As some of you may know, my son Alfie is 8 years old – which means he is very much into his video games, YouTube and anything technology based.
Just very recently I have noticed his mood change dramatically when he is told to get off the XBOX, go outside or get on with his homework. What once was a bit of fun, has now turned into an issue which I’m not quite sure how to resolve.
He didn’t have a great year last year, he went through many changes, had to say goodbye to people he shouldn’t have had to and, for a while, gaming was some kind of escape mechanism he would use to not only take his mind off things, but to also block out his ‘really annoying’ little sister, too.
So for a while I let him spend a lot of time playing video games, I wanted him to be happy, content and I didn’t want to set any restrictions because his life, at that point, had been restricted enough.
I wasn’t even sure if video games could become addictive, until I tuned into This Morning the other day, and saw other parents, not just me, complaining about their children and the ongoing battle of how much technology time they have. Before then, although I knew Alfie spent a lot of his time playing video games, it hadn’t once crossed my mind that this is a major issue for mums, like myself, all over the country.
In some ways, it made me feel better to know I wasn’t alone. My child wasn’t the only child kicking and screaming whenever I told him to turn his XBOX off, or ask him to do simple tasks which meant he would have to look away from a glowing screen. Although it gave me a sense of relief knowing that; it also terrified me to think it was an addiction; it can’t be… Can it?
I’m all for embracing modern day technology, especially as that’s what our children are growing up with. Rather than turning their heads from every TV or computer screen, I let them explore this world of technology and not prevent them from having fun or learning.
We’re no longer living in the stone ages – and the more people begin realise that, the better the world will be.
But when is enough, enough? How can you tell a child that enjoys technology so much, to take a break? I’m talking waking up in the morning and asking to play Fortnite, rushing home from school and turning on the laptop to watch YouTube videos.
Don’t get me wrong, Alfie is very lucky that he has the option to play outside with his friends, where we live is very child friendly and I am able to watch him outside with his friends from practically every window in the house.
Is this becoming a serious issue? I would love to know your thoughts.
My issue has never been with video games, or YouTube videos, or any kind of technology that my son has access too. It’s how his mood changes entirely when he has to remove himself from his XBOX or laptop, step out of the virtual world and step back into the real one.
I definitely think I will start being more stern on how much screen time he is allowed, at the moment there are no boundaries and I definitely feel that is a fail on my part.
Is your child addicted to technology?