Susan bought her 6-year-old son John an iPad when he was in first grade. John’s school had begun using the devices with younger grades so Susan wanted to do what was best for her boy but there was a thing called gameaddicted that she did not know about.
Can games be educational and can they help kids with developing in life?
Susan was letting John play some educational games on his new iPad. Eventually, he discovered Minecraft, which the technology teacher assured her was “just like electronic Lego.” At first, Susan was quite pleased. John seemed addicted in the cube-world of the game. As his behavior started going bad, she tried to take the game away but John threw temper tantrums. She could not understand how her boy had become so addicted to the game.
Are games drugs and can they be addicting for kids?
We now know that those iPads, smartphones, and Xboxes are a form of a digital addictingdrug. Dr. Andrew Doan, the head of addiction research for the Pentagon and the US Navy has been researching video game addictions. A kid’s brain on Minecraft looks like a brain on drugs. Once a kid has crossed the line into true tech addiction, treatment can be very difficult. The handbook of “Internet Addiction” by Dr. Kimberly Young says that 18 percent of college-age that suffer from tech addiction.
Once a person crosses the line into full-blown addiction–drug they need to detox before any other kind of therapy can have any chance of being effective. A person can live without drugs the problem is with tech addiction, tech is everywhere.
How can you make your child happier without addicting games?
When I speak to my 9-year-old twin boys, I have honest conversations with them about why we don’t want them having tablets or playing video games. I’ve helped them to understand that if they get caught up with screens and Minecraft like some of their friends have, other parts of their lives may suffer.
Amazingly, they don’t need much convincing as they’ve seen first-hand the changes that their friends have undergone as a result of excessive screen time.
How John battled his addiction with Minecraft
Four years later, after much support and reinforcement, John is doing much better today. He has learned to use a desktop computer in a healthier way, and has gotten some sense of balance back in his life: He’s playing on a baseball team and has several close friends in his middle school. No computer in his bedroom and a dinner at the dinner table without tech are all part of the solution.