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Gaming the System 006 - James' First 30 Days As a Digital Nomad in Thailand!

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Detox for an unaware 15-year old ?

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Many of the stories and comments I read are by 17+ former game-addicts who have managed to get some awareness that there is or was a problem. Well done to you all! As a parent of a 15-year old boy who spends every minute of free time on a screen (mostly games such as Fortnite) and denies there is an issue with that, do I have to wait until he eventually tires out of gaming (in a couple of years, hopefully) and get a hold on it, or is there another way to create awareness about the negative effects now and in the long run. We try to engage him in other activities, with some success, but in the end, he always want to go back to gaming until I have to stop him, with the usual anger outbursts that follow. Do I have to wait with any kind of detox until he is ready and willing to participate? Is going cold turkey by taking away the computer a solution, all be it a drastic one because it leads to serious withdrawal symtoms? I would be very interested in hearing from parents or former gamers who have gone through or dealing with the same and how they managed to create awareness.

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I'd start by trying to find out WHY he plays in such excessive amounts (escape, boredom, playing with friends, showing off - just to name a few) - without understanding that, just taking away the computer will most likely not help.

Also, I think Cam's got a video about that topic. I'll link it later if I find it.

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Hi! Welcome to the forums. We have a parent section that will provide a lot more support for you on Facebook: http://gamequitte.rs/parentgroup

If you have a 15 year old you still have the opportunity to set more boundaries and limits now. It gets significantly harder when he's over 18. 

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As a 18+ individual I wholeheartedly agree with Cam's statement. When I moved out is when gaming first took over, and it forced me to move back home. And then it became a big point of conflict between my father and I, which sucks. 

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I started playing computer games at 12. 

The following took place between 12-19. 

I argued with my dad throughout puberty about playing computer-games. 

He installed Norton security to limit my time playing games.

It did not work. 

We had screaming fits at one another, I hated him so much. 

It was really sad. 

I was super insecure and anxious at the time so I used computer games as a way to hide from my (normal teenage) problems. 

Neglecting issues such as these means they grow, mutate and solidify. 

I wish my parents had taken my computer away.

But my dad said to me recently when I told him I'd never let my kids play computer games, 'everything must be done in moderation, if you stop them from playing they'll want to play more.' 

It can also create a permanent rift between you and your child. 

I am lucky that I realised how addicted I was half a year ago (with the help of Cam's videos on YouTube ((maybe show him one of these?))

Personally, I'd remove everything game-related from the house i.e. his computer, monitor, mouse mat, mouse, all games, cleanse the computer, sell it, tell him it's never coming back, he will be upset but will eventually forgive you.  I don't know what the right thing to do is but that's because I'm 19 and and not a dad.

My advice to you if the above seems too extreme; engage him in things outside the house. Take him to beautiful parks and ponds, join a fitness class together (?), make him join an art class, a karate class - anything to get him out the house. Something he must attend weekly, which is social, fun and educative. Then hopefully, he can naturally lose interest in games (albeit this is very hard). 

Computer games are partly responsible for my lack of cognitive skills. 

I played games for seven years straight and I thought about games all the time.

I didn't experience a normal adolescence. Nor did I experience an abnormal one. Just nothing. So much time gone that I could have used to develop interests, intelligence and personality. I feel dead inside the whole time and all I think about (even after 6 months of not playing games) is how boring everything else is. 

That reminds me; if you remove everything, you must block sites like Twitch and YouTube. I may have managed not to relapse but I do watch the occasional video that renews that burning desire to play games. Do not let him watch videos (at least within your house). 

I became so accustomed to gaming life i.e. takeaways, lack of responsibilities - I now do not know how to operate in real life. 

A point that must be made; I have a loving family, my parents are together, I'm (luckily) privileged, I was privately educated, I had all the opportunities and options that one could hope for but even then, games took over. 

The main game I was/am in part addicted to is Fortnite. 

It's one of the worst in my opinion, evident in how many young people play it. They're all consumed (including me) by this idea of playing it competitively but you must communicate with your son that the likelihood of him becoming a professional player is equal to the odds of winning the lottery. 

I am assuming he plays competitively because he plays on a computer and as you've stated, he plays all the time. 

Epic Games have utilised the prospect of e-Sports to coerce (mostly) young boys into thinking they have a chance of playing competitively - this is untrue, corrupt and manipulative. 

 

 

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The best way I can think of to handle this is to identify activities that your son can engage in that he both enjoys, but also creates a sense of pride, accomplishment and community for him. Music lessons, martial arts, summer camps are all things that might work. We naturally gravitate towards the things that make us feel good. Gaming offers that promise but never actually delivers on it. So it's important to involve him in activities that make him feel good about what he's doing long after he's stopped the activity.

Maybe sit down with him, organize a schedule and set some goals? Ask him about things he'd like to do that aren't games and then go about scheduling those activities with him. Find blocks of time that work for everyone, so that way he knows it's coming and there can be no excuses to not do them. You will probably meet some resistance at first; handle this compassionately. Ultimately he has to agree to anything on his own or it won't last very long.

Also, most importantly, don't actually take the games away. This will never, ever work. It will only create feelings of hatred within him. If you can both agree that he can continue playing games during certain hours, as long as he also participates in other activities, he will have to agree with you. Like I said, there will likely be some resistance to it at first, but I think he will come around.

The unfortunate thing about this kind of situation is that your son isn't even aware, most likely, of the damage he is doing to himself. If he's anything like me, he may wait until his 20's until he realizes he needs to change, and at that point it's extremely difficult. He's really lucky to have a parent that cares enough about him to try to do something about it. Best of luck!

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