Lately I have been hearing from a lot of parents who are deeply concerned about their child’s Video Gaming Addiction. They know they need to do something to support some kind of recovery process for their child, but they are also afraid of creating a more extreme situation if they remove gaming entirely, and set down rules, boundaries, and consequences. And let’s face it, a 200 lb teenage boy can bring physical harm to others if pushed past his emotional limit, while feeling threatened of losing something he believes he can’t live without. Or a fragile, depressed youth whose only source of friendships is through online interactive gaming could become suicidal at the thought of being alone and lonely.
You see, Video Gaming Addiction has taken on such a strong hold for those inflicted with this disorder that the addict cannot control their behaviour or stop it, without some sort of intervention. A strong parent or two is needed for this. But even parents feel just as weak as the gamer. They don’t have all of the answers, they are wracked with guilt, they question the many times they didn’t impose more structure and rules, blaming themselves for their child’s addiction, and they are afraid of making things worse by imposing new structure and rules.
I understand. I have been in this same position with my son. I feared he would take his life, I gave up my business for some time so that he was never left unattended during the initial detox phase, and I grabbed at every support system I could find to help me find the strength to hold my ground and save him from himself and his addiction. Game developers use psychological trickery to keep a gamer engaged, and their under-developed brain is put into dopamine overdrive, making it extremely difficult to resist and stop playing, without help. Parents need not feel guilty, nor should they feel shame for not having all of the answers. What parents need is help finding their own inner strength and power, so they are better equipped to guide and support their child.
The addicted child will also require a support system outside of the home, in one-on-one or group therapy, or both, but once this begins, parents will be required to be strong and put in place the changes needed, at home for recovery to be a success. Detox and recovery requires Herculean fortitude for both the addict and the addict’s family. There is no backing down, there is no turning back. There is only now and remaining in the moment, with perseverance and unbreakable love.
Meet Deanne Barrett. Deanne is a former high school teacher, with 14 years’ experience and a master’s degree in Education. Deanne helps parents to activate their parenting power through one-one-one coaching and group programs. Deanne supports clients all over the world through her online programs which help parents transition out of old patterns and shift into new dynamics when handling their teenager. And teenagers are the largest population of gamers. Deanne is ready to help parents move from a place of fear and guilt and into a place of self-empowerment. She provides the coaching and tools to help parents to navigate their teen through any crisis, even Video Gaming Addiction. And this can be done online, in the comfort of your home. Think of this as personal training for strong parenting, exactly what a child needs when they feel powerless to the appeal of video games. To contact Deanne and get started go to her website.
I will not lie and tell you that detox and recovery is easy. I, myself white-knuckled through my days and slept poorly through my nights for over two years as my son worked through this difficult process. It was necessary to reach success, and I needed to be strong, stronger than the Video Gaming Addiction itself.