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Understanding and Dealing with Gaming Problems: A Q&A with a Therapist

You mentioned that children are special cases because their ability to self-monitor and self-regulate aren't fully-developed. Can you elaborate more on that?

If you've spent any time around children, you realize they are not miniature adults. Their thought processes and perceptions are entirely different from mature adults. They lack the ability to delay gratification and need immediate rewards. They've not yet developed the capacity to appreciate ambivalence; issues appear to be black and white, good or bad. Young people struggle with impulse control, have limited ability to understand and regulate their emotions, and are easily overwhelmed by conflict. Most are unable to take the perspective of another.

This is why kids have parents. If left to their own devices they fail to bathe, eat properly, learn to get along with others, or develop a clear understanding of who they are. Most would certainly not go to school because the rewards for doing so don't come until far into the future, something they can't yet envision.

If we understand that kids are special cases, it's common sense that they need structure, support, guidance, and a variety of activities in which to develop competencies and feelings of success. Video games can bring opportunities for growth and success to kids; particularly when parents participate in the experience to some degree. Without balance or parental involvement however, problems can easily develop.

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Posted on December 2, 2006 | Comments (25) | TrackBack (0)

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