MaryBurnham's picture

Help! My Teen is Addicted to Video Games

My child is 17, and has enjoyed playing video games for the past few years.  Recently, he started playing an online computer game, and now it's all he does.  He ignores his family and friends, barely does his homework, and doesn't seem to care about applying to college at all.

I am very concerned that if he does not stop soon, this game will consume his adult life as well.  Is anyone else having a similar experience?

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Never had this problem w/ my kids, but my suggestion wld be to either limit or take away the games all together. Try to get your son interested in other activities like sports. There's got to be something your son enjoys other than these video games. Give him the choice, but put your foot down about the games. Good luck!

acitez's picture

I used his interest in the games as a way to motivate my boy to do what I wanted him to. I am able to be at home to supervise, if you are still at work when he gets home from school you might have to accept that he will play until you get home. Then, once you are home, after he does his homework and chores and something physical, if his grades are good he can play the game. I know my friend bought a combination lock with a hasp that goes through the electrical plug, to eliminate TV watching while she was at work.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Great thinking, acitez!

MaryBurnham's picture

Thanks for the replies everyone, very helpful. Since my first post, I went looking for any resources out there that might give me more insight on this problem. Probably the best one I've found so far is called Get Your Kids off Video Games. It is written by a former gaming addict so it really hit home with my husband and I.
One of the suggestions in the book I found to be helpful was moving the games/computer into the open. It is much easier for us to monitor how much time he spends on them. He doesnt like it, of course, but I think it's for the best.

karentheawkward's picture

I'm not sure, but let me speak from my personal experience. I used to be very much addicted to the internet. Now, it isn't nearly as bad and I don't avoid hanging out with my friends to go online like I used to.

I know this sounds "bad" and unorthodox, but try loosening up. Don't make weird regulations about when your child plays Video Games, instead, just be lenient and happy and supportive whenever they do something other than playing games, and encourage that. Also, although this never happened to me so I don't really know, try to make sure they have good grades, or are at least trying their best by making sure they efficiently do their homework.

After my parents loosened up with the internet, I began to become less antisocial and addicted. It definitely helps with some.

Also, maybe try understanding what the games are all about? Play some yourself, to understand why your child likes it so much. Although my parents didn't do that with my online addiction, I'm sure it will do no harm :)

palatzas's picture

My son also is 17 and plays video games excessively. What have you tried??

debw6051's picture

You are the parent, take control!

Synergy's picture

video games are addicting. i suggest setting boundaries and a certain alloted time during the week for gaming. outside of that it should have to be off.

tfay's picture

Yes. Our story is almost identical. I'm at a loss as what to do. I threatened to smash the game and he said he'd smash my car - while I think that was an idle threat, it scares me what he will do. I honestly think it's become an addiction and when dealing with his teachers, I feel they think it's all a parenting issue. My son is 18 - he doesn't do "time out" anymore. What kinds of things have you tried? What are you doing about his homework? My son is a senior - he won't get a job, won't get up in the morning, stays up all night - ugh. Any thoughts would be great.

thank you!

tfay's picture

That's a really great answer - do you have a 17 or 18 year old male child with this challenge. If not, please try to be more constructive or provide specific solutions vs. judgement - it doesn't help.