Cam Adair, in recovery from gaming disorder himself and founder of INTENTA (mission: to equip mental health professionals with resources on digital disorders to empower an intentional digital culture), provides some tips to help prevent gaming from becoming an addiction. He says it’s important to focus on maintaining key protective factors in the family, such as having a diversity of hobbies and interests (so gaming doesn’t become the only thing they do to fulfill their needs). He also encourages supporting well-being habits, such as sleep hygiene and physical activity, and to be consistent in your boundaries and limits.

As a gamer begins to play more excessively they will do all they can to increase the amount of time they can play. One strategy a gamer will implement is to remove barriers or obstacles that occupy time they could be gaming. They will stop doing sports, lose interest in other activities, manipulate your emotions and become the most effective lawyers in town to argue for maximum gaming time.

Stand strong and be firm in the values you hold for your family. It’s a lot easier to prevent gaming from becoming a problem than it is to turn the situation around once it’s become one.