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Q. What is your recommendation for my son who plays video games for 8 hours?

Answered by
Dr. Hira Chaudhry
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 23, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 10, 2020
My son is playing 8 hours of video games since we started isolating. What’s your recommend action for this?

Dr. Hira Chaudhry

Family Physician General Practitioner

Dear, Welcome to icliniq and thank you for your query.

Video games tend to be very addictive and particularly during this time when there aren't many activities to do. Another reason for this is that our interaction with the natural environment has become limited.

I suggest you may try the following to help your son with this problem:

  1. The most important thing with any addiction is the realization and having the will power to change, hence it is important that you discuss it with your son calmly and make him understand the side effects of this habit (e.g. headaches, insomnia etc).
  2. Habits can be hard to break hence you can install plug-ins on his gaming device which remind to take a break after every hour.
  3. You can also replace them with healthy habits such as ask him to exercise for at least half an hour in the middle of the day.
  4. He should interact more with the natural environment therefore you can have your lunch/dinner in your backyard, garden or rooftop.
  5. Engagement with other people is also important so you can do an activity together such as cooking or movie night.
  6. Games work on the mechanism of reward once we accomplish a task. You can introduce similar system if your son doesn't play for an hour you may reward him with his favourite meal or not asking him to do the dishes that day.

It is important to understand that arguing, yelling or scolding him won't help and would lead to negative consequences. Make sure you keep reminding him about the harmful effects of this behaviour politely and with reason.

I hope it helps, if you have further queries please do not hesitate to contact me via query or you may also request for a video appointment where I can explain to him further about it.

Take care and have a great day.

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I like your ideas especially 5- Engagement with other people is also important so you can do an activity together such as cooking or movie night. 6- Games work on the mechanism of reward once we accomplish a task.

We went out this afternoon, and I’ve booked a call with you tomorrow. Hopefully you can talk to him too. Thanks for your help!!

Dr. Hira Chaudhry

Family Physician General Practitioner

Greetings. Dear,

Welcome back to icliniq. I'm glad that you found the suggestions helpful and I'm even more glad that you're taking this seriously. This isolation period is difficult for everyone around the world and is affecting children too. Problems can aggravate if left untreated for a prolonged time. I would be happy to counsel him and hopefully replace the unhealthy habits with healthier ones. If you have any queries don't hesitate to contact me.

Take care and have a great day.

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Ok thanks ! I’m trying another call with you next week with my son and daughter together maybe that will work.

My daughter seems to really like you thank you so much!

Dr. Hira Chaudhry

Family Physician General Practitioner

I'm glad to hear that. And yes I hope next week I can talk to too. Meanwhile, you may implement some of the ideas I suggested in my previous notes. Take care.

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