With gambling addiction officially recognized by the World Health Organization as a mental illness, we ask our experts for guidance on what it is and what steps parents can take to protect children from developing the condition.
Since gambling addiction has been officially recognized as a mental illness by the World Health Organization, we ask our experts for guidance on what it is and what steps parents can take to protect children from developing the disorder.
Gaming disorder is listed in a draft document that has yet to be finalized. This is important because the WHO guide is used by doctors to diagnose disorders. It lists symptoms such as impaired control over gambling, increased priority, and escalation of gambling despite negative consequences.
Issue for parents
The problem for parents is that it can confuse healthy enthusiasm and enjoyment with a clinical disorder. We also need to use these labels carefully so as not to neglect other mental health issues.
That is, it provides helpful language for determining when children are drifting away from pleasure and eager play into less healthy patterns. While children who don’t stop playing during dinner certainly don’t have a disorder, parents should keep an eye on any child who neglects relationships, exercise, schoolwork, and personal hygiene to play games.
Play together and stay engaged
It is important for parents to focus on more than just the individual child exhibiting this behavior. It has been my experience that this is both a parenting problem and a childhood disorder. The best way to address this, in most cases, is to encourage parents to be present in their children’s gaming world.
Play together, set healthy boundaries and actively find a variety of activities that children can consume online. This approach, especially started at a young age, will make gambling safe and meaningful for most young people.
It’s not easy if you’re not familiar with games, but I’ve created concise weekly videos to help parents who fear their children are addicted to games, which can be accessed through my Patreon project.
Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov, Esq
Addiction can mean something very scary for parents and caregivers. If parents find that their child won’t get off the tablet, game console or computer when called, they may complain that their child is "addicted" when in fact they think their child is "overusing online games" This, screen balancing and perhaps even a digital detox may be recommended.
With the recent inclusion of "gambling disorder" in the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases, parents need to understand what a gambling disorder is and how they can prevent their children from developing this "addiction".
The clinical definition of gambling addiction
Addiction in clinical terms is a pathological condition diagnosed under certain criteria.
For example, gaming disorder is defined as "by impaired control over gaming, an increasing priority of gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and the continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences." It is important to note that this pattern of behavior has lasted at least 12 months and has resulted in difficulties with family, friends, socializing, education, and other areas of functioning.
Ask questions to determine if they have the condition
Beyogen on guidelines produced by child protection professionals, scientists and researchers at EU Kids Onlineparents should not automatically assume that their child’s use of digital media is problematic, but ask themselves:
– Is my child physically healthy and sleeping enough?
– Does my child connect socially with family and friends (in any way)?
– Is my child busy with school and does she reach it?
– does my child pursue interests and hobbies (in any form)?
– Is my child having fun and learning with digital media?
Take steps to deal with it
If the answers are yes, parents consider whether their fears about digital media use are well-founded. If the answers are no, "these particular parents and children may need to implement regulations and restrictions to address the problematic use."
In other words, parents and caregivers can counter excessive use of online games by taking steps to achieve balance in their homes:
Set guidelines for screen balance
Find creative ways to accommodate playtime and technology time balanced with outdoor activities or creative activities without technology
Make sure that the games are age and content appropriate
Notice how your children interact with their devices and games (aggressive, irritable, may result in less screen time).
One last point for parents to remember is that studies indicate that gaming disorders affect only a small portion of people who engage in online games. Don’t panic. Parent.
Dr. Linda Papadopoulos
There is nothing wrong with your child playing and enjoying an online game or video console, but like most things in the online world, it is a matter of proportion.
While it’s normal to enjoy games, they are designed (many by behavioral scientists) to be engaging after all. The problem arises when children and teens begin to neglect other areas of their lives in order to play video games, or when video games are the only way they can relax, as over time a child may begin to turn to video games as a way to deal with difficult life problems.
Recognize the signs of a gambling addiction
It’s important to watch for signs that your child is becoming too addicted to gambling. You may notice the following:
They talk incessantly about their game, that they play for hours and become defensive or even angry and aggressive when they are made to stop.
Another sign to watch out for is the disruption of daily needs such as eating and sleeping. You may even experience physical symptoms if you spend too much time online, z. B. Dry or red eyes, pain in your fingers, back or neck, or complaints of headaches .
Finally, they may appear busy, depressed or lonely, as some games can be quite isolating. If you notice any of these signs in your child, it’s a good idea to fix the problem as soon as possible.
Steps to take to prevent this
Set the parameters when it comes to how long they may play. Don’t allow them to have technology in their rooms after lights out, and make sure they have alternative activities, whether it’s sports or clubs that get them to engage with peers In the real world – if you’re still concerned, seek the help of a professional counselor.