Fortunately after further consideration he agreed to go to the movie.

Did the timing of video games hitting the market in full force and the ages of my kids have something to do with the amount of video games in our home?

Yes, probably. However, there were other factors that contributed to more video game usage in our home as well, which is another conversation.

It seems that some families now, recognize the negative effects of video games and they put more careful limits on their kids. Is it like the smoking culture? When cigarettes first came out, people were smoking in movies, on commercials and at work. THEN we learned that they are bad for you, and hopefully people are more cautious about starting the bad habit now-a-days. Is this like the video gaming industry? Was it super-dee-duper popular at first (YES!) and did kids get innocently addicted to them? (Yes.) Has research shed light on the negatives of video game addiction? (YES.) Are families more cautious in their media choices because of this research? (Hmm. I know some that are – my sister’s families for instance. Many of their families are younger than mine. HOWEVER, I am afraid that many kids are undersupervised and overstimulated and stunted because of it.

– Be a courageous purposeful parent, which often requires the sacrifice of your interests to invest in your child’s life.
– Practice active listening skills. My kids are most often open to talking late at night, for some reason. Maybe it is because the house is quiet and they’re still.
– Support your child in worthwhile interests (clubs, sports, music). If a child is busy and fulfilled they are less likely to get addicted to video games or harmful substances.
– Engage your entire family in wholesome family activities. In Families: A PROCLAMATION to the world it reads, “Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”
– Express love to your children often.

Here is a great article about being a courageous parent, which applies to this subject – because it is hard to stand up to your kids. Remember: You are the parent. You know better and love them more than anyone else. Take care. Your and your children’s media choices really do make a difference in your family’s attitude and development.


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