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Counsellor's Corner

With the longest school holidays of the year fast approaching, I felt it an opportune moment to offer our parents and caregivers some information regarding new research into the links between problem gaming and problem gambling. This has long been assumed by parents of children who seem to display aggression and addiction symptoms while playing games online, but research has now shown a correlation between the two. So much so that the UK has legislated against the placement of loot boxes in games. Games where you can spend real money to purchase power-ups, game coins and skins were the most commonly played by adults who now have gambling problems. And a recent survey of NSW teens showed young people gambling online as young as 11 years.

While online communication and gaming have been shown to positively and negatively impact young people, we should all aim for balance. Online time should not be a substitute for interpersonal communication and time. One way around this is to use screen time as a reward for completing chores. Playing with your child is another way to discover what they play and what the game involves. But the most important skill to protect your child from addiction is emotional regulation.

Strategies to help gaming addictions (WebMD. 2021)

  • Set time limits for play and stick to them.

  • Keep phones and other gadgets out of the bedroom so you won’t play into the night.

  • Do other activities every day, including exercise. This will lower the health risks of sitting and playing for long stretches of time.

For help or more information on problem gaming or problem gambling, please email Relationships Australia Queensland at

Tamara Wickham

School Counsellor



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