We are just beginning to understand the impact of video games on child development and behavior. Never has our culture been so immersed in gamification. Games like Minecraft and Fortnite have become part of social culture. According to statistics, the average amount of time kids spend on video games is now 20 hours a week. 72% of all American households regularly play video games and 40% play to escape from the real world, which is a coping mechanism associated with addiction.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has documented that violent videos games cause children to show a greater propensity to be aggressive in real life. Frequent gaming also results in poor grades and a difficult relationship with parents.
So how can we protect our family from gaming addiction?
Today we are grateful to have Cam Adair from GameQuitters.com back on The Dad Edge. He is a former gaming addict who now helps kids and their parents find solutions for gaming addiction. He tells us how we can set healthy limits and boundaries around video games, and what activities we can implement into our daily lives to make sure our kids are fulfilled and less susceptible to compulsive gaming.'There’s a tsunami of addiction coming that we’re not prepared for.'—@camerondare #gaming #videogames #gamingaddiction #parenting Click To Tweet
Cam Adair first turned to video games as an escape when he began getting bullied in school. As he got older, the problem became so serious that he quit school and pretended to have jobs so his parents wouldn’t know about his problem.
Cam began suffering from anxiety and depression. It was a vicious cycle of gaming to escape problems he avoided fixing. He was completely isolated, and even got to the point of suicide. Luckily he survived and now has started a movement to educate kids and parents about the insidious destructiveness of video games.
What You’ll Learn
- How to avoid technology when we are constantly connected to it
- How kids start gaming as early as toddlers
- The impact every year earlier kids are exposed the more damaging
- How games give the instant gratification we don’t get in real life
- How the brain becomes used to the high level of stimulation
- How video games prevent kids from developing intangible skills—social skills, independence, creativity, and the art of being bored
- Generational shift from being willing to work, our kids don’t feel the hunger
- Cam’s dad’s “milkshake run” technique to have serious talks with kids
- What it is about screens that make us addicted to them
- The role of FOMO in screen addiction
- How apps, gaming, social networks are designed to make us feel like we need to constantly be online
- Screen time and business—the correlation between how forgetful and distracted we get while having the massive urge to get these things done
- How your phone just being near you will make you less productive
- How to prioritize notifications
- The Fortnite crisis
- How to be consistent and firm with gaming boundaries
- How parents must accept that there will be a period of ugliness when putting limits on games
- How to use the game withdrawal period as an opportunity to stand with your kids through a difficult time
- What to do when kids want to spend money on game items, like skins for Fortnite
- How the game skin business model is similar to gambling
- How Facebook scammed kids out of money through gaming
- How spending money on games can make kids more deceptive and also makes them more invested in the game
- Choosing games with an end
- How much time should your child be playing video games according to age group
- Under 12 – none
- Above 12 – 30 minutes
- Teen – 1-2 hours
- Rewarding kids for game-free days
- Why it’s better to have completely game-free days than to set a daily time limit
- Becoming aware of the excuses you’re making to let your kids play games
- How teaching entrepreneurship to your children (using money to make more money) can help kids prioritize game spending
- How to come together as a couple around gaming
- Navigating co-parenting challenges
- Finding a way to play video games with your kids to get more involved or redirect them to game design, or some other more creative aspect
- Making sure kids have multiple options to fulfill all the needs video games instantly provide—escape, achievement, competition, relaxation, and social interaction
- The importance of maintaining a family structure.
- How isolation breeds as problem
- The importance of self-care for you and our partner in combating screen time issues
- Cam’s best advice to parents who are trying to control gaming and screen time—Give yourself a break. Mistakes happen. Keep trying!
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