Computer and Video Game Use

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The school counsellors often receive referrals from parents and Year Advisers regarding students’ use of computers and the internet and its negative impact on the students’ study skills, family life and socialisation with peers. The following may be helpful to both families and students in dealing with this possible problem.

Computer Use or Computer Addiction - Effects Of Computer Games

Apart from exercising your child’s thumbs, the effects of computer games are mixed.

The downside of computer games is that they can ruin a child’s imagination and can be so compelling they become addictive. There have been some students in therapy for whom the withdrawal of the computer resulted in a grief reaction comparable to the loss of a family member! A few other downsides:

Young people with low self-esteem, social anxiety or psychosocial vulnerabilities may seek solace in computer games. If you are neglected, anxious or depressed, visiting a place where you can build cities, win wars and score points to become the world champion is a pretty compelling thing to do. If you are experiencing powerlessness and get even a hint of power through violent video games you are likely to over-value the usefulness of violence as a way of solving problems. Most teenagers can differentiate between reality and fantasy. Parents need to parent their children and that requires them to involve their children in a number of activities of which computer games may be one but certainly not the main one.

Some social networking sites have strong privacy settings. Facebook has recently tightened theirs due to user and media pressure to restrict information automatically shared. Show your child how to use these settings to limit who can view their online profile, and explain to them why this is important. All young people using the net and mobile phones need to be aware not to give out their name or personal details.

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