If you have stopped to read this article it is surely because you have some concern regarding the time that children can spend in front of t...
If you have stopped to read this article it is surely because you have some concern regarding the time that children can spend in front of the screen. Well, here is the confirmation of what many of us already imagined:
Finally, the World Health Organization ( WHO ) has included in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) video game use disorder due to the addictive behaviors that this type of game can generate.
Why is this news important?
Once this disorder has been accepted, the community of specialists will be able to make precise recommendations for its management and recovery.
It is very important that in order to confirm that it is a disorder or addiction, it must be verified that the behavior has been evident for at least a period of time of 12 months or less if there are serious behaviors or symptoms. The addictive behavior pattern can be while playing online or when offline.
What symptoms should be observed?
According to the classification that the CIE has described, it should be observed:
Impaired control over the game
This means the frequency, the intensity, the duration, the determination, and the context where it takes place.
Children can suddenly start with a few hours a week, but in short, it is already hours a day that they spend in front of a screen, and that is already a serious problem.
Increased priority is given to the game
When the game is the most important thing for the person and leaves vital things like washing, eating, going out, going to school, or interacting with other people, we are already in serious trouble and the intervention of a professional is necessary.
Continuation or increase of the game despite having negative consequences
When the addiction has arisen, the negative consequences appear. Recognizing them and accepting that they are happening is essential to be able to change and improve.
Significant impairment at a personal, family, social, educational, occupational level or in other important areas of functioning
Family relationships are damaged, work is lost, school and personal presentation change, diet is altered, and basic hygiene habits are forgotten; this is already recognized as a deterioration that must be stopped as soon as possible.
Before it's too late
It is very important to be able to recognize these symptoms in time to be able to act promptly. Perhaps a person, a young person, or a teenager does not present all the symptoms, or they appear at the same time, but this does not mean that it is not a disorder in full.
And as always, prevention is best. The best thing about knowing a health problem is preventing it, so at home and at school we must all be very careful that they are not generated.
What can we do as a preventive measure?
No screens or games before the age of 4
Children up to 12 years old do not need cell phones
Limit the time of use of games, tablets, and screens in general
Have more activities, especially physical
Never associate playtime with junk food or mealtime
And above all:
Observe family relationships and coexistence with other children since video games can be the escape for many problems at home.
Sponsors of addiction
Another important point to observe and take care of is to recognize that for someone to start an addiction, they need someone to overlap and sponsor it. This is easily translated into recognizing who is the one who provides the video games, the devices, the screens, the Internet connection, and the concealment or resolution of the small problems that appear.
When parents and the entire family come to a common front, addiction is more easily overcome. As long as someone is overlapping or sponsoring the origin of the problem, there will be no definitive solution.
Video games are not bad, in fact, there are many very fun games that include physical activity and socializing. But others are violent and easily addictive, and those should be avoided at all costs.
The principle is to teach children self-control and self-control because at the end of the day these tools will be useful for their entire lives. Today they may be video games but tomorrow they may be drugs, and they must be strong enough to say no, and that strength is only obtained by exercising small self-control exercises throughout childhood and youth.
Stay close to your children, play with them and observe them, learn from them, and get to know them, that is the great vaccine so that they never develop an addiction.
It is very worth the effort and above all, it will bring you a lot of happiness.