No parent with a pre-adolescent or adolescent child will be caught by surprise if, analyzing the addiction caused by video games, we also talk about Fortnite. And it is that this video game is causing a sensation among boys and girls around the world. Its popularity is so great that parents cannot help wondering to what extent our children could be addicted to its enjoyment. And the truth is that Children under the age of 12 should not play Fortnite.
To learn more about Fortnite and the degree of acceptance it has among children today, we have spoken with the psychologist Borja Quicios who has direct contact with children between 7 and 17 years old every day. In his experience, children of these ages (despite the wide age range) love to play Fortnite with their friends. However, not all of them are old enough to try this online game. According to this expert, the age at which children play Fortnite up to 12 years old.
To this day, prohibiting or preventing children from using technological devices such as tablets, consoles or mobile phones does not make any sense. Unlike, if the child does not use them it will be considered rare in front of society and can even be rejected. We must understand that video games are one more type of game and that if it is combined with other types of ways of playing it is beneficial.
For this reason, it will be from the age of 3 when children can have experiences with them. It is true, however, that from 3 to 12 years old they should play games that stimulate their imagination and cognitive abilities.
From the age of 12, the most suitable games for children are those that allow them work the strategy. And it is that children of this age are already capable of sustaining attention and concentration. This is precisely the recommended age for children to play Fortnite, at least from the Battle Royal mode. At the age of 12, they are already more aware of what screen addiction is and they know that they should not put aside other tasks to play the console longer.
We tend to think that Fortnite is more appropriate for children, since it does not have images of blood and the aesthetic is similar to that of cartoons. However, the game still has a medium degree of violence. That is, the essence of the game is still to kill everyone and be a champion for doing it.
Borja tells us: 'Recently one of the 8-year-olds I work with, talking about what we were going to do on vacation, told me:'Me, play Fortnite'(with a tone of surprise, which implied that he was not contemplating other possible entertainment for his days off). I suggested activities such as going to the park, playing board games, etc. and the conversation ended with: Borja, 'No Fortnite, No party' (without Fortnite there is no fun)! '
There are several reasons why Fortnite is so addictive for kids. First of all, it is a free game, so it is more accessible for the little ones (although different elements can also be purchased in the game).
However, the video game has many other elements that attract this type of audience. The graphics are of good quality, it has humor, there are some dances that have become popular around the world, the continuous updates with new game options or different types of 'skins' (which do have to be paid for). In fact, it is so engaging that there are already many children who receive their pay in 'turkeys' which is the official currency of the game.
In addition, as it is a short and fast game (since, for example, in Battle Royal mode you only have 'one life') it is easy fall into the trap of 'one more time' or 'one more game'. As children learn to play and survive they put aside the feeling of having lost to move closer to the feeling of 'almost winning'. This makes the desire to win very powerful and they want to play again.
Faced with the fear of not knowing how to separate what is a hobby from an addiction, many parents wonder if their children are addicted to screens. The psychologist Borja Quicios speaks of addiction from the moment in which heVideo games take time away from other activities like studying, sports or family interaction. This is when we can start to worry.
So what do we do so that children use screens for less time? Let's see some keys.
1. Banning the console doesn't usually work
Video games on mobile devices, consoles, tablets and computers are a reality of our society and children love them. It would be totally unproductive to prohibit their use, especially considering that video games are not harmful by themselves. The damages they cause depend on the use made of them. Therefore, it will be essential that parents and children use common sense and 'speak the same language'.
2. Put rules and limits on children
Since banning doesn't make sense, it's better for parents to come up with some rules and limits. To do this, we must take into account the age of our children and what we want to achieve.
3. Negotiate with children
Through negotiation we can establish some limits that parents and children agree on. In this way, they will make children more willing to respect the rules.
4. Offer alternatives to video games
When they are teenagers it is more difficult for parents to impose discipline, so it is advisable to offer alternatives of outdoor fun, both with friends and within the family. In other words, it is the child who must find in alternative activities a greater pleasure than being in front of a screen. This work is family, school and, in general, the environment that surrounds the child. And it is not easy, since it requires time and effort.
5. Effort, time and patience
Parents have to arm themselves with effort and patience so that accompanying their children in this process of 'detoxifying' is easier.
6. Ask a professional for help
If we have tried everything and the result has not been favorable, we do not have to be afraid to consult a professional.
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