Time for your child to log off

Does your child have an addiction to video games? If so, you might need to take some action.

Video games- they’re as much a part of today’s entertainment culture as movies, music and television.

But how much time should children spend immersed in this digital ‘reality’?

While video games were one of the hottest Christmas gifts of 2017, their somewhat addictive nature has led to children as young as seven being diagnosed by psychologists as having a gaming addiction .

The Australian Communications and Media Authority found 95% of boys played video games on the internet during weekdays – four percent of those played more than nine hours. This doubled to more than seven percent on weekends.

One in 10 boys were also found to play internet games for five to eight hours a day during the week, increasing to one in five on weekends.

Psychologists have warned parents to be on the lookout for the warning signs of addiction, including withdrawal symptoms, continued use of gaming devices despite evidence of harm, signs of aggression when they’re forced to stop, lack of sleep, going without food and problems in social and academic areas.

The Road Ahead Editor and mum-of three Deb Eccleston said she’d seen firsthand how easily her two sons could become obsessed with their devices.

“My two boys could easily waste an entire day playing video games – once they are in the zone it’s hard to motivate them to do anything else,” she said.

“To avoid this, I rely on an app that restricts internet access on their devices to short periods of time and enforce ‘game-free Sunday’ every week.

“I realised early on that if they have too much screen time they become moody and unmotivated, and it’s best for everyone if we keep it to a minimum.”

Want to get the kids outside having fun? Check out RACQ’s discounts for inspiration.