Video games can be very fun and a great way to spend time with family and friends, it can even help improve some cognitive functions but only when played in moderation. If it’s taking up too much of your life then it may be time to set some boundaries.
You may be looking into this topic for the first time or video games may be a recurring issue in the family. Whichever it is, many parents are left feeling frustrated and worried about their child’s health and emotional well-being when they feel that their child is playing too many video games. But how do we know when we need to cut back and set more boundaries?
1. Poor Sleeping Patterns
Getting the right amount of good sleep is an essential part of any healthy lifestyle, especially for children and adolescents. Playing video games late into the night not only means that your child is getting less sleep, but the bright lights and mental stimulation keeps the mind active and in a state of hyperarousal, which makes it very difficult to get the deep rejuvenating sleep that they need.
2. Poor Eating
Because exciting video games can send our brains into a state of fight or flight, we are less aware of the other needs of our bodies. If we are skipping meals or eating too fast in order to get to the next level sooner, then we are probably playing for too long.
3. Lack of Physical Activity
Similar to sleep, not getting enough physical activity can be equally damaging to our health. It is recommended that children and teens participate in at least an hour of physical activity per day. Setting appropriate boundaries may be necessary to ensure that exercise is prioritized.
4. Neglecting Social Relationships
Humans are relational beings and that involves much more than communicating through technology. Spending quality time with friends and family is a key component to a healthy life. Spending time online with friends is no substitute for getting together, finding something to do as a group, or just talking face to face.
If you’re seeing these signs in your child, then it may be time to sit down and have an honest conversation about video games and how they should fit into your child’s life. If this is something that you would like to talk about, give me a call and set up a free phone consultation today.
Adolescents, Children, and Families
I’m passionate about providing a safe, non-judgmental, and honest therapy environment for teens to discuss their thoughts and feelings. This opens the door for teens to increase their self-awareness and develop key coping strategies that they can use the rest of their life.
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