Children and video games | Eyewitness News

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — If you have children or teenagers at home, chances are they like to play video games.

But when does gambling become worrying? While many children play video games without consequences, some can become obsessed, which worries parents. For some, gambling is a form of entertainment, but for others, the activity has negative consequences.

So when is gambling a cause for concern? Eyewitness News spoke to an area psychologist about children and games.

For many children like the Yoou brothers of Clarks Summit, play is one of the many activities they enjoy.

“We let them play for two hours on weekdays and four hours on weekends, only after they complete their tasks, we hand them over,” parent Tak Yoou said.

Although these boys play in moderation, some children may become obsessed with the game. Dr. Lauren Hazzouri is a licensed psychologist and says that if children play, it takes them out of real life because of how video games affect the brain. She says gambling is addictive, much like gambling.

“Research indicates that video games hit the pleasure center of the brain and release dopamine. As humans, every time we get a puff of dopamine, we want more dopamine, it’s the pleasure center of the brain. If kids are playing these video games from age eight, then kids get used to getting that dose of dopamine, so they’re going to want to play more and get it again,” Dr. Hazzouri said.

So when is video gaming a concern?

“Kids get isolated, kids get socially anxious. I’ve had kids who don’t know how to interact in real life in person. They’re socially awkward and need social skills training because most of their social skills come from using a gaming device online,” Dr. Hazzouri said.

And Dr. Hazzouri says that if video games get in the way of normal daily activities like playing outside with friends, that’s when parents should be concerned.

“There are concerns, but with proper guidance and support, we believe our boys will grow into good men,” Tak Yoou said.

Here are some guidelines for limiting your child’s play:

  • Play should only take place after your child has completed their responsibilities for the day.
  • Set clear boundaries for your child’s play. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the time allotted be no more than one hour on school days and two hours on non-school days.
  • Determine a realistic consequence for breaking the rules.
  • Make sure you know and approve of the games your child plays.
  • Save children’s play time.

“Whatever they want, they have to earn it with tokens. They will definitely empty the dishwasher and walk the dog because there’s a new game coming out on Friday. They won’t get it if they don’t. ‘have not done these things and taken responsibility for being part of this family,’ Dr Hazzour said.

Another tip is to enforce time limits through your internet service provider. Once they reach their allotted time, the internet shuts down. Kids might not like being cut off mid-game, but it’s effective.

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