Where’s Johnny? Just check the computer and the lost is found! Online video game addiction is fast becoming the norm. Hours are lost in front of the computer. Social interaction disappears. Kids get annoyed or angry when their online game is interrupted, even for dinner. What are parents to do?
First, check out the signs. Some possible symptoms that may give you a clue that your child is headed toward online video game addiction:
• Forgets to eat
• Plays online video games instead of doing homework
• Sleep deprivation
• No social interaction
• Lack of physical exercise
• Lack of personal hygiene
Do any of these sound familiar? How are your child’s grades at school? Does your child forget to interact with friends and family members? Is exercise a forgotten subject? Does your child rub their eyes and complain of soreness? Is a shower skipped for extra time on that online video game? Would your child rather skip dinner and snack later so more time is available for gaming?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then you must step up and get involved with your kids! Even though addiction to online video gaming has not been officially declared a disorder, the signs are in front of our eyes. Online video gaming is being compared to gambling. Playing produces a high because endorphins are being produced and released by the brain. In online video games, the children are in control. Why would they want to go back to the real world and relinquish control and be just a kid that has to follow rules? Parents need to be assertive and turn off their children’s computers! Set priorities so kids know what’s expected of them. Discipline plays a key role. Set time parameters for online games. Let your kids know that homework comes first; dinner is served at 6 p.m. and lights are out at 10 p.m. Take charge before it’s too late!
Online video game addiction can be serious and methods to help that addiction are popping up fast. Some include therapy with a counselor or following steps in a self-help book on online video game addiction. One method even suggests sending your child to summer or wilderness camp to promote exercise and a change of environment.
Parents, it’s up to you to help your children. Recognize the signs and symptoms of online video game addiction. Take the steps now to correct the disorder. Engage your child. Set up a regimen and see that it’s followed. Bring your child back into the real world and help them appreciate its beauty.
I can’t believe that you have the guts to tell parents “it is up to you to help your children”. You game makers are ruining our children in front of our eyes, nearly destroying our family and then turn around and pass the bug to us??? “Engage your child”, are you kidding me? ” set up a regimen and see that it is followed” . You must also be living in the virtual world. Wake up to the reality. “Bring your child back into the real world and help them appreciate its beauty” and how do you suggest we do that?
I tell you a story. This is a “real life” story. It is my life’s story..Listen carefully and DO NOT EVER attempt to tell what parents should do in this very unconsidered way.. Don’t sound like you know everything and parents know nothing. I had enough of you people to treat us parents like idiots. You may think only neglected children become internet addicts. You are WRONG!
We have an 18 year old handsome, smart, skillful, gifted and talented son. He was an excellent student, talented sportsman, representative basketball player, good debater, public speaker, piano player, vivid reader, nice, social, funny, popular boy..Chess champion..This is all up until 2 and a half years ago.. He always received awards for academic excellence, his excellent manners etc. He was within the top 5 percent of his year group in an academically competitive high school. He was a scholarship recipient in a private college…He was seen as a successful future lawyer or a business man..Things started to change when he was 16.. Our son’s interest to his school started declining.. He couldn’t finish his work..Until eventually he dropped out of school without even finishing high school. You know why…Because he became online game addict…You know what we did…EVERYTHING we can think of…We have a functional, happy, healthy family. Both my husband and I are professional people. I resigned from my professional courier when they were born so that I can be with my children. Every area of their life has been catered for. They had good circle of friends, regular holidays, groups of family friends etc. Their use of computer, TV, electronic devices has always been monitored. They were engaged in all sorts of activities. As the computer assignments increased in mid high school, monitoring became less effective because they were doing their homework on the computer with ever increasing pace. As my son started having breaks and playing games (which we found out later on) little we know he became ‘mentally’ addicted. I say mentally because we were still monitoring their computer use and not allowing them to stay up late or spent too much time with computers. We noticed that he couldn’t do his homework. As soon as we realized the change, we took him to the psychologists. Wasn’t easy to convince the boy to go to a professional. But being a smart kid, he knew exactly what to say so that the psychologist told us there is nothing wrong with him..Over the last 2 and a half years we tried 3 separate psychiatrists, 3 psychologists, 1 counselor..He would only go once or twice and wouldn’t go again..We tried three different schools from academically challenging to the school around the corner…We tried cutting the internet off completely for over two months. We tried confiscating his computer…Tried talking to him, reasoning with him, making contract with him, loving him, punishing him, completely leaving it to his own will…Medicating him (which was also very difficult to convince and stopped taking it after 2-3 months)… Asking help from family friends…Sending him with his brother and his friends to holiday for two weeks so that he is away from the environment…Took him to overseas holiday as a family so that he was away from the internet for two months..Yes there were times that he would stay away from the game. Even up to 9 months once but then he would start again…Currently all he does is play LOL from the moment he gets up till he goes to bed..He doesn’t go out almost at all. We are running out of ideas. We limited internet use to only during the day but it is still 12 hours a day. My other son is at uni and needs the internet for his studies therefore we can’t completely cut it off. Also I run my own business from home and need the internet at least 8 hours a day. But I am ready to give up my job and my son who is studying at the uni is also ready to study in the uni library if needed. But when we cut the internet off completely last year, he stopped talking to us for two months and wouldn’t leave his room day and night..It wasn’t a solution either.
Now please tell us how do you suggest we help our son????
You game creators think of everything, don’t you? He tells me that he is making some money playing the game. If he is making money sitting on his bum all day along and enjoying himself, why should he quit? He has no social interaction left. He has no friends left. Can’t do anything as a family any more. We use to go out to dinners regularly…We use to go on holidays regularly…None of it is left..He doesn’t even get out of the house. Only walks to the bath room, his bedroom and kitchen…Does not contribute to anything…
Do you suggest we kick him out????Would it solve the problem??Or would the problem accelerate to another level???
He is smart, perfectionist, sensitive and would not share his feelings. He doesn’t accept he has a problem..
This is a cry of a mother who dedicated her life to her family…Is there anyone out there to tell us what can we do? How can we help?
To you game makers…I have never been this determined in my life to make my voice heard by whoever..Contact me. Talk to me…Tell me what you can do to help the situation…You carry over your shoulders the responsibility of these young people and their families whose lives turned around drastically. Don’t ignore me..Write to me.. I am determined not to suffer in silence any more.. We have been living in a hell for the last two and a half years…To you, he is just another addict…To us, it is our beloved son, our life, our soul, our heart…