Experts Think These Games Could Be Creating Behavior Problems for Children

As parents, all we want is for our child to live a full and healthy life. Through no fault of our own, we sometimes inadvertently expose our child to practices that could cause behavior problems for children. One of those inadvertent examples are the things we buy our children to entertain them. Some experts think that these games could be having an adverse effect on our children’s behavior that can be both good and bad.

Why this is important

Happy family in the park evening light. The lights of a sun. Mom, dad and baby happy walk at sunset. The concept of a happy family.Parents hold the baby's hands.

Parents use educational games to help their children learn. | iStock.com/Lacheev

A lot of parents can be worried that their child might have some social disorders. There are many things that we can do to help mitigate that risk as the child is growing. Some games promote the ability to improve your child’s cognitive functions through brain games, but can those games can pose a risk themselves.

Furthermore, is there any evidence that a violent game can lead to actual violence? The results may surprise you.

If you’re concerned that games may be affecting your child, there are some ways to correct the ship. Just follow us through the story and we’ll have some solutions at the end.

Next: Let’s start with the basics.

What problems can develop in a child’s behavior from games?

dog hired by a library in Tartu

Certain games can leave children distracted and unable to focus. | RAIGO PAJULA/AFP/Getty Images

Children can develop all sorts of behavioral issues from playing certain types of games. That can make it difficult for the child to communicate with others later in life. These issues can lead to depression, antisocial behavior, and anxiety. So it’s important to watch what they’re doing with their time in the day.

Next: This type game promises success, but does it work?  

Brain games are said to help children

Little child with tablet computer on the lap

Does the good outweigh the bad? | iStock.com/danr13

Brain games are the games that children play to help them learn how to do arithmetic, spelling, or solve puzzles. Sometimes there’s a clever way all three subjects are included. While some of these games are proven to help with niche areas, they may be having an adverse effect in other developmental areas when there are heavily relied upon.

Next: While they may be successful at doing that, they also affect social abilities.

Too much screen time

little girl using tablet pc with parents at airport

Too much screen time is really unhealthy. | michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

The intense, prolonged screen time can lead to a lack of social abilities. Millennials, especially, are having trouble with normal everyday social interactions. They aren’t looking people in the eyes, they lack certain skills in dealing with their emotions, and they are more likely to be depressed or suicidal.

Next: Do violent games beget violence?

Evidence points toward violent behavior after some games

Violent video games can have a negative impact. | Scyther5/Getty Images

We have been under the impression since the dawn of media that exposure to violence causes our children to become more violent. There have been studies that have shown a link between violent video games and violent behavior. Scientific American thinks this idea in our culture is akin to ” a barnacle clinging to a hull, it’s not easily dislodged.”

Next: Here’s why this idea could actually be wrong.

The experiments didn’t go long enough

children and technology, playing with iPads

Tests weren’t thorough enough. | ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Scientific American shows us that the studies that were done to find a link between violence and violent games are flawed in their nature. They say that “the problem is that many of the findings, especially when applied to children’s media and play, are misleading at best.”

Most of the experiments that were performed were extremely short and were inherently designed to entice a reaction. A much longer experiment would be needed to prove that connection.

It’s worth noting that the number of violent instances committed by youthful offenders has gone down while the proliferation of violent video games has gone up according to Scientific American and the DOJ.

Next: Here’s what you do if your child does develop some issues you think could stem from games.

Institute different strategies

Let your kids feel like they have a say. | iStock

A lot of the time, bad behavior in children can stem from a perceived lack of control of their environment. If you are able to provide choices to the child, they will feel more in control of their world. A lot of parents become so reliant on one solution (games) that they forget that there are myriad of solutions out there to grab from. The more choices you provide, the better off the child is.

Next: If anger is a big problem, this one solution is extremely successful.

Encourage the child to be more active

Two children mplays after they have been dropped by their parents at the entry to the Ikea store

It’s important to keep your kids active. | SVEN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images

Lashing out as a child comes with the territory. It’s the method in which we vent our anger that is important. As adults, we have already developed our coping mechanisms, so it seems strange that another human wouldn’t be able to do it as well. As a parent, you need to teach your child to release that anger in a more constructive way.

Physical activity is an incredible way to do that. That can include games like football, basketball, or soccer. Those are all much more healthy choices anyways. You can include them in your “providing choices” strategy.

Next: Heck, here’s a classic move that we tend to forget.

Create incentives for good behavior

You should reward good behavior. | Monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

Positive reinforcement is an incredible way to create a more positive behavioral development for your child. That’s where rewards come into play. By rewarding your children for good behavior, they should choose that over the bad behavior. So go ahead and reward your child whenever possible, despite so many saying its bad; the science says it’s good.

Next: The big take away from this article.

Games are just another type of drug

Video games and should be allowed in moderation.| Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Just like with all drugs, taking too much can hurt you mentally and physically. When it comes to games, there are some benefits that a child can gain. The trick is to limit the amount of time they have with the games that could be influencing their behavior. You could even work the games into that reward system we spoke about earlier.

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