My son is a video game addict
I have visited this site before for the comfort of knowing I was not alone in my despair. I am the father of a just turned 20 year old gaming addict. I've joined the site today as things came to a head this past weekend. Honestly, it should have come to a head a couple years ago. I guess it's because my wife and I wanted to believe things would resolve themselves, that my son would eventually "get it". After all, he is a smart kid. It's just a phase.
I found out this weekend that my son failed the two community college classes he took in the fall semester. I had logged on to pay his spring semester tuition and his grades were posted. I saw the two F's. This is after failing all four courses he took last spring. At that time we had the family discussion that we had had on several occasions back when he was in high school. He admitted at that time that he stopped going to classes in order to play computer games. He was addicted to World of Warcraft. He said he deleted his account and was done playing as he realized he was messing up things big time. He agreed to take two courses in the fall, two of the ones he had failed in the spring, as a fresh start. We trusted him. But I did cut off his internet connection at midnight so that he could not play thru the night.
He continued to play games in his room at times and when I would approach him, he said it was different games, not WOW. I checked and indeed WOW was not on his laptop but he did have several new games. He would sit and appear to be doing homework during the week and whenever questioned as to how he was doing, he would say, "pretty sure I'm doing good." Yet he never had tests to show us and there was no way to check with the school. I had my doubts but wanted to trust him. Obvioulsy it was misplaced trust. He admitted this weekend that he failed because he didn't go to class for a stretch of 3 weeks(because he was playing games) and then couldn't make up all he missed. I have serious doubts he went much at all.
I blame myself for this. I was the one who bought him a computer for his room when he was sophomore in high school. I let him play countless hours in his room instead of making him spend more time with the family. As his marks spiralled downward, we would have a talk, he would make promises, we would see an improvement, but then things would go back to constant gaming. I should have pulled the plug on things two years ago. I didn't. After barely graduating from high school, we talked about how community college was a new chance to get himself together and make a plan for his life. He wasn't gung ho on attending but agreed it was the right thing to do. His first semester of four courses, he finished with a 2.0. He worked part time(18-20 hours/week). I thought he was on the right track. Now the 6 courses he took in 2009, all F's. The school won't let him back for the upcoming semester.
So this past weekend, I told him there would be no more gaming for him in my house. I took his laptop, I took his playstation 3 games(including the 3 new ones I got him for Christmas). I explained that not being a student, he was now not covered for any health benefits. I told him he needs to go find a full time job with benefits. His only response is "I know I messed up."
So now all he has is his part time job. He can't take classes. He can't play games. He has no real friends. I am furious with him. I want to give him an ultimatum, i.e., get a full time job with benefits in 3 months or find another place to live. My wife disagrees and wants to give him time to "figure things out". He is not a bad kid. In fact he is a good kid except for his total lack of motivation to do anything other than play video games.
I am afraid of what the next days, weeks, months hold for him. He is lost. I am lost. I am heartbroken by his lies and deceit. I cry for his wasted years. I fear for his future. I don't know what to do next. I do know I needed to type this and share this story.