Does Playing Video Games Negatively Affect Children with ADHD?

Do you have a child with ADHD and assume that they are more interested and focused when playing video games? If the answer to the question is yes, you might want to check out the information about the benefits and rules that need to be applied when your children are playing video games below.

Before anything, it is better for you to know brief information about ADHD first. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is also more known as ADHD in short, is the name of a disorder that is more common in children and adolescents. Children with ADHD usually have hyperactive behavior, such as talking or moving a lot. Besides, they tend to have a hard time focusing on something and sometimes they are also impulsive.

ADHD kid addicted to playing video games

Video Games Can Help Children with ADHD to Focus

Compared to the average child, most children with ADHD are more interested in playing video games. For those who are wondering why, it is because the fast movement on the screen is able to attract their attention, so they do not have time to think about anything else.

There are several positive effects of playing games for children with ADHD. Those with ADHD who tend to have difficulty keeping quiet, easily bored, and easily distracted can turn into calmer ones and be more focused when playing games. Their attention will be focused on the screen because of the flashing lights, sound effects that come out, and interesting visual effects from the video.

In the United States, there are video games that are designed for therapy for children with ADHD. Aside from therapeutic purposes, video games can also bring fun to those with ADHD so that they have a positive effect on their mental health.

Read also: Some Positive Impacts of Video Games for Children

In addition, gameplay within video games can also build or enhance:

  • Hand and eye coordination
  • Strategy and problem solving skills
  • Planning ability and prioritization
  • Cooperation ability
  • Visual skills

In order to maximize the benefits of playing video games, make sure the games played by your little one are age-appropriate. Besides, you also have to choose educational games.

The Risk of Children with ADHD in Video Game Addiction

While it is true that video games can make children improve their focus, do not allow them to play them for too long if they have ADHD. It is because those with ADHD are at higher risk of experiencing video game addiction than other ones.

Therefore, parents should be active in helping children understand the limits of playing video games. Do not let them get addicted to video games and forget the real world, such as being reluctant to interact with friends and family.

Aside from that, pay attention if your children start having tantrums when told to stop or lose the game, staying up late to play video games, interacting less with family or friends, and experiencing decreased performance. These are the signs that you should limit the use of video games for your children.

The ideal durations of playing video games for children based on their school age are as follows:

  • Preschool age children: only with parental assistance for a very limited duration
  • Elementary school children: 1-1.5 hours per day, including TV viewing time
  • Junior high school children: 1.5-2 hours per day, including watching TV and accessing cell phones
  • Senior high school children: 2-2.5 hours per day

Actually, this duration can be negotiated according to academic needs of the children, especially for junior high school and senior high school children who may need more internet access.

Keep in mind that it is important for children with ADHD to get special treatment so that their behavior and skills can be formed properly. Video games are one of the ways that can be given to those with ADHD to practice some of their skills.

However, children also have to see and experience the outside world to practice many other skills. Basically, parents need to guide their little ones so that they do not spend a lot of time staring at screens, including playing video games on the TVs, computers, or cellphones.

Read also: This is the Right Time to Give a Cell Phone for Children

Not only that, parents also need to consistently provide rewards when their children obey the rules and consequences when they break the rules. By doing so, children can understand the importance of rules as well as the meaning behind these rules.

In addition, as a parent, you have to make rules and accompany your children when playing video games to minimize the negative impact. In case you find it hard to arrange this, do not hesitate to discuss it with a child psychologist.

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