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Recognizing and addressing videogame addictions

Dear Editor,

Your editorial Online addiction is not a game raises needed awareness regarding the seriousness of this issue. Would it be appropriate to offer parents tools and techniques to “recognize the problem” and “catch excessive use before it veers into dependency”? Future commentary on this issue could also provide parents with a variety of strategies on how to convince their children to reduce a much coveted activity. Pointing out that child technology use patterns parallel parent use patterns, is also useful information for empowering eventual self responsibility by children.

Having been a pediatric occupational therapist for over 20 years, I have witnessed first hand the negative effects of technology on child development. Following are some tools and techniques that have proven successful for parents, teachers and therapists to address technology addictions in children. If you think your readership could benefit from these strategies, I would be happy to allow the Globe and Mail complementary access.

  • TV and Videogame Addiction Questionnaire
  • The Survivor Unplugged Challenge – guidelines for a one week technology ‘unplug’ for classrooms or homes
  • The TV and Videogame Schedule – families record TV and videogame time, and balance with alternate activities
  • TV and Videogame Fact Sheet
  • Unplug – Don’t Drug policy initiative

Your editorial has opened awareness with the general public, who are interested in exploring videogame addictions in greater detail. It is imperative that society act quickly in this area in order to prevent a reoccurrence of the unfortunate situation of the Crisp family.

Sincerely,

Cris Rowan, BScOT, BScBi, SIPT, Approved AOTA Provider
CEO Zone’in Programs Inc.
6840 Seaview Rd.
Sechelt, BC V0N3A4
604-885-0986 office, 604-885-0389 fax, 604-740-2264 cell
crowan@zonein.ca
website www.zonein.ca