It is no doubt that the influence of electronic games will continue to grow and with that parents need to understand any potential pitfalls and the role they should play.
WORDS DR NICOLA DAVIES
Although playing video games has certain advantages, they can also have some pitfalls. Sometimes parents use video games as a ‘babysitter’ in order to have some time to themselves or finish off the chores. This decreases the bonding and communication time the child has with their parents. Video games cannot replace human contact.
Engrossed in playing video games, some children refuse to go out and play which may curb their exercise time, and in extreme cases, lead to obesity. Children could also prioritise gaming over their homework and household responsibilities, which can lead to a reduction in their grades.
Children who engage in violent games may act out inappropriately at home or school. These video games can be addictive and may also lead to health issues if the child engages in them for extended periods – eyesight problems, numbness, or pain in the thumb, among other potential problems.
What can You as a Parent do?
Video games have both benefits and pitfalls. On the one hand, they introduce problem-solving, logic, and motor skills to your child, while on the other hand, they can be addictive and your child may spend hours on end playing them. It is crucial to limit the time your child engages in gaming. It is recommended that you play with your children and keep an eye on what games they are playing. This also provides them with a safe space to discuss other things. Video games are not the evil they are sometimes portrayed to be. The trick is to maintain a balance and leverage the positives that accompany gaming while keeping the adverse effects to a minimum.