Help for chil­dren’s gam­ing use

NewsMail - - NEWS - EMMA REID emma.reid@news-mail.com.au

HOW much is too much?

What will gam­ing do to the next gen­er­a­tion? And how do you stop your child from be­ing hooked?

These are ques­tions that will be raised by con­cerned par­ents at a spe­cial video game in­for­ma­tion ses­sion in Bund­aberg next week.

Health pro­fes­sion­als will be in at­ten­dance to give ad­vice to strug­gling par­ents.

Sim­ply play­ing a lot of video games does not au­to­mat­i­cally mean that a per­son has a prob­lem – it’s when the play­ing of games, such as Fort­night, over­takes other de­sires, and it con­tin­ues or es­ca­lates de­spite nega­tive con­se­quences.

Headspace Bund­aberg com­mu­nity and youth en­gage­ment of­fi­cer Cris­tel Sim­monds said it had been a “topic of con­ver­sa­tion” for many par­ents in the re­gion.

Mrs Sim­monds said dis­cus­sions would be open and in­clu­sive, look­ing at both the nega­tive and pos­i­tives of gam­ing.

She said some nega­tive af­fects par­ents had seen in their chil­dren in­cluded dis­rup­tive moods, dis­en­gag­ing from school and so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, up to the stage where it es­ca­lated to punch­ing holes in walls.

“It’s not Candy Crush these kids are play­ing,” she said.

“We will look at whether games are cre­at­ing some of these is­sues.

“And how gam­ing ef­fects young peo­ples be­hav­iour.”

Ear­lier this year The World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion of­fi­cially recog­nised “gam­ing dis­or­der” as a con­di­tion in its In­ter­na­tional Clas­si­fi­ca­tion of Dis­eases, say­ing that it was pos­si­ble to be ad­dicted to video games.

Tell­tale signs of on­line gam­ing prob­lems can in­clude pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with gam­ing and hid­ing gam­ing use.

Chil­dren may show dis­en­gage­ment from school life, de­fen­sive­ness and angry be­hav­iour.

The in­for­ma­tion ses­sion will be held at Headspace, 66 Woon­garra St, Bund­aberg. RSVP by Tues­day by phon­ing 4152 3931.

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