Thursday, April 2, 2020

Digital Addiction Among Children 2

Worried your child will be addicted to online games?

Here’s a guide on how to keep your child away from those addictive online games.

I am a teacher of young children and my observation shows that not only older children could be addicted to electronic gadgets because of online games, but even children as young as two.
Yesterday, I have talked to a ten-year-old boy in our tutorial center because I noticed that his behavior has changed for the last two weeks. He was a great boy and used to be always attentive to his task but lately, he has become very talkative and has lost focus in what he was doing. He used to be the very first one to finish his worksheet but lately, he was always the last one to finish and that is with too much prodding from us.

So, I asked him what happened. And he just stared at me without answering. Then I asked him if he is playing online games and he said yes.

Bingo! That gave us the answer.

It is very easy to spot a child who is addicted to online games. If you notice a sudden change in a child, game addiction could be the culprit.

We are so used to events like this in our tutorial center so we know exactly what is going on with the children around us.

In this article, we are going to share to you realities in the world of the children exposed to gadgets at a very early age. And here are the topics that we are going to discuss that may help you protect your young child from diving into digital addiction.

Table of contents.

  1. What is an online game or digital addiction?
  2. What are the effects of online game addiction?
  3. What are the signs of online game addiction?
  4. How can you avoid online game addiction in your child?
  5. Toys that can help prevent online game addiction.
  6. What is online game addiction or digital addiction?

Like any other activities that are very hard to control, online game addiction occurs when a child or any person cannot anymore control the urge to play online games. It is unstoppable and it affects the daily activities of the person. When one only thinks of playing video games and neglects all other activities just to satisfy that urge, it is called an addiction.

I have explained digital addiction in my previous article.

What are the effects of online game addiction?

I will not include older people in discussing this online game addiction. I am going to concentrate on the young children that I socialize with every day.

I hate to say this, but I am saddened by the fact that more and more children are affected by this present problem of online game addiction among young children.

To site experience with the children around me, I have never encountered such a mess in a child’s life, not until they introduced online gaming. Many children who are age 10 and below are joining this online game craze.

A boy I tutored for four years had a bad transition from a once brilliant and responsible boy to an online game addict. He once bragged to us that he was in a computer cafe’ for 24 hours. He was even laughing while relating it to us.

His father is a doctor and his mother is a nurse with stiff work schedules and he is left with his grandma and grandpa. So, he does what he wants and what makes him enjoy life. He is only 8 and turning nine. He stopped tutoring because his grades didn’t improve despite tutoring with us an hour daily. The problem was; he lacked focus, and he was irritable during tutor classes.

Another boy who is only four made his mother running to us for advice because she cannot correct her son’s sleep habits. The child watches videos on his iPod until three o’clock in the morning.

Sometimes, the father or the mother catches him watching television in the wee hours in the morning.
We suggested that they should get rid of the iPod and they did. After a week, there was an improvement in the child’s sleeping habits.

One of our students who is only 7 usually came to class with dark rings around his eyes and with sleepy eyes. When we asked the mother what the problem was, the mother admitted her mistake of introducing online games to the child at a very early age. Once the child learned to operate the tablet, he was unstoppable. He wanted to play online games for several hours a day.

There’s one very significant effect of this digital addiction to the young children in the Philippines.
In a country where English is not our mother tongue; it surprises us that several children are English speakers and the way they speak the language is patterned on the cartoon characters they watch. They speak like they are foreigners in their homes.

This is the effect of the children watching cartoons several hours a day in channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and other foreign channels on TV. Some parents are happy with the effect, but most are not convinced that it is a good effect.

What are the signs of game addiction?

Lousy Appearanc– you know when a child has changed because you socialize with them every day. The moment a child looks lousy and seems to be always tired and has no energy to work, that is a sign that something is wrong. Ask the child what is wrong. Many children will not tell you the truth but try talking to the child before it is too late.

Eye Bags – The child may not be sleeping well because of the addiction. You can easily notice this because the child develops black rings around the eyes and the child often looks very sleepy even early in the morning.

Change in Behavior – Some children become moody and irritable.

Day Dreaming – A gadget addict often times daydream in class. This is because they are addicted to what they are doing and it occupies their mind with all their online gaming activities.

They learn to lie – Some children learn to lie in order to cope with their online game addiction.
Lack of Interest in School Works -  The worst that can happen to a child is when he suddenly loses interest in school activities. Yes, this usually happens to children. All they want to do is play online games that is why school work has no room for them.

Lack of appetite towards food – An online game addict may lose appetite towards food. Once the child starts playing online games, food is forgotten and sometimes even if the food is there, the child has no more appetite to eat.

All these and many more are signs that a child is addicted to electronic gadgets.
We have encountered so many young children with these problems and we always advise their parents to stop the addiction before it is too late.

How can you avoid online game addiction in your child?

Do not  introduce electronic gadgets to your child at a very early age.

Buy the traditional toys for your child to play with.

Avoid buying electronic gadgets for your child.

Limit the number of hours that your child watches television or videos.

Do not allow your very young child to play with your cellphone.

Give more play activities to your child rather than watching television.

Read stories to your child instead of letting them spend time watching television.

Do not introduce online games while your child is too young.

Toys that can help prevent online game addiction.

Traditional toys are still the best toys to introduce to young children. Aside from the radiation from electronic gadgets that are bad for the child’s health, electronic gadgets are addictive.

In order to keep the child away from electronic gadgets, the best thing to do is not to introduce gadgets at a very early age.

Here are some traditional toys that can keep the children busy and can keep them away from electronic gadgets.

Balls–Most children love round things, especially if that round thing bounces. Balls are the best toys to introduce to young children.

Books–children love books if you introduce books to them early on. Picture books are best for young children.

Roller Coaster–Roller coaster is safe for young children to play. It is also educational.

Blocks–blocks are great because they enhance the building skills and creativity of young children.

Clay–clay helps the children create many things if you guide them how to do it.

Puzzles–Puzzle stimulates the brain and makes it alert. This is good for young children to keep them busy instead of watching television.

Board Games–You can play with your children using their board games. It is more fun if they play with you.

Drawing Boards–Help your child to develop creativity by using drawing boards. It will keep them busy and forget watching TV.

While there are some pros in introducing electronic gadgets to children, the cons outweigh the pros.

This is why as much as possible, very young children should not play with online games.

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