Roughly eight percent of American children are addicted to video games, and children addicted to video games are twice as likely to have ADHD. Iowa State University researchers determined that having ADHD puts a child at an increased risk of battling video game addiction. This risk is increased even more if the child is a male.
Video games appeal to ADHD children
According to ADDitude Magazine, children with ADHD are more attracted to the allure of video games. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. Most children with ADHD have the ability to hyperfoucs, which is key to winning many video games. Furthermore, many video games are fast-paced and aesthetically appealing, which is attractive to children with ADHD. These children are drawn to video games because they are incredibly stimulating. Video games are far easier to pay attention to than other aspects of the child’s life such as chores or schoolwork.
Children with ADHD often have a difficult time with self-discipline. For this reason, parents must be particularly careful when allowing their child to play video games. By establishing boundaries, parents of children with and without ADHD can make sure that the video game system is not overused and does not lead to a possible addiction. Video games can also be a positive experience for a child with ADHD. A study commissioned by Pop Cap determined that video game play could improve a child’s self esteem, increase the attention span, and relieve stress. There are even video games used by therapists and educators to help improve the concentration of children with ADHD.
The amount of time that children play video games has rapidly increased over the years. The increase in video game playing may lead some parents to believe that their child is addicted. Parents must be able to make a distinction between true addiction and a tendency to play video games a lot. A true behavioral addiction has a damaging effect on the child’s ability to function. True video game addiction will also interfere with various areas of the child’s life and affect the child socially, academically, and psychologically.
Symptoms of video game addiction and tips to resolve this problem
There are certain symptoms that accompany a video game addiction. Some common symptoms of video game addiction include skipping household chores to play, playing to escape problems or reality, and failing academically due to excessive gaming.
If a parent or caregiver of an ADHD child discovers or suspects that their child is battling or developing a video game addiction, there are steps that can be taken. First, parents should immediately reduce the amount of time that the child plays video games. Second, it’s wise to replace video gaming with other activities that will interest the child. Finally, enrolling the help of an ADHD counselor may be necessary if the above steps do not work.