Smart Social Podcast: Keeping students safe so they can Shine Online
Identifying Warning Signs of a Gaming Disorder (w/ Guest Morgan Seymour of Open Sky)
On this episode of the SmartSocial.com Podcast, Josh Ochs chat with Morgan Seymour, LCSW, of Open Sky Wilderness Therapy about identifying warning signs of a gaming disorder and what to do if you think your child is addicted. "When there is a disconnect in your family, there is always a way to reconnect," says Seymour.
Read The Negative Effects of Video Games (Parent Guide) on the SmartSocial.com Blog: https://smartsocial.com/negative-effects-video-games/
Learn more about Open Sky Wilderness Therapy: https://www.openskywilderness.com/utilizing-wilderness-therapy-to-treat-gaming-disorder/
Gaming disorder is considered a mental health condition
What are gaming disorder warning signs?
According to World Health Organization, there are 3 signs that someone might be struggling with gaming disorder:
- Impaired control over gaming (e.g. onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
- Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
- Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences
What are some red flags parents need to look out for?
According to Dr. Mike Bishop, tech addiction expert, these red flags indicate that your child is struggling with screen time and gaming:
- Short tempers that are aggravated by screen time. If your kids are playing video games, you can sometimes see them getting frustrated at the game. Watch out for a quick temper and see if the game has got control over their mood
- Kids are not able to self-soothe when they’re playing video games. This translates into the next point, which is having problems going to sleep or waking up in the morning
- Having access to a device every night. If we let our kids use devices without limits set, without some rules and structure, they’re going to take their devices to bed with them and they’re going to be up at night browsing social media or playing games. Research says, allowing your child to have a TV or device in their room unchecked at night results in less sleep and having a harder time waking up in the morning
- Passing up face-to-face activities for screen time activities. Another major red flag is when you see your child passing up normal opportunities for socialization or outside play
What can parents do?
- Before giving your student access to a new game, ask them to explain why they want to play it. Then, spend some time playing the game on your own and decide if it is safe for your family to play. Know that your child has perhaps already played it at their friend’s house
- Schedule game time and set time limits beforehand
- Teach your children that video games are only to be played in moderation (or, best of all, as a family)
- Challenge your student to find offline activities they enjoy and can add to their resume
- Have an open dialog about video games with your children. Consider talking about the dangers of playing with strangers, sharing personal information in chats, graphic video game content, and bullying behavior
- Model positive screen time behaviors around your children
- Always supervise game time (and play with them, if possible)
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