Teenagers with V.G.A. (video game addiction)

Sandra - posted on 12/31/2015 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I am looking for an online support group for parents who have children or teens or young adults still living at home who have VGA. I am worried about the length of time they are devoting to their game play and I feel they are missing out on many social aspects of life. They rarely go out and do not seem motivated to do very much else. Is anyone else in this kind of a predicament and has anyone got any good ideas to help me out with this problem? I will not parent by force or manipulation so I refuse to take their internet access away unless they change. Is there another way to gently approach this? Help!

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Jodi - posted on 12/31/2015

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Seriously? Noone said you were a bad parent. They suggested that your parenting techniques could use some improvement, but let's face it, YOU are the one who posted here looking for some constructive advice about a situation you clearly arent' happy with. I'm not the one posting that my kids are addicted to video games. I've suggested WHY my kids aren't addicted to video games - because I have boundaries and limitations, as well as consequences in place if they are not met. That doesn't make me a perfect parent, but it has helped with being successful in encouraging the behaviours I want.

Stop playing the victim (woe is me I must be a terrible parent) and actually face the situation and make some changes. Accept that on this particular issue, you probably could have done better, but hindsight is one of those things we all wish we had. Otherwise why did you even bother posting here? People are telling you what you need to hear, but they are NOT telling you that you are a bad parent.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/31/2015

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Sandra, stop acting like a pissed off kid. NO ONE said that you're a poor parent, but we did all point out that parenting takes effort, and if you're not putting the effort in, you get kids who don't care, treat you like crap, and spend all day on video games.

You asked if anyone had suggestions, but negated the MOST EFFECTIVE before even hitting post on your question.

Quit with the pity party. NO ONE is a perfect parent, and none of us here have ever claimed to be. WE ALL are posting from experience, and I can pretty much guarantee that none of us are millionaires either. Personally, we have been at our financial low for a few months in my house...and when my kids were younger, (both are adults now), we definitely didn't have the cash to be materialistic parents.

You complain that your kids won't do anything but play video or be online. The solution is to literally TURN IT OFF. Sell the gaming systems, put parental controls on your computer, and set some boundaries! Yeas, your kids are going to rebel, because you've allowed this behaviour. YOU have to be the strong one. and Honey, I promise...you wouldn't have gotten this far if you didn't have a little bit of strength in you somewhere.

Ok, you don't have a car. How about public transportation? How far is it to walk to activities? Is there a carpool or shuttle system that you could tap into? You keep saying you don't have the money, but yet you've bought gaming systems, etc...those dollars could be being saved up towards transportation, etc.

I think, perhaps, that you could benefit both from therapy, and from some financial courses to help you learn how to better manage the funds you have. Get involved with social services. They are NOT the devil. There are plenty of programs available if you take the time to seek them out.

Good luck

Jodi - posted on 12/31/2015

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" I will not parent by force or manipulation so I refuse to take their internet access away unless they change"

" They totally control me"

Gee, I don't know why they ended up the way they did! (*read sarcasm*)

Honestly, parenting IS about guiding children to the behaviour you want to see, and sometimes, that means setting boundaries, and then when those boundaries are pushed, taking away the privilege.

Cause and effect. You choose not to set boundaries and implement appropriate consequences, so your children control you. That's how it works.

If these kids are still teens, then maybe it's time to grow a backbone. If they aren't, then sorry, you are WAY too late with the parenting.

Dove - posted on 12/31/2015

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If you aren't going to parent... what do you expect?

If this is an adult... they are certainly free to play as much as they want during their free time... provided they are paying an acceptable amount for rent and picking up after themselves.

If this is an actual teenager still... cut the cord (not necessarily literally...lol).

I have two teenagers that while home do spend a lot of time on their iPods... BUT... they also surf almost every day, play soccer, ride horses, go to youth group activities, etc... They are very active, so it doesn't bother me that on the rare occasions they are home they are mostly on electronics. If it became an issue... the iPods would be gone... cuz that's what a parent DOES... And actually... since we had some problems last school quarter they WILL be having limits starting next week (when they return to school from break)... because if they can not manage their time wisely it is my job as their parent to help them w/ that.

Ev - posted on 12/31/2015

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I have a son who does play a lot of games and he has friends that do as well. He did have a job but quit for certain circumstances but unfortunately, this time of year is hard to find work of any kind. He does get out and do things and goes places. But I have to say that if you have children or teens at home you should parent them. They need limits set up to help them learn how to manage time properly for the more important things. As a parent it is well within those rights as a parent to take away the games, internet, and computer and video game machines. They are priviledges not necessity. Kids should not be allowed to run the house and get what they want when they want it. There is so much other stuff that needs their attention from homework to chores, activities to school functions, sports, and so on. Its best to encourage time management skills and to prioritize what is important to do first, second, third. You do not have to parent by force or manipulation. But you can and should take away internet and the games until they learn and can show they can handle this responsiblity better.

As for young adults, set up a contract if they are going to live at home for a while as to what you expect them to do and the rules. If they agree to those rules etc which should include them managing their time on games etc and not totally just doing the games all the time. If they do game and do not follow rules, help around the home, get a job, etc...then you can take some measure there. You can keep them off the internet. Unfortunately, you may have to use some tough love to get them to learn the lesson about being an adult.

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Dove - posted on 12/31/2015

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Seek therapy. I think you would benefit greatly since you seem to have zero self esteem or desire for any sort of a healthy life... at least based on your reactions to simple fact and constructive criticism.

NO ONE called you a terrible parent and NO ONE claimed to be a perfect parent. LIFE is hard. PARENTING is hard. Making changes instead of excuses is hard. We all know that, but you can not do what you've always done and expect to get anything other than what you've always gotten. Life doesn't work that way. Sometimes it is hard and it sucks, but it is necessary for sanity and survival.

As for the horses (which really has nothing to do w/ anything as that's just been in the past couple of months... out of 14 years of my kids' lives)... actually that's on the street where my girls' best friend now lives. WE live in low income county housing apartments... and as far as going to the park to play soccer... they are 14... they take themselves to the park.... they walk, ride skateboards (borrowed from a friend as they don't own their own), or scrounge up the 25 cents to catch the bus from one part of town to another... THEY are fairly self sufficient because they want to be active and outdoors... it has very little to do w/ me or anything I've done other than to NOT raise them dependent on electronics.

You apparently missed my entire point... you do NOT need money to have a life outside of video games.... books, puzzles, art, running around outside, etc... all are cheap or free and all are possible to do... just about anywhere.

You have no car? So you and your kids never leave the house?

We are trying to help you, but it is clear you have no desire for help... so good luck in life.

Ev - posted on 12/31/2015

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None of us said you were a terrible parent. But you have to impose limits on your kids so they can learn how the world outside home works. I gave you plenty of ideas to do. Even walking as a family is something. Good Grief! We, moms, here are not by far perfect parents with perfect kids.

Sandra - posted on 12/31/2015

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Wow! I wish I had neighbors like that! We live in a very average community and no one has horses. Even if they did have horses, no one ever invited me or my kids to ride them. Many sports are free but you need to get to the park and we have never had a car. I am doing my best and I did my best. I guess it was not good enough. I think you have to be ready to change and maybe they will change or be forced to change due to circumstance. Sorry for posting in the wrong place and for bitching as you call it. I am a terrible parent and my goal in life was to obviously never help my kids. You guys are perfectly great parents and your children will be great adults. Let's face it, I am a loser parent and deserve jail time. By the way, the games they play are free to play, but of course how do I even know that since I am such a horrid parent. Please delete me from your circle of Moms, I think I have had enough constructive advice. Bye Bye. Please have a happy new year.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/31/2015

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One does not have to be rich to be a good parent!

Quit making excuses. Your children are behaving the way that you have allowed them to behave. You admit that you feel guilty for not being able to be a materialistic parent, so you won't restrict their access or attempt to modify their behaviour...which is your job as a parent.

We ARE supportive...as long as one isn't trying to make excuses for why they won't do something. If you don't want to help your kids, say so. If you don't want constructive advice, this is the wrong place to post.

ETA: Honestly, you claim to be "poor", yet you're bitching about the kids being stuck to their video games, which ARE NOT CHEAP!

Ev - posted on 12/31/2015

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Being poor is an excuse to get them involved in things. As Dove pointed out her kids play with friends or ride the friends' horses without charge. There are other things to do. Take them to the local library for instance for some of their programs. Take them to free local museums. Take them to the park. If they already have bikes or skateboards then have them use them. You do not have to have money to do things. I have been divorced for 13 years and when I had my kids we had to do what I could afford which most times meant not doing things that cost but we still had fun. We went to the library and picked out movies over going to the video store. We went and visited grandparents and cousins. We took rides in the car. I saved back money as I could for those things that did cost. But you got to take control or they will rule the roost and you will rue the day.

Dove - posted on 12/31/2015

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You asked for help... so what do you want to hear? If you won't set rules... your life won't change. You can NOT change the past... so don't worry about that. You CAN change the future, but it is 100% up to you to set rules and follow through. No one else can do it for you.

Dove - posted on 12/31/2015

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My kids play soccer for free w/ their friends and ride the neighbor's horses... also for free.... and my ex abandoned us almost 8 years ago when those teenagers were 6.

You can make excuses... or you can make changes. The choice is yours.

Sandra - posted on 12/31/2015

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Well, thanks for the advice, but we are a poor family with no car and we never had a chance financially to play soccer and ride horses. They totally control me and I have enormous guilt about how their lives turned out because my ex and I separated when they were pretty young. I guess I am a lousy parent. Happy New Year.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/31/2015

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well, you've stated your problem in your second to last sentence.

YOU REFUSE to parent effectively. If you want your kids to get their butts off the games, YOU TAKE AWAY THE GAMES!

Good grief. If you are not willing to remove the problem, then you will continue to encounter it

Margret - posted on 12/31/2015

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You can email my fathers therapist at albertsonny@heretohelpalways.com
P.S my father just has trouble with crowds

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