I have a 11 year old son who is big time into gaming – even if isn’t all rough and killing people – it is still gaming! Minecraft is still gaming.
I am constantly telling my son what I think the problems with gaming are and he said I should write a post! So here it is . . .
My Son’s Story
My son, Luca, has a visual problem which means he feels more comfortable using the screen than he does in real life. This has been a dilemma for me. I was the Mum who said ‘only 2 hours of computer a day’ and really stuck to that. But over the years the time has climbed and climbed and now sometimes it is 11 hours before Luca emerges tired and agitated from his computer screen.
I have feared for my son’s eyes. I have feared for his nervous system. But I have felt powerless to change anything because my son would just complain of multiple symptoms if he had to encounter daylight, especially sunlight, without the screen. And I knew he wasn’t pretending. His distress is genuine. If I mentioned the word ‘rest’ he would wince at the thought of doing nothing without the screen. So I thought ‘Either my son has a supernatural ability to manage 10 -11 hours of computer time or something is going to give.’ And surprise surprise, it turns out he doesn’t have supernatural powers! (Well not that sort anyway!)
Following a bout of wobbly toothitis, poor eating and lack of sleep, Luca’s body started to send some messages that all was not OK. He started to have spasms in his gut developing into typical IBS symptoms. Weakness in the gut tends to run in our family and I just hoped Luca would be exempt but apparently not. Thankfully due to my own lengthy experience of working with my own health I knew what to do.
1.Help Luca with his diet. We talked about his body making too much acid as he had too many complex carbohydrates and too much sugar. Also constant excitement or anger contributes to us making too much acid. He had been living on pasta and cheese, bourbon biscuits and multiple hours of Minecraft games and videos! We talked about the need for balance in the diet with protein, less wheat grain, some oats, some rice, some fruit and vegetables (to alkalise the acid) and some dairy. We avoid beans and pulses and much raw food as we don’t feel this is easy for us to digest. And we drink 1 tbsp of kefir a day – a life saving remedy for anyone prone to yeast problems. All quite basic really and my son already knew it but suddenly he found more motivation to try to achieve it.
2. Teach Luca about rest and comfort. He says he just can’t rest but when he knew he felt too unwell to use his computer he did find the capacity to rest. We sat and watched cookery programmes together. He said that when our new neutral coloured kitchen is complete (in a few weeks time) he is looking forward to doing some cooking and trying out some recipes. As we sat together Luca actually let me cuddle him and he usually resists all contact because he is so hot, agitated and over stimulated from gaming. He usually just paces and twirls around the room talking one endless Minecraft monologue! I sit and listen and try to resist feeling dizzy and spaced out as much as I can! But on this occasion I felt Luca suddenly remember the wonderful benefits of being cuddled. He felt unusually calm and grounded.
3. Teach Luca about finding his natural rhythm. The problem with gaming . . . as I say, is that children lose touch with their natural sense of rhythm. If they were playing a board game or riding their bike they would naturally get hungry, tired or just feel they have had enough of that activity. However when children game they have so much adrenaline in their systems that they are completely out of touch with their natural rhythm. Luca can easily go 4 hours without blinking. Scary really!
These are pretty simple things but they make a massive difference to a child’s health and well-being Thankfully we can already see that if Luca eats well, has some rest, lets in some comfort and lives more to his own rhythm, he can stay well.
The problem with gaming . . . is that it can affect our health and well-being. Stay healthy!