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Is your child too demanding? Throws tantrums, arrogant, Introvert or too much active? Not good in studies, slow learner, Violent, Impatient? If any of the above symptoms your child is showing then he or she might be suffering from TV or Gaming addiction.
TV and Video Games are necessary and we cannot deny their utility but addiction of TV is harmful for kids. Watching TV for more than 6 hrs a week can have serious but slow adverse effect on your child’s Health. It can affect Vision in long term and may result in obesity, anti Social behavior and poor self confidence. Children’s Imagination, Curiosity, Concentration and confidence are worst affected and it is, almost in every case, too late when we realize.
Gaming is another culprit. However continuously denied by gaming industry, Gaming is the main force behind insensitive and violent behavior among children, teens and young adults. In our society while parents do not discriminate among films of “A” or “U” certificates provided by CBFC or censor board, we don’t have any such body to certify the contents of a video Game. Video Games generally are associated with children and we parent usually don’t check the content but many games are not appropriate for children. There may be violence or explicit adult contents that can affect your child’s healthy development. Another point is that In a video game whenever there is an obstacle occurs, The hero (player) immediately have to shoot or destroy it and when this situation comes in real life the only solution in a child’s mind is —Shoot it, destroy it... remove it. In games there is no place for the outcomes of so many murders and killings. In real life even a police officer is accountable for a single bullet fired but in a game he is not accountable for anything or to anybody. There are always news floating that School kid opened fire on his classmates or teachers or in a mall claiming many lives just for kick or out of frustration. Till recently these types of teenage crimes were common only in developed countries but after the internet boom all these games are readily available to Indian Kids too. In Gurgaon few years back, a school kid killed his classmate to take revenge. Recently a child maybe 15 years old killed her teacher just because she insulted him in the class for his poor performance. These are extreme cases and we cannot relate all of them with gaming but still specialists and researchers are pointing at Violence in Movies, Games and Tv.
I am not saying that Video games are bad products; it is on the contrary a very good medium to develop eye hand and mind coordination. It is a superb tool for training different skills and great scope of entertainment but corporate competition and big money are making content more intoxicating. In India what makes it even worse that games are not censored, classified and parents are not aware..
Another effect of TV and Gaming Addiction is the early childhood obesity. As parent we are not encouraging our children to go in a park and indulge in physical activities. In the name of outing we always choose to go to nearest fast food joint or movie etc. Children are taking more and more empty calories without burring them. That can seriously affect children’s mental and physical health. Diabetes, BP, Heart Problems, Asthma, Liver and kidney problems are increased in children only due to the changing lifestyles.
Very small Children who are growing in a nuclear families with unlimited access to are suffering from many developmental problems like slower development of language and speaking, anxiety and irritability etc.
Then what is the solution? Well a balanced approach is always the best way. Do not eliminate TV and Games from your kid life but restrict their viewing hours and closely watch the content before buying a game or a film. Always respect censor ratings either it is a bollywood film or a video game. While going to movies pay attention to the ratings and if it is not suitable for your child do not take them to the movies. When i got the film review of the “Dirty Picture” from a six years old boy in my class i could not think the rationale of taking him for the movie! Be sensitive. Read reviews of a game and its contents online before you purchase it. Watch a game’s trailers on YouTube. Every film is not suitable for children so don’t carry them along with you whenever you go to movies. Be vigilant what they are doing on internet. It is still better and safe to socialize in real life then on so called social networking sites. Try to encourage them to develop some active hobbies. Take them to some hobby class and provide them an opportunity to socialize there. Keep them engaged in activities they like. Once they will find interests in activities they will surely dislike long TV hrs. Think twice over this issue and decide. For you help i am providing some links of the ratings of USA and Europe for Video Games. Whenever you buy a game, just look for these ratings.