The top 3 things to know to begin appropriate management.
To be clear, video game play does not cause ADHD. However, if you're concerned about your child's video game play and what it's doing to their already fragile ability to pay attention to their schoolwork or other matters, you're likely justified.
As we've noted in previous posts, video game play by ADHD children has been studied for many years. These children tend to complain of more inattentiveness, more behavioral problems, and impulsivity in comparison to ADHD children that do not play video games (Chan 2006, Swing 2010, Gentile 2012).
Top 3 things to know to begin appropriate management:
1. Know a game's rating before you buy it for your child.
2. There are many types of video games.
3. A video game should not be used as a babysitter.
Know a game's rating before you buy it for your child. Games are rated just as movies are rated. Video game ratings are issued by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB).
ESRB Rating Categories:
eC EARLY CHILDHOOD
Content is intended for young children.
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
e10+ EVERYONE 10+
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
AO ADULTS ONLY
Content suitable only for adults ages 18 and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
RP RATING PENDING
Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials related to a game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game's rating once it has been assigned.
Good parenting means limiting your child to games appropriate for his or her age. It is not healthy to expose your child to excessive violence, mutilation, or sexual activity until they are mature enough to process these stimuli.
Video games cannot be lumped together, and the classification of video games is quite extensive. Games can be action adventure, action, first person shooter, simulation, strategy, role playing, etc. Know the types of games your child is interested in and be able to discuss them with him or her.
Video games are not babysitters. Screen time should be limited.