When I was a kid the only time we stayed inside was when the weather was bad, we spent our time playing neighborhood football games not video games. These days it seems like kids are either on a computer or playing video games all the time.
There are all kinds of new maladies being diagnosed due to this new addictive behavior and one of those is video game obsession. So what is the difference between a kid who just likes to play video games and one who is obsessed with the activity? That is what we will look at here; we will look at the signs of video game obsession and how to deal with it.
It isn't easy to identify the telltale signs that your teen is obsessed with playing video games, there is a fine line between just loving the activity and being obsessed with it. We really need to catch this in their early teens at the latest because children these days are very well versed and by the time the reach the age of 16 or so they may be able to out debate you on the issue. When you point out how much time they spend on the video games they may point to your time spent on the computer or your Blackberry or new iPhone.
Don't fall into this trap and allow your teen to rationalize their behavior, video games can be addictive and if children are given free reign they will allow the game play to take over everything else and you will find your child not caring about things that used to be important to them.
One of the first things you will notice in a child that is obsessed with video game play is that their grades will suffer. This is very similar to what is seen with a child that is into drugs. Their homework is missing or incomplete, they don't study for tests, they don't care about going out and hanging out with friends, and so on. Try not to let it get to this point because then they will do anything to be able to play the game.
Other signs of obsessive behavior include changes in their normal behavior and you will see them being quick to anger, impatient, and impulsive. While this behavior is not acceptable in the real world, it is almost required for success in gaming and it flows over into real life.
This is why it is so crucial for you as a parent to step in and put a limit to the video game play and introduce other healthier activities such as swimming, tennis and other sports activities as well as cultural diversions like theater or art.
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