More parents turn to Juvenile Court for gaming addiction

SINGAPORE - The Juvenile Court is seeing more cases of children with an addiction to computer gaming as more parents seek help.

The Straits Times reported a number of cases where children became violent to family members, mutilated themselves, stole, or threatened suicide when they were forbidden from playing the games.

In every case cited, the parents sought a Beyond Parental Control Order, an action of last resort which appeals to the court to take over when parents give up, reported the English daily.

Most children are directed to counselling and rehabilitation programmes, but the more extreme ones are put in institutions.

The Singapore Children's Society, which does the first-line screening for the court, reported that 47 out of 523 cases taken to Juvenile Court were gaming addiction ones.

This is up from 33 out of 617 cases in 2010 and fewer than 10 out of 658 cases in 2006.

It also highlighted that in the first three months of this year, gaming addiction made up five out of 124 parents who went to Juvenile court seeking the control order.

Other parents seeking it include those whose children run away, keep late nights, play truant, smoke, steal, engage in sex or are violent.

dassa@sph.com.sg

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