Child addicted to a game: how to react?

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    In collaboration with

    Amélie Boukhobza (Clinical psychologist)

    Pokémon cards, video games, Candy Crush… Many games can be addictive for young people. How in this case can you help your child drop out of school? And when does addiction become a problem? Answers.

    Does your little one trust Pokémon cards? Good news: you are not an isolated case. In playgrounds, game fads circulate as fast as winter viruses. However, while it’s fun to watch your child get hooked on a particular game, this new passion can quickly become an addiction.

    Be careful with excess in a game

    Children love to play…and often enjoy the repetition of their activities. The famous Frozen song, repeated at the top of our lungs by thousands of children, is proof of this.

    However, when the game or activity becomes a guarantor of the child’s general well-being (without it, your child no longer wants to get dressed or go to school…) his new passion for this activity can become problematic.

    Therefore, reacting in time is essential.

    First of all, Amélie Boukhobza recommends taking an interest in your child’s new passion.

    Maybe you’ll be interested in it to understand what’s captivating about this game: the pleasure of collecting, the social aspect of trading cards, or even the strategy of the game itself? Understanding this attraction can help you find alternatives or complementary activities that feed your interests in a more or less equivalent way.“, she explains.

    Next, it’s important to set healthy boundaries.

    That is, establishing clear rules regarding the time dedicated to the game and the appropriate times to play it (for example, not on the eve of the school day, not just before bedtime, etc.) can help prevent excessive use. And if there are budget expenses necessary for the game, we obviously keep a close eye on it! We establish a budget with the child that they should not exceed and perhaps we can take advantage of it to teach them how to manage money.“reveals the expert.

    Last point: encourage the diversification of activities. If your little one is glued to his video game, teach him to find pleasure elsewhere… and keep an eye on his behavior.

    We must remember what the psychological and evolutionary balance of a child is, which is made up of sports activities, meetings with friends, music, work, etc. So as soon as this balance is disturbed, we consider there is a problem! Abandonment of school responsibilities with lower grades, avoidance of homework… Social isolation, mood changes: irritability, anxiety, anger…“, details Amélie Boukhobza.

    If not all games are equal, probably the worst of all is still “Video games that take you completely away from real life.“concludes the expert.

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