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Friday, September 08, 2017

Your Kid Can Be Addicted To Games. What Should You Do?

Our children of today grow up in a digital world, a world filled with apps and where many are connected socially online. Playing games, looking up for information and sharing online is a norm to them. They grow up with handheld cell phones, tablet computers and many other conveniences of the digital world which allows them to play games with and be connected to friends.

Should parents forbid online time and game playing?

Placing limits and controls should be done to a certain extent but to forbid entirely is not realistic, not when the school uses the internet to hand out homework, not when communication between school clubs and members or between friends is largely done online through whatsapp groups or FB Messenger service. It is inevitable that our children will eventually find their way online. Placing too many restrictions will make a child resentful and left out. What we should do instead is to channel their love for games and curiosity about how things work into coding activities instead.

What can parents do to prevent excessive gaming and possible addiction?

  • put the PC or device in a common area in the house
  • keep all devices away at night before sleep
  • educate children about online safety and dangers of addiction
  • wherever possible have children do their homework away from the presence of devices unless it is required for the homework
  • watch out for signs of addiction
  • channel creativity and love for play into coding activities instead

Why channeling to coding activities help

It does not mean that a child who spends a lot of time online is necessarily addicted to gaming. There is a world of difference in a child who plays games for 2 hours compared to a child who learns how to create or make digital games or apps for 2 hours. They both spend 2 hours online.The digital world and digital devices or the internet are not the necessary evils. It is how we use it. We can choose to use it positively or negatively. We can choose to use the computer positively by allowing and encouraging kids to use computers in a positive way.

Just as the digital world is the norm to today's kids, coding is increasingly becoming the new literacy, as essential as learning the alphabets and math. Letting your kids learn to code instead of spending endless hours gaming is positive. Letting your child learn computational thinking in a structured and guided environment is positive. Allowing your kids to find out how things like apps and games work is positive. Let them learn how to create games instead of just playing them. Show them that the computer and other devices can be useful as an educational tool and fun too instead of only for games.

To open their minds to this possibility, you can start by sending them for a free 4 hour long coding activities class at KidoCode. Solaris,  Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Click here to claim your free trial class.



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