Games can be addictive, but obsession is something else.
The following article is for parents of a teenager who may be obsessed with video games and / or computer games. While we seem to encourage obsession in some of our other articles, we share a concern for teenagers who tend to avoid other interests in life in favor of gambling activities to the point where they withdraw from society. We would never encourage this type of behavior, so we took the time to describe some of the signs of gambling obsession and offer some advice on how to deal with them.
Recognizing the signs of a teenage gambling obsession is not as easy as you think. It always starts as before, an interest, and then it starts to turn into an addition. The problem of identifying the early stages of the gambling obsession begins with the adolescent. By the time our kids are 15 or older, they’ve learned some pretty impressive debating skills. So when we question their motives for repetitive play, they can logically refute our concerns and even question our shortcomings as parents.
Since no parent really wants to admit a flaw, we can sometimes break down and convince ourselves that maybe 4 hours in front of a video game isn’t that bad. After all, we spend a lot of time on the computer, the phone, or streaming data between our Palms, Blackberry, and Cingular cell phones.
Be careful not to fall prey to the logical teenager. Video games can be addictive, and if the time spent playing them is not carefully monitored, they will consume everything a teenager had in mind.
The moment you notice your child’s grades drop, homework is missing, or social life begins to decline, cut playtime in the bud. If you wait too late to limit play time, you may experience tantrums before adulthood that you are not prepared to handle properly (swearing, breaking things, stealing, running away from home, etc.). At this point, the child is obsessed and will do anything to get his hands on a game controller.
Another sign of obsession is a change in behavior. A child obsessed with gambling will lose patience with things and with others, will quickly become angry and will react to situations without fully thinking about the consequences. If you have been paying attention to videos and / or computer games, you will notice that they require this type of behavior to win or advance to a higher level.
It’s a shame, but a teenager obsessed with this type of violent game is literally trained to react in the way described above. That is why it is pertinent that, as an adult, you limit access to this type of entertainment and replace it with activities that slow down thinking (such as art, music, theater, etc.) and expose your child to other non-violent pleasures (swimming, dancing, skating, etc.).
There are many debates circulating about the impact video games have on young people today and some of them may deserve more attention. As the mother or father of a teenager, you will do well with your child’s desire to “get on with her game” by keeping an eye out for undesirable changes.