Looking for a way to increase your child’s self-esteem?
Lots of parents of children with ADHD are. And now, here’s a simple way, according to one study, that is. Let them enjoy those playing those video games now and then.
That’s right! According to a study commissioned by Pop Cap, an online gaming company, playing casual video game playing can not only improve a child’s self esteem, but also his attention span, and memory. In addition, it can also help to relieve stress!
The study looked at more than 13,000 casual game players. Of these nearly 3,000 of the respondents said that they or someone in the care had ADHD.
Surprised? Perhaps you really shouldn’t be, explains Dr. Carl Arinoldo. He’s a psychologist in Stony Brook, New York. “It seems that children with ADHD often lack that sense of control that comes much more easily to their non-ADHD peers,” he says. “Playing casual games . . . is one area in their lives in which these children can experience some sense of control with the added benefit of achieving success in something.”
And that, he explains, serves “to enhance the child’s self-concept and self-esteem.”
Check out the entire article here.
The study above was commissioned by an online game company. I can’t say that I’ve read the study to let you know if there are biases in it. The fact that it was funded by a gaming company does suggest a bias.
That said, the conclusion makes sense for a ‘CASUAL gamer’ playing games can increase self esteem.
What about the negative?
It is a general trend in our society that kids are spending more time in front of a screen (i.e. TV, computer, gaming system) than they ever have in history. Kids don’t just go outside to ride bikes or play with friends as they used to. There is a clear increase in childhood obesity which is likely related to this.
How does this relate to kids with ADHD?
Video games are very stimulating – and thus are much easier to pay attention to than school work. Connecting with people online can be much easier than doing so in real life. Kids can be more defiant with their parents when they don’t want to turn the game off for fear of losing their progress on ‘this level’.
The biggest problem in this area for kids with ADHD is the overuse of video games.
In fact, video games can actually become addictive, and show the classic symptoms of addiction – i.e. tolerance, dependence and continuing despite harmful consequences.
Tolerance: This refers to the fact that the same amount doesn’t produce the same response. In alcohol, this could be that the 4 drinks doesn’t make you drunk anymore – and you ‘graduate’ to 6 drinks. Just ask any active (addicted gamer) if they would like to take more time to play whenever they can.
Dependence: This refers to feelings of withdrawal if one cannot have access to the addicted substance. In alcohol, one can go through a physiological withdrawal. In video games, if one is a gamer – of many hours per day – if the video game system goes off (due to damage to it, or parental restrictions), addicted players get angry, feel lost, and may have sadness or acting out behavior.
Harmful Consequences: This refers to negative consequences coming directly as a result of the addiction, but the person ignores them. In alcohol, it could be charges for driving under the influence, losing one’s job, etc. In video games – it can be failing school, getting into fights with friends or family, or losing motivation towards one’s goals.
Are all video games addictive?
All video games can be addictive.
Ones which are particularly concerning are the very long, involved ones – such as’World of Warcraft’.
Here is a youtube video which describes this:
The Bottom Line:
Casual video games can be fun and can build self esteem and increase social interaction.
Moderate video game usage can have its negative aspects – i.e. poor social interaction, more defiance, less time of physical activity and more defiance.
Excessive video game usage can lead to addiction – and similar to other addictions, one has to get away from the addiction, and receive treatment. In the same way an alcoholic can’t have just ‘one drink’, someone addicted to video games has to take a complete break, and not just play for ‘one level’.
It is clear that video games are here to stay. In recent years, video game earnings are getting close to those of Hollywood.
Please share your take on this issue below.
[tags] video games, ADHD, addiction, World of Warcraft [/tags]