Want to appear on Love Island 2019? Hire the Reality Star Squad to help get you there!

We’re launching a professional service to help you get cast for next year’s Love Island show – the Reality Star Squad.

We decided to launch the service after this year’s Love Island was the most popular yet, with around 85,000 people applying, which is more applicants than Oxford and Cambridge receive combined every year*! Additionally recent research shows 20% of millennials secretly want to be famous**, so there’s obvious demand for a service like this.

You can hire the Reality Star Squad here.

The aim of the squad is to coach those who want to spend the summer of 2019 in the Love Island villa, so they have the best chance of being cast by producers. Some professionals in the squad have had first-hand experience appearing on a show like Love Island and some have worked extensively within the TV and media industry.

The service is aimed predominantly at people aged between 18 and 35 years old, however if you’re older than that you can still hire the team (we’ve only said that because previous Islanders have been between that age group). The Reality Star Squad’s main aim is to give clients the best chance of being noticed by ITV2 producers and appearing on Love Island, using ‘insider’ knowledge of the process, expertise and tips.

Clients will have to surrender their social media profiles to the social media expert, who will tutor them on what type of content to post and assist them with gaining more exposure through platforms like Twitter and Instagram. A personal trainer, wardrobe consultant, hair stylist and make-up artist will get the client in shape if needed and give them a modern makeover in line with the latest trends.

The Reality Star Squad will also teach the client how to do makeup, hair and pick stylish clothes so they can continue their practices after the coaching ends. An acting coach will also be on hand to teach the client how to behave on screen and in scripted situations.

Professionals who work within personal training, acting, social media, make-up, hair styling and fashion can sign up to be a part of the Reality Star Squad here

The service costs £500 a month, with a minimum three months of coaching recommended, however that’s up to you! Currently the reality star coaching is only available in London, but we are recruiting for professionals in other areas to make the service available nationwide.  

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“Reality TV, and more specifically Love Island, is huge right now. It’s a viable career path for millennials, a lot of money is to be made from these shows, you just have to look at past Love Island contestants to see that. Obviously, we’re not saying everyone who is coached by our Reality Star Squad is guaranteed to end up with fame and fortune, but it will give them the best chance at it.

“Our squad will not only coach clients on how to get noticed by ITV2’s producers and gain a bigger following on social media, but prepare them for life in the public eye. We’re equipping them with the tools they need to be a success, at a very reasonable price! I encourage any professionals who work within the stated sectors to register online to be a part of the squad, demand is huge, and it’s just going to get higher!”




Family on the hunt for Paranormal Investigator following summer of terror

A family in Surrey is looking for paranormal investigator, and perhaps even an exorcist, to help them with supernatural problems in their home.

With such a wide range of professionals on Bark.com, we can get unique requests for help that sometimes border on the bizarre. When one of our professionals highlighted this bark to us, we realised it definitely fit the ‘bizarre’ category.

The family behind the bark wishes to keep their identity private, but they have agreed for their request to be made public in the hope someone can help them. You can read the full advert below:

This is definitely not a situation I ever imagined I’d be in, but my family and I are at our wits end. For about 12 weeks now, we’ve been experiencing what can only be described as supernatural and we’re desperate to be in control of our home again.

It started with items being moved around when we were all out of the house at the beginning of the summer holidays at the end of June. The final straw came earlier this week when our nine month old’s walker was thrown across our kitchen. Thankfully, she wasn’t in it at the time, but we have three children and my wife and I can’t take the risk any more.

Not sure if it makes a difference, but things are more intense at night, usually around 8-9pm, but we have had problems in the day too. Rattling pipes, strange wailing sounds and for several nights recently we’ve experienced what can only be described as an eerie laugh. The house also felt cold, even on days when temperatures were in the mid to high 20s.

We only moved into the house in late April this year as I relocated for a new job, so moving again would be a last resort. My wife has tried to research into the house’s history and looked at previous owners, but so far she’s not found anything significant.

Having never done anything like this before, I have no idea how much it will cost to sort, but as a guide we’ve set aside a budget of up to £5,000. We’re looking to hire someone immediately.

Do you think you can help? If you’re a professional paranormal investigator register your services here to apply for the job.

Our co-founder, Kai Feller said,

“While we do have professionals in this area on Bark.com, it’s still unusual to get a request for help with the supernatural. Obviously one of our first thoughts was this was a joke, but after talking to the family it’s clear it isn’t, and we’re keen to help them however we can.

“The advert has garnered some attention from relevant professionals, however no one has formerly put themselves forward for the job. Even though it’s an unusual request, we’re hoping to try and find someone for them as quickly as possible – not feeling comfortable in your own home must be an awful feeling.”

Bachelor needs Personal Investigator to help him find out if he’s fathered any children – can you help?

We get thousands of Bark’s each day, however, some are a little more unique than others and catch our eye. Last week, a man posted a Bark for a Personal Investigator – specifically a PI to find out if he has unknowingly fathered any children over the course of his life.

The job advert states that the 61-year-old man has been trying to track down former lovers for the past six years, but hasn’t found any leads. He’s now enlisting the help of a professional in a last-ditch attempt to find out if he has any family. He’s asked to remain anonymous, however has agreed to let us make the Bark public in order to help him find the right person for the job.

If you think this job sounds like something you are qualified for, here’s the request in full:

I am a 61-year-old bachelor who has never settled down with a woman for more than three months at a time. I think it’s fair to say I have led a ‘promiscuous life’, and whilst I don’t regret this lifestyle, I find it hard to believe that out of thousands of women I’ve never fathered any children.

Some may think this is reckless, which I would have to agree with, but times were different back then! Contraception has not always been widely available like it is now. I’m a successful businessman from London and I’d like to build a relationship and share my success with any children I might have – life can be lonely in your later years.

I’m able to provide some details about most women I’ve been intimate with. The nature of my job meant I travelled regularly around Europe, so a PI with European connections is a big bonus, and he/she must be willing to travel to France, Switzerland, Denmark and Austria if needs be.  

I’m willing to pay a seasoned professional up to £5,000 to conduct a thorough investigation, with additional money for travel and expenses. I’m also willing to provide a handsome bonus if he/she successfully finds any children of mine and I’m able to connect with them.

Over the last few years my health has deteriorated and like a typical older man I’ve started to feel sentimental and come to the realisation there is more to life than success. This might be a desperate and futile attempt to find a family, but I know I’ll always regret it if I don’t try.

Please get in touch if you think you can help, thank you.

Do you think you can help this man out? If you answered yes and you’re an experienced Personal Investigator, then register your services here to apply for the job.

Here’s what our co-founder, Kai Feller had to say about it:

“The advert was pointed out to us by one of our PI’s because of how unusual it is. We were curious and decided to get in touch with the man who posted it to see if we can help him find the right professional. He was happy for us to lend a hand and share his story, however wished to remain anonymous because of his job, which is fair enough.

“Six years is a long time to be searching for leads, and although we have thousands of personal investigators on site, I think with a bit of exposure we’ll be able to find one that has the right knowledge, contacts and skills to put this matter to bed finally for our mystery bachelor.”

Parents looking to get their kids ahead increase business for tutors on Bark.com

We have seen a huge surge in demand for tutors in the last month with an 26% increase in tutors since September last year! As well as the spike in requests, we have also discovered a demand from parents looking for GCSE level tutors for their Primary School aged children from parents looking to get their kids ahead from an early age.

To get more specific, there’s been a:

  • 31% rise for Foreign Language tutors
  • 27% rise for Maths tutors
  • 21% rise for English tutors
  • 18% rise for Science tutors

Overall, service requests are up by 26% on this time last year.

If you’re looking for a tutor, you can place your own Bark here.

Given the rise, we decided to speak to our network of tutoring professionals and ask why they thought demand for their services has increased so dramatically. A third (33%) said it’s due to the lack of resources in schools and education cuts, while almost a quarter (23%) believed the current state of the economy and lack of jobs is making parents fear for their children’s futures. The amount spent per pupil in English schools has fallen by 8% since 2010, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies**.  

More than two fifths of tutors on the site (42%) said it was common for them to get requests from parents looking for tutors at least two academic years above their child. Of this 42%, 11% said they had even had parents of children under 10 enquire about tutoring to help their child eventually secure a place at a top University.

One in 10 (9%) of our tutors felt that ‘pushy parents’ were responsible for the rise, with 12% of tutors admitting they had turned down work in the past because they felt the child in question was too young to benefit from sessions.   

If you are a tutor in the UK, you can sign-up to offer your services here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said,

“I’m not the least bit surprised that our tutoring professionals have been experiencing a surge in demand for their services. As schools settle into the new academic year, parents become acutely aware of the competition their children face in the classroom, particularly with recent changes to curriculum and exams.

“As more and more children of millennial parents enter the classroom, we would expect to see this trend continue. Not least because millennial parents know the fierce competition they had to face for even the most basic, entry level jobs. It makes sense they would want to arm their children, the next generation, with as many skills as possible to help them succeed in a challenging economy.   

“Of course, all parents want their children to be successful, but we were surprised to see just how far ahead modern parents are looking in terms of their child’s education. We hope these parents find the tutors they’re looking for and encourage any tutors who haven’t already, to sign up and help them out.”

* http://uk.businessinsider.com/learn-a-new-language-2018-4?r=US&IR=T

** https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-44794205


Adulting 101: Basic skills classes launch for Gen Z

While they might have an app to tackle most tasks in life, society has failed to teach Generation Z some of life’s most basic skills.

That’s why we have partnered with our tutors, accountants, mortgage brokers, mechanics and more to offer ‘adulting’ classes, to help equip young people with essential life and workplace skills not taught in schools.

The classes, which will launch across the UK, have been announced after internal data from our site revealed a 15% rise in requests, or ‘barks’, for basic jobs such as repairing clothing, changing a tyre, cleaning and basic home repairs.

Classes start at £50 per day and will cover a range of skills, including:

  •         Changing a tyre
  •         DIY repairs
  •         Applying for a passport
  •         Professional communication
  •         Filing a tax return
  •         Managing personal finances
  •         Preparing for a job interview
  •         First aid
  •         Mortgage types & saving for a deposit
  •         Sewing & repairing clothes

People looking to attend an ‘adulting’ class can register their interest here.

A recent study* by Young Money reported deep concerns around financial education awareness in UK schools, while further data** from International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt revealed that over the next decade, 387 million children are set to leave school without the basic skills needed to get on in life.

The ‘adulting’ classes have been designed to tackle these gaps of knowledge which have grown steadily from Generation X to Generation Z.

Professionals working in areas such as accounting, home economics and mortgage advice can apply to work as tutors to take an ‘adulting’ class, to pass on these essential skills.

Tutors can expect to earn around £100 per class but, as with all Bark.com service providers, they can set their own rates.

Those interested in becoming professional ‘adulting’ coaches can register here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, commented:

“We noticed an increase in requests for professionals who can offer cooking classes, fix basic mechanical problems and provide careers advice, among many other basic life skills that are simply not available in schools.

“Young people are coming out of higher education with gaps in their knowledge and are effectively thrown into the deep end when it comes to ‘adult’ responsibilities, such as creating a budget or filing a tax return.

“We want to fill these gaps and ensure that young people are given the opportunity to learn the skills they need in order to be self-sufficient, successful adults from the moment they leave home.”

Looking to sell your home? You could be putting off potential buyers

Selling a house can be a complicated process, especially when it comes to trying to please potential buyers. So, we’ve teamed up with a panel of our home improvement service professionals to create a guide to find top buyer turn-offs which could significantly impact the price of homes.

Through analysing data from 20 estate and lettings agents, interior decorators, plumbers and gardeners that advertise their services through the site, Bark.com has revealed that cluttered bedrooms could knock £10,000 off the value of a house. An overgrown garden can also devalue a property by 20%. In comparison, adding an off-road parking space to a property could boost its value by up to 10% and replacing a dated bathroom suite could earn you £2,500 more when you come to sell.

The experts also found that on average, homeowners in the UK planning a renovation of their property in the next year will spend more than £20,000 on home improvements.

If you would like to find a local service professional to renovate your property, you can place a Bark here.

Here are the top ten buyer bugbears:

  1.    Evidence of pets: 45% of people in the UK own a pet, but buyers won’t necessarily welcome them when viewing your property. Concerns over cleanliness can reduce the value of a house by more than £11,000.
  2.    Illegal improvements: a surprising number of people have made home renovations without the proper planning permission, but it’s not surprising that this can cause big problems when it comes to selling and can even render your home untouchable for buyers.
  3.    Unusual décor: people do judge books by their covers and while you might love bold colours, quirky carpets and oddly patterned wallpaper, they might not.
  4.    Overgrown gardens: many people won’t even consider looking inside a house if they don’t like what they see on the outside, but if they do decide to book a viewing, a potential buyer could negotiate a 20% discount for an unappealing exterior.
  5.    Poor parking: having a parking space is highly sought-after by potential buyers. Not only could it add up to £22,500 to the value of your house but it can provide more space, security and even the opportunity to earn extra income.
  6.    Swimming pools: in warmer climates swimming pools are expected and typically used throughout the year. In cool climates however, pools often mean money down the drain.
  7.    House numbers: superstition can have a major influence on house prices. If you live at number 13, you should consider changing your house number to a name to earn up to £4,000 when you come to sell.
  8.    Outdated appliances: buying a property is already a big investment, so many buyers won’t want to spend additional funds on installing a new kitchen or bathroom.
  9.    Poor energy efficiency: spending money on energy efficiency will not only save you money on your bills, but it will insulate your home against loss of value when you decide to put it on the market.
  10.   Cluttered rooms: tidying your home before a valuation or viewing is one of the easiest things you can do to make a good first impression and could also boost your property value by up to £11,000.

Other things that make buyers cautious when looking for a new home include antisocial neighbours, a history of suspicious activity, expensive additions such as solar panels and the performance of local schools.

Superstition can also have a major influence on house prices. Research conducted by Zoopla* found that homes at ‘unlucky’ number 13 could be worth £3,900 less than neighbouring properties.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com, said:

“Selling a house can be a complicated process, especially when it comes to trying to please potential buyers. However, there are several steps homeowners can take to add as much value to a property as possible.

“We’ve been monitoring the demand for our home improvement service providers and decided to do some research into the effect these services could have on house prices. Some of these changes are simple, such as thoroughly tidying bedrooms for example, but research has shown that they really do make a huge difference to potential buyers.”

He continued:

“The resulting guide highlights the most common things that affect property value and we hope that it will be a useful reference for homeowners around the UK, potentially earning them thousands of pounds when they come to sell. If you do spot something you’re guilty of in our guide, there’s a local service provider on Bark.com who can help.”

6 new features to help you get better leads on Bark

At Bark, it’s our mission to get you the most relevant leads possible to help you succeed in business. We know how frustrating it can be reviewing requests which don’t quite match what you do and where you work. So, we’ve been listening to your feedback and developing innovative new features to enhance your experience on Bark.

Jump to a new feature

Service Areas
– Draw Your Own Area
– Travel Time
Question Filtering
Bark Match
Submit Details
New Messenger
Refer a Friend

1. Improve your leads with our new Service Area tools

No one knows your business better than you. That’s why the some of the most popular features we’ve developed this year are self-service tools. They’ve been designed to help you define your Service Areas more precisely, and automatically filter out Barks which don’t meet your criteria. Why not take a few minutes to try out these features for yourself?

Draw Your Own Area

With just a few clicks, you can draw the area you service on a map – all done in a matter of seconds. You’ll then receive Barks from buyers who are local to that area, and automatically filter out those who are too far away.

Bark sellers can draw their service area on a map in a few easy clicks

Draw Your Own Area

Travel Time

Travel Time is another great tool for filtering out those (hopefully rare) leads that come from far distant lands.

Simply set the area you cover based on your preferred travel method and the maximum time you’re willing to spend travelling to a job.

We’ll send you leads based on the time it takes to walk, drive or take public transport from your location.

Set your Travel Time

2. Question Filtering

As you know, when a buyer places a Bark we ask them questions to find out precisely what kind of service they’re after. We then match the request with a relevant service provider and send a lead.

But it gets tricky to make an exact match when professionals in a given category offer similar but slightly different services to one another. Now, with Question Filtering, you can manage questions at a granular level to ensure leads correspond exactly with the services you provide.

For example, if you only have availability on certain days of the week, you can filter out leads requesting pros on your day off.

We can even get more granular than that. If, for example, you’re a male personal trainer, you can filter out leads which specifically request a female personal trainer.

Set your Question Filtering so you’re only alerted when we have a perfect match.
Screenshot of Bark Question Filtering feature - for photographerSet up Question Filtering

3. Be discovered by more buyers with Bark Match

With our new Seller Suggest feature, it’s easier for buyers to discover sellers on Bark, and easier for you to get new customers.

From time to time, we’ll suggest your business to customers looking for your services, for free. If the customer is interested, you’ll be notified and invited to respond – and then it’s up to you if you’d like to pay to be introduced.

Of course, in the meantime, you’ll still receive the leads that match your service areas, as usual.

In order to ensure your business is suggested to Buyers as much as possible, you can:

      • Make sure your profile is up to date – sellers with more information on their profile get much more interest
      • Update your service areas to ensure we’re sending you the most relevant leads for your business
      • Get more reviews – a strong rating supported by positive reviews shows potential customers you’re brilliant at what you do

Screenshot of Bark feature called Seller Suggest

4. Submit Details and reply to leads with one click

There is a significant ‘first mover advantage’ on Bark. Our data shows that you are 48% more likely to get hired if you’re first to respond to the buyer.

We know every second counts when responding to hot leads, so we’ve made it quicker and easier than ever to secure new business with Bark.  Following your feedback, we’ve created a simple one-click feature, so you can respond to a great lead within seconds.

Simply click ‘submit your details’ to jobs you’re interested in – we then instantly send your details to the client and release both their phone number and email address to you. You can still send a personalised follow up message and quote when you’re ready.

Don’t forget to top up your credits – the next introduction you make could land you a new customer!

Screenshot of Bark feature Submit Details

Check out credit packs

5. New Messenger look and feel

We’ve redesigned the messenger feature on Bark. The new look and feel will help you manage leads, conversations, briefs and quotes with buyers more easily.Screenshot of Bark messenger feature

6. Refer a friend and earn Bark credits

If you’ve loved using Bark, why not give your friends the opportunity to enjoy the same success? Simply refer a friend, and you’ll be rewarded with credits to spend on high quality leads to grow your business too.

There’s no limit to the number of credits you can earn, and you’ll be rewarded each time someone you refer signs up and purchases our starter pack.

If that’s not enough, we’ll also give anyone you refer a massive 40% discount to help them get started.

We’re confident Bark will be a great help to any seller who tries it. We cover over 2,000 categories and deliver leads from interested customers to thousands of businesses every day. You can refer anyone you like from any industry, from babysitters to plumbers, web designers to bookkeepers.

It’s so easy – you can invite people directly from your address book, or use the unique personal link we’ve created for you, which you can share on Facebook, in email or anywhere you choose.

Refer friends now

What do you think of our new features? Share your thoughts in the comments.

How clean is your house? UK sees rise in demand for domestic cleaner

We’ve recently revealed the cleanest places in the UK following a 29% rise in the demand for domestic services on Bark.com this year.

Through analysing our data, we found that one in four households now rely on domestic help at least once a fortnight. Cities in the south of England are the most popular locations for household cleaning, with homes in London sending the most ‘barks’ or requests for household help last year.

The ‘cleanest’ places in the UK are:

  1. London
  2. Reading
  3. Cambridge
  4. Oxford
  5. York
  6. Birmingham
  7. Bristol
  8. Derby
  9. Edinburgh
  10. Bournemouth

The research showed that Londoners received domestic help up to three times per week on average last year, with cleaners earning between £8 and £12 per hour for each visit.

The ‘cleanest’ boroughs in London are:

  1. Kensington
  2. Westminster
  3. Richmond-upon-Thames
  4. Hammersmith and Fulham
  5. Camden

In comparison, homes in northern cities including Derby, Manchester and Leeds hired cleaners just once a week. Homes in the Midlands typically had cleaners visit once a fortnight.

The ‘dirtiest’ places in the UK are:

  1. Aberdeen
  2. Kidderminster
  3. Norwich
  4. Manchester
  5. Leeds

A separate report compiled for The British Cleaning Council states that the cleaning industry now contributes more than £24 million to the UK economy and employs more 700,000 people.

More than 55,400 cleaners are currently active on Bark.com across the country. Professionals include carpet, oven, window, driveway and steam cleaners as well as gardeners, home clearance providers and end of tenancy cleaners.

If you would like to find a local cleaner, you can place a Bark here.

If you’re a professional cleaner, you can register your services here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com said:

“In recent years, there has been a change in the way people see domestic services, with millennials in particular throwing off the stigma around paying for professional help in the home. As a result, one in four households in the UK now pays for a regular cleaner.

“As a nation, we are working far longer hours than ever before and combined with busy social lives, it’s only natural that household chores are going to fall by the wayside.

“It’s no surprise that London tops the list of ‘cleanest’ places in the UK given the affluence in the city. It’s also great to see York representing the north in the top 5!”

Couple post request for videographer to film their wedding night – can you help?

As you can imagine we get thousands of Bark’s each day. However, we recently had a very unusual request – a couple posted a Bark looking for a videographer to film their wedding night.

Obviously, this isn’t a service we normally provide – however, we’re hoping that some of our videographers will be able to help the couple out. They’ve asked to remain anonymous, however they have agreed to let us make the Bark public in order to help them find the right person for the job.

If you think this sounds up your street, here’s the request in full:

My fiancé and I got engaged during Christmas time in 2016, and since then we’ve been planning and planning for our big day. Most of the stuff we’ve sorted now and I couldn’t be happier with how the day is shaping up, but there are also still a couple of things I haven’t sorted. One of the things we need is a bit unique, but we’re hoping someone will be able to help.

Both myself and my fiancé believe that your ‘wedding day’ shouldn’t just be limited to a day, and actually your wedding night is just as important. Obviously during the day, everyone has photographers and videographers etc capturing all of the days moments and memories, but it’s not a norm for someone to have that on their wedding night.

Since we got engaged we’ve both been in agreement that we want a videographer to film our wedding night, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to find anyone willing, or who we’ve felt comfortable enough around. We originally asked our day videographer to do it, but he said he didn’t feel comfortable doing it, and that it wasn’t something he’d done before.

Obviously we know that this is a bit of a weird request, but we just really don’t want to forget any moments from our day, or night, which is why we want everything on tape. Because of the nature of the request, and the fact our wedding is just around the corner in September, we’ve set aside around £2,000 for it, but obviously there is some wiggle room on that.

We’re getting married in the Cotswolds in September, but we’ll talk about it in proper detail once we’ve found the right person. We don’t want the tape to go anywhere at all and it’s just for personal use between me and my fiancé, which is why it’s so important for us to find someone we feel we can trust 100%.

We’ll need you to start at around 1am and work until around 3am. But this might change depending on what time the party finishes etc. We’d like a mixture of still and moving shots, and we also want it all to look professional, so any lighting in the room etc will need to be sorted beforehand.

We’ve been looking for someone to do this for such a long time and to be honest this is our last chance to get one really. So, if you can help or think you can do this please let me know. We know it’s an odd request but it’s something we’re really keen on.

Thanks in advance!

Do you think you can help the couple out? If you answered yes and you’re a videographer, then register your services here.

Here’s what our co-founder, Kai Feller had to say about it:

“We know how important videographers are for married couples across the UK; it’s one of our most popular categories on the site along with wedding photography and house cleaning. However, this is the first time we’ve been alerted to a request of this nature.

“Obviously wedding night videography isn’t a service we explicitly offer on site, but hopefully one of our videographers is willing to help the couple out. Who knows, if we have a lot of applications perhaps we could look at making it an additional service on the site.”

More than 5,000 Brits sought help on Bark.com for gaming addiction in the last year – 30% are children

We recently revealed that demand for private counsellors had increased by 65% since 2016 on Bark.com. After further investigation into our data, we can reveal that 5,009 Brits requested to book a counsellor for gaming addiction in the last 12 months, and 30% of those requests (1,511) were made by parents for their children.

Gaming addiction has been in the news a lot since it was classified as a mental health condition by the World Health Organisation in January 2018, however it is still shocking to discover that more than 1,500 children are potentially suffering with the condition in the UK according to our data.

We decided to team up with some of our top counsellors to create a comprehensive guide for parents, on what to look out for if you suspect your child has a gaming addiction and what you can do about it.

The tell-tale signs of gaming addiction are:

  • Expresses extreme anger, irritation and frustration when they’re not allowed access to a video game
  • Appears depressed and anxious when they’re not playing a video game
  • Becomes disinterested with school work and other activities that they previously enjoyed like sport
  • Drastic change in mood when they start playing the game. This can be from calm to excited or from angry to happy for example
  • Appears to lose control whilst playing the game and expresses uncharacteristic emotions
  • Refuses to leave the room where their game console is
  • Becomes more confrontational, especially around bedtime
  • Avoids showering and neglects general personal hygiene like brushing their teeth and combing their hair
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Refusal or hesitation to take part in family activities, such as leaving the house to see grandparents or going for a family meal out
  • Decline in communication, for example they speak less to family members in family situations like dinner and don’t contribute to conversations
  • Behaviour at school and home worsens and they start to challenge the authority figures in their life. This can be in the form of fighting with other pupils or siblings, being verbally rude to teachers and/or family members and disruptive in classrooms
  • School grades start to drop

What can you do if you suspect your child has a gaming addiction?

  • Seek professional help, either from a counsellor or your GP
  • It could be that the professional suggests your child enrol in a compulsive gaming rehab programme
  • Behaviour modification techniques are often utilised to help the individual curb their compulsive gaming
  • Family counselling is sometimes beneficial and can help get to the root of the addiction
  • Wellness and adventure retreats are also useful to help the individual engage with other more positive activities again
  • Be patient, getting over an addiction can take a long time, but consistency is key

You can find a mental health professional who specialises in gaming addiction or addiction therapy here.

Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com said,

“We were shocked at just how many people have sought help for gaming addiction in the last year. It seems to be a modern problem, from working with our counsellors it’s evident that parents are struggling to see the signs. What is apparent is that it’s like any other addiction, except children are more at risk of suffering from it because there’s no age limit like there is with alcohol and it’s very accessible unlike illegal drugs.  

“Our counsellors have advised parents to be wary of their child’s behaviour this Summer, especially with games like Fortnite, where it’s the ‘in’ thing to do. Any parents who are concerned can seek professional help and advice, whether that is hiring a counsellor or going to your GP. Gaming addiction is not something to be taken lightly and can have a devastating emotional impact.”