Video games are a big part of our lives, and they are good to a certain extent. These games become an integral part of our children’s lives, with toddlers and teenagers playing games in their bedrooms, at school, and even in the car.
The problem is that video game addiction is a real problem that can cause serious health problems such as obesity, depression, and anxiety.
Excessive gaming limits physical activity and can also lead to substance abuse, especially when depression kicks in.
If you have an addicted child, it’s important that you know how to help them get rid of the problem.
So how do you get your kid off the couch and away from those video game controllers?
Here’s how to detox your child from video games;
Limit Gaming Time
Children can play games all day if left on their own. However, delivering your child from video game addiction will require that you set some rules. It’s never too late to train your kids in the right way, so start today.
Set aside a few hours per day when your children can have all the video game fun they want. Any other time should be for other meaningful activities like reading and house chores.
Schedule Outdoor Activity
Kids will spend all their time gaming if they don’t have other fun activities to occupy them. Weaning your child off video games addiction calls for more commitment to outdoor activities that expose them to real-life situations. Let them play sports, interact with nature, attend social events and engage with their peers.
You need to intentionally schedule a time when your child can enjoy healthy childhood activities, away from the screens and the gadgets. This will give your child a more balanced lifestyle.
Take Family Time More Seriously
Parents can be overly busy, especially if they have to work several jobs to sustain a living. While work is vital and families cannot thrive without it, there’s a need to strike a healthy balance. Spending quality time with your kids can help them with their video-game obsession.
Most children use video games to fill the void created by absent parents. At least once a week, take some time off to have a family outing. You can do family dinners, go for an ice cream date or attend a sporting activity.
Teach Your Child About Video Game Addiction
If you think your child has a problem with video game addiction, talk to them about it. Explain to your child why they need to cut down on video game playing. Tell your child that excessive gaming can harm their health.
Helping your child understand this concept will make them believe that addiction to video games is a real problem that needs urgent intervention.
Also, provide options on dealing with the same and allow your child to give more suggestions.
Involve Your Child
It’s important to involve your child in the video game detox process. Make sure that you explain to your child how much money and time they spend on video games daily or in a month and let them say if it’s worth it.
Also, ask them what they want to change, and discuss possible solutions together. Allowing your child to play a role in their healing journey will make them more responsible and reduce the resistance or rebellion that comes with such processes.
Replace Electronic Games With Board Games
Are you wondering how to detox your child from video games? Board games are a great alternative to electronic games since they allow your child to focus on their mental development while having fun.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your child occupied during the summer months, consider buying board games instead of purchasing new video games.
There are plenty of board games available online and offline. Your child can choose from classics such as Monopoly, chess, checkers, and Scrabble.
Deny Instant Gratification
Video game addiction happens in the same way as substance addictions. Children who spend too much time gaming get instant gratification and don’t want to stop.
They want to finish playing a game right away so they can move on to another one. This effect gradually advances, and before you know it, your child is fully hooked, and any minute spent away from their gaming system is sad.
To reverse this dangerous effect, start by denying your child instant gratification pleasure. Ask them to do other things first, and then play games later.
If necessary, withhold the gadgets and only release them when your child is fully compliant.
Take It Easy
Trying to police your child out of video games may not work, especially if they have formed a habit of excessive gaming. This is what works; first, acknowledge that you played a role in their current situation since you bought the gadgets and probably taught them how to game.
With that in mind, work towards winning your child over to your team so that you don’t seem like a rival. Help them understand what you’re trying to do and how they can be part of the process that will make them better.
Have a Strategy
Before starting the video game detox process, strategize on how everything should play out and avoid loopholes that could worsen the situation or derail the healing process.
Strategy means a reliable and backed-up plan on how everything should go. That said, you need healthy gaming alternatives in place.
For example, you can buy various board games, register your child to a sports club of their choice, buy outdoor activity equipment, and so on.
Also, you can have a support group or a professional in place to step in if things don’t work out as planned.
Evaluate the Process with Your Child
It’s one thing to shove your kid into a program you think they need, and it’s another thing to get them fully involved and aware of what they are trying to achieve.
One of the most effective ways to detox is by walking with your child every step of the way. Help them understand the process and the various milestones.
Evaluate the process with your kid regularly to see the positive results in various aspects of their lives. For example, you can point out improved academic performance or a boost in physical fitness and mood.
Acknowledge and Reward Progress
If your child shows signs of improvement, acknowledge it and reward them. For instance, you can buy them a toy or treat once a week. Let your child know how you appreciate their cooperation and that you’re proud of them.
On the flip side, if your kid messes, avoid harsh confrontations as these only make things worse. Appreciate the far they have come and encourage them to do better.
Also, help your kid understand that recovery is a process, and they ought not to be too hard on themselves. Train your child on how to celebrate their progress regardless of the many setbacks.
Get Rid of Violent Games
Video game detoxing also involves eliminating games that may cause more harm than good. Violent games have been associated with unruly and lethal behaviors, especially among teenagers.
Even as you work on a strategy to generally control your kid’s video gaming, ensure they only have access to constructive video games.
Video games are parts and parcel of today’s world, and the thought of completely getting rid of them may be a little far-fetched. However, it’s the responsibility of parents to control their children’s gaming behaviors. The points discussed here will get you started on how to detox your child from video games and build a healthier life.