Parents worry about mobile-game obsessed kids

A teenager hotline report says that 16 percent of calls made by parents sought advise on their children's obsession with mobile games and online live streaming.

Parents are increasingly worried about their children’s indulgence in mobile games, a report by the city’s teenager hotline suggested.

While parent-children relationship and children’s anxiety about their school performance remained top concerns, more parents sought expert opinions to deal with their children’s obsession with mobile games and online live streaming hosts compared to previous two years.

It accounted for 16 percent of all their calls.

The hotline, 12355, received 6,466 calls from parents and children in 2017 — 66 percent from parents. Among them, 56 percent were from Shanghai and 44 percent from elsewhere in China.

Consultants at the hotline also dealt with 13 emergencies and “very complicated cases” last year, among which six involved sexual crimes.

“In those cases, the parents were very much unprepared for such situations, and social support was wanting,” said Wang Kai, vice head of Shanghai 12355 Center.

The hotline is a national project initiated in 2004, and in Shanghai it’s run by Shanghai Youth League.

In Shanghai, the first online chatting function was introduced in December last year and mainly targets teenagers.

In the past month, it had recorded 701 chats. Topics included anxiety, depression, desire to avoid school and pain after breaking up with someone in a relationship.

Currently 528 volunteers work with the hotline, including teachers, government and company workers, who are all certificated consultants.

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