Video games have been a part of almost everyone’s childhood, right from the age group of 5 yrs to even adults who love playing video games. Play stations, Xbox 360, hand video games are some of them which can be named instantly by almost anyone who knows even a little bit about gaming. It is always said that everything if done in limit is good and in case it becomes an addiction, it is troublesome not only for the person addicted but also for the close family and friends.
In this article we would be talking about the positive and negative effects of video games in children in the age group of 5 years to 8 years.
No Fundamental Activities
Kids playing too much of computer games and video games miss out on their fundamental activities which relate to their physical, mental, emotional and intellectual development. Apart from their daily activities of school and studies, there is a set time that they get which can be either utilized by playing of video or computer games or playing with other children, doing projects , going for cycling, swimming etc. Playing Video games is the time taken away for doing these things.
Social isolation is another reason why too much of video games should be avoided by children
Video games are played alone majority of the time, unlike other games and activities where other children and parents or friends can get involved. Playing and being alone regularly will make the child used to that environment which is dangerous. Thus it is always recommended that the parents should set a timeline or a time frame for their child for this kind of activity. For e.g. – Every week, the child can play 2 hrs of video game provided he plays some outdoor games of 8-10 hrs. This will enable and help maintain a balance between spending time with friends for outdoor activities and playing the video game.
Games of plots which have Violence and aggression makes the child to think and do things in the same direction
This is a research proven scientifically. It’s a human tendency that children tend to think and do things which they do for most of their time, in this case, if they play games which have aggression, their thinking will also move towards that direction of being aggressive. Hence it is very important for the parents to always check and control on what type of games the child is getting inclined to. In case of anything amiss like this, preventive steps need to be taken accordingly.
Habits inculcated as children are hard to change as they get older
This is a proven fact. Whatever habits the parents get the child to do right from the beginning, may it be anything which ranges from eating to talking, behaviors, dressing well and in this case playing less of video games is carried by them for the rest of their life. There is a scientific study which shows that in America itself, an average child spends around 9.5 hours in a week playing video and computer games along with other indoor activities like watching television and so on. This trend is slowly catching on to the next generation which is panicking and needs to be taken care of by the parents and elders in the family.
Diversion of Mind
Children’s mind gets diverted if they are too much into video games which hamper their studies. It is generally observed that children who watch and play a total of 10 hrs of Video games and Television or less tend to perform much better in terms of studies to those compared to the one who spend more than 10 hours. Thus it is important for the parents and the elders to make a note that along with playing of video games they need to consider their child’s time spent inside the house doing activities like watching television and so on while setting a time-limit for them.
Using Parental Controls
This is another effective way that parents can keep a tab and restrict the use of video games in their house. Parental controls include setting timers, keeping passwords post certain time duration and so on. These features are a part of today’s gadgets like xbox 360s and play stations.
Brain and development
Affecting the Brains and Development of the child is another major impact that video game causes. Children get more inclined towards games which racing, violence, aggression. Even for small instances where they need to talk, they tend to become more hyper. This again depends upon how much time the child is spending on playing the video games and what type of games he or she is playing.
Becoming defensive when spoken about gaming
This causes an impact that comes into the child if he has excessively got into gaming and is not pulled out at the right time. He/ she would try to defend the habit by saying something or the other. Things like he does not like going out and playing with friends because they trouble him, or they do not treat him properly, or any other reason which as per the child is justified in his playing video games and staying indoors.
In case there are restrictions that the parents do post this, there can be instances wherein children become rebellious as well which are a problematic concern. Thus, the parents need to be utmost careful while going ahead and dealing with such a situation.
Struggling with Schoolwork and getting the required grades
This is a drawback which comes with excessive gaming. With the child’s mind is diverted towards games and with him/her spending more time on screen, the studies are bound to get affected which ultimately affect the grades. This is more worrisome for the parents and the child as well. Adequate measure need to be taken to prevent things like these in future.
Losing Track of time
This is a factor where the child suffers incase if he/she is more into video games. People playing games tend to lose track of time as they are so engrossed in playing that they end up missing their daily activities. There are instances wherein children leave their daily chores like cleaning their rooms, doing homework, completing projects all because they are busy enjoying the video game.
Causing headaches and eye problems
Many of the world’s top eye doctors believe that children spending more time on playing computer games tend to develop eye sight problems from an early age. The child playing the game needs to focus completely on the TV screen or computer screen which causes them to be on a high risk of getting computer vision syndrome. This causes a lot of headache among the children due to which they tend to get irritated as well. Thus it is important for the parent to get the child regularly checked for his eyesight in case of any complains of headache.
Escaping from Reality is another issue which is a cause of great concern
The child just does not know what is happening around him. He gets so much into gaming that all he wants is more and more of it while ignoring the fact that he has people around him or her. It takes him to an imaginary world which is completely detached from reality. For e.g. Incase he is playing a video game which is of football and he scores a goal, he gets so excited that he wants to score more and more from it.
If we are comparing it to the actual football game, it is way different where he needs to sweat it out to achieve anything like this. Thus, there are two complete opposite worlds that the child is in, one the reel world and the other the real one. Thus it is important for the parents to give top notch priority to where the focus of their child is.
It is to be noted that not all video games are bad. There are games which are designed and made in such a way that it challenges the children and so also makes them learn new things. This is done in an interesting manner which is important so that the child playing it enjoys himself as well as learns from it.
Things like hobby classes, ensuring their child join’s some kind of sporting activities like tennis, cricket, badminton, swimming, whichever the child is interested in. Also, the parents need to see that they even spend adequate time with their children and there is necessary communication happening between each other and understand what their children like and dislike so that they know how and what needs to be done.