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Computer games: can too much damage development?

Bear in mind that not all video games are bad. There are many educational games made for children, as well as complex games for older children that promote learning and organised thinking.  Games can be used to develop your child's fine motor skills and improve coordination. However, the problem lies with games that are played for hours on end, often with violent, or adult themes. Excessive time spent on game playing affects your child physically, psychologically, emotionally and socially.

Time spent on video games eats into other daytime activities, such as playing with other children, practising creative skills, exercising and reading. Most games are played solo, with the exception of multiplayer games played over an internet connection. The kind of interaction with older children and adults on game servers, is very often not suitable for young children.

Time spent on video games should be added to time spent just watching television. This will give you the total time spent in front of electronic screens per day. Children who spend too much time watching television tend to perform badly at school and have trouble learning as they get older. The older your child is, the more difficult it becomes to change bad television and gaming habits.

Games with violent, aggressive themes can promote an aggressive mindset in young children. The effect of seeing game characters die or get injured many times per session, negates feelings of empathy for a child. This kind of numbness to the suffering of other can affect their perception of real-world events.

It is best to stay involved in your child's game playing. Always research games before buying, observe the age restrictions and choose games that you and your child will enjoy. Limit game time per day from a young age.

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