Thursday, November 4, 2010

Teen son and video games

Questioner: Michele

Subject: 15 year old teenage boy

Question: My son is and always been a good boy. Lately, he is consumed by violent video games online. I believe this has pulled him into a darkness. He doesn't want to do family things and has become mouthy. He is 6 foot tall and doesn't fear his father or me. Pushes back when discussions occur. We took his computer totally away to combat his disliking personality. It is crushing me to lose my boy and be in the presence of this unknown creature. How can I turn this around? -fearful Mom.

Dear Michele:

What concerns me is how he has been allowed to play violent video games online? Why would a parent not prohibit this type of game playing in the first place. I don't think the answer is to place the blame on the video game.

Evidently parenting has not been in play here and his pushing back is a natural reaction to his having been allowed to make decisions which were not in his best interest to make.

Turning it around is going to take lots of patience and time and commitment on your part. First of all you have to set the ground rules that these types of games will not be allowed in your home. If he is capable of making healthy choices on the computer and can show with his behavior that he is then having a computer is an EARNED privilege not a right.

I would strongly encourage you at this point to get into counseling. It sounds to me like things have gone down hill for sometime now. It won't be easy turning this around and you will need all the support you can get.

You will need to replace the time on the computer with lots of quality family time. Be prepared for his resistance he wants things to stay the way there were. It is not impossible to turn it around it just won't be easy and you will need to be determined to do so.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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