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Could my kid be addicted to video games?

The word "addiction" gets used a lot to describe a certain kind of focused attention on media and technology. We say we're "addicted" to checking our email or "addicted" to watching Game of Thrones. Kids, however, might display what looks to be addictive behavior when they're only super engaged in creating something or getting to the next level in a game.

But if you have real concerns about your kid's behavior and notice mood changes, falling grades, mounting bills, or a lack of human interaction, you may want to talk with your pediatrician about the possibility of game addiction or the idea that another issue, such as depression, might be causing these problems.

Consider how much time you spend looking at screens, too. Make sure you're setting a good example at home by moderating your own technology use. And it's always a good idea to invite your child to do something together in the real world.

The Child Mind Institute contributed to this article. Learn more at childmind.org.

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