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Video Games & ADHD – Why it can Cause Chaos?

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Video Games and ADHD

Almost 1 out of 10 children in the United States suffers from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and it’s the most prevalent mental disorder in children within the US. Moreover, these children show symptoms such as lack of attention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. That’s why they find it hard to build interest in any athletic activity or sports.

However, by playing video games, children with ADHD can educate themselves while improvising their eye-to-hand coordination. Additionally, they can also develop communication skills by connecting with like-minded kids. 

But gaming might deviate children with ADHD from their studies and outdoor sports. Even if taken seriously, this activity video gaming obsession in ADHD children. Thereby, parents must be aware of their kids’ gaming hours and routines. 

Why do video games appeal to children with ADHD?

Children with ADHD find video games very appealing because they seem to get distracted in the real world. That’s why they can hyperfocus while playing video games. Furthermore, children having ADHD find it impossible to hold communication or make friends. The latter also pushes them away from playing in fields with other kids. 

Therefore, computer games are secure for them. For instance, if a child suffering from ADHD misses a goal in a football game in front of the audience, then he’s going to feel low. But when that child is making a wrong move in a video game, no one will judge him publicly. Additionally, video games errors aren’t going to hurt their academic scores. Instead, a child becomes a better gamer while doing these mistakes.

Furthermore, a child will learn the specific trick he is missing while playing a game. Thereby, video games satisfy kids with ADHD when they are winning games. Also, these games won’t give a child a sense of failure or punishment. 

Schedule your Child Gameplay

Parents of kids with ADHD understand the fact that their children lack self-regulation. Especially, when these children interact with the pleasurable activity, they tend to do hyperfocus. Therefore, parents must plan their children’s video gaming hours, or else they may overuse video games.

Additionally, both parents have to decide this schedule mutually while taking care of certain questions such as:

  • How many hours of video gaming will be allowed on school days?
  • Does a child need to complete his/her homework first?
  • Which sites are safe for online gaming?
  • Will any extra gameplay be permissible on weekends?

After making a proper timetable, parents must inform their child about these regulations and allow him or her to give any suggestions to maintain effective communication within a family. 

Give your child an alternative to video gaming

Sometimes when parents reduced their kids’ gameplay, they don’t follow them due to their differences. In this case, there is a possibility that they can develop addiction towards video gaming which can cause disturbance in the treatment of kids with ADHD. Thereby, parents should give their children alternatives to video gaming so they occupy them after school. 

The best way is to find an alternative is by observing the child and finding favorite activities except gaming. Most of the kids having ADHD dislike being a part of group sports. Thereby, selecting sports that focus on individual performance such as golf, tennis, swimming or gymnastic will do work for these kids.

However, choosing a non-competitive group activity such as music classes, or arts and crafts course will encourage children to explore their artistic capabilities while keeping them away from video games. Additionally, parents must plan a weekend trip to the hillside for children with ADHD because they enjoy their outdoor time in solitary more than anything.

How to diagnose your child gaming addiction?

Parents have to watch out for these signs to diagnose whether their child with ADHD is having a gaming addiction or not:

  • Spending more time in front of the computer
  • Showing lack of interest in other activities such as homework
  • Cutting off from friends or family 
  • Feeling shameful or guilty about gaming
  • Having physical pain such as backache or headaches
  • Aggressive behavior when resisted to playing games 

These signs may show that a kid with ADHD is suffering from video gaming addiction. Thereby, parents must talk with their children to address their issues. However, it is best to have a session with a psychotherapist as they will advise copying mechanisms that can treat gaming-related addiction in children with ADHD.

References:

  1. https://www.additudemag.com/is-your-child-hooked-on-video-game/ 
  2. https://www.mightier.com/articles/adhd-and-video-games/ 
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/the-link-between-adhd-and-video-games 

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Linda Barbara

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