Psychiatrists Advise Parents to Monitor their Kids’ Gaming

Research studies have conclusively proved that violent video games adversely affect kids’ mental health, say pediatricians in the US. They disagree with a recent US Supreme Court decision which overturned California’s ban on the sales of violent video games to children.

Recently, Pediatrics journal reported that violent videos disrupt preschoolers’ sleep. Child psychiatrists say kids below seven years react to exposure to violence by exhibiting symptoms like poor eating, poor sleep, wetting themselves, name-calling, kicking, hitting and biting.

Older kids are affected by symptoms like social withdrawal, fear, anxiety, bullying, social problems, fighting and academic issues. Psychiatrists say it is up to parents to guide and help their children make healthy media choices. They also advocate age restrictions similar to film ratings which limit children’s exposure to movies with bad language, drug usage or sex depiction.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says over-exposure to violence in video games, movies and television shows significantly affects the health of kids and teenagers. Exposure to media violence can cause fear, nightmares, desensitization to violence and aggressive behavior.

Child psychiatrists opine banning the sales of violent video games to children is not the ideal solution. It is an affront to their rights and besides the kids can buy such games online. Instead, they advise parents to strictly monitor and control their kids’ usage of television, computer and video games. Such a move will effectively lessen the impact of violent media images on unsuspecting kids.

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