Parents must stop enabling video-game addicts if .....

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Polga
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Parents must stop enabling video-game addicts if .....

.... they want their kids to find recovery.

Welcome to all new parents of gaming addicts on this forum ! You may be here because your daughter or son's gaming is a big problem which can no longer be ignored. 

Are you an enabler ? Please give it some thought. (HINT: it's very likely that you are)  It could save your child's life. I mean this literally and also in the sense that the best years of their life are wasted and their personhood - their potential to be a fully rounded and productive human being with a good sense of self, withers away. And some people do die directly as a result of video game addiction.

From my years of reading this forum, I truely believe the most important and best thing you can do for your videogame addicted**(see what is addiction at the end of this post) minor or adult child is to stop enabling them. You may think that the word enable is similar to the word to empower. As far as addiction terminiology and 'recovery speak' goes, enable does not mean empower, it means the exact opposite.

Enabling creates dependancy and feeds addiction.

The principle of this thread is that "enabling" the addict keeps them in their addiction longer.

We have to stop enabling if we want to stop being a part of fueling their addiction.

Sometimes that is hard because we are programmed to want to "give" to our children. Developing self awareness is key.

Many things you might normally do for your child may be enabling them and keeping them in addiction. You need to think hard about what you are doing. As enablers, we kind of loose sight about the right way to go because enabling can consume us and skew our sense of what is right, what is the best thing for their long term future.

Nothing will change unless we change!

What is "enabling"? What are examples of enabling? Who are the enablers? Find out more from the thread on the member only forum, link below.

Signed-up olganon members (it's free to sign up) can read and contribute to our thread about enabling  on the members only parents forum ... it's in the blue sticky post area at the top. http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-parents-olg-anon-members-only/about-enabling-what-we-need-stop-doing-really-help

We put some of our advice and experience on the members only forum so it is in a safe place away from critical eyes of people who do not  understand our situation.

Here are some of the things shared on the thread:

  1. A member shares how they were prepared to risk the short term relationship with the gaming addict in return for long term gains for her son
  2. A member shares what it feels like to be called "an enabler"
  3. A member recognises the many ways how they enabled their adult son
  4. What a member would have done, in hindsight....
  5. "Let me fall by myself"; a plea from an addict to let them find their own way by not interfering with the natural course of events
  6. Reasons to avoid negative emotional reactions to their behaviour
  7. Its "easier" to keep enabling
  8. A parent realises " I am in no postion to help" her video game addict son
  9. Link to resource to confront the addict or enabler
  10. Addicts talk about the role of suffering and a getting a big shock for them to feel need to seek recovery
  11. A list of things that would be enabling the addict
  12. Enabling: the Addiction of the Codependent
  13. Link to an article that discusses enabling and an adult "failing to launch" staying dependant on parents.
  14. When parents live apart, the gaming addicted kids will chose to live with enablers
  15. A story about enabling
  16. How  members stopped enabling and set boundaries
  17. How parents stopping enabling was the turning point of recovery for a gamer
  18. A member's husband is feeding son's addiction by enabling; links to several member experiences
  19. Blog article about the toll of enabling on the enabler and the addict
  20. Tough love; a member spells out what that means when dealing with an adult video game addict son or daughter
  21. Link to another parent forum regarding parents enabling bad behaviours
  22. Failure to Launch; a parent's role in this phenomenon of young adults being unable to deal with real life
  23. About breaking the cycle of dependancy
  24. How families can deal with addiction
  25. It's hard learning to detach

** WHAT IS ADDICTION ?? This question is an academic debate but we won't bore you with that. Here is a practical way of looking at it: If our repeated attempts of trying to get our kids to moderate video gaming responsibly fails, it may be because they are addicted. In this situation moderation will not work and gaming will always make their lives unbalanced and make everything else seen dull. Emotional development will be arrested as they will no longer want to do these normal activities which are so important to develop emotional maturity and resilience. Someone on this forum once said that an addict cannot moderate AND be happy. They have to have their game as much as they want or not have the game at all, to be able to be happy. On this forum we believe parents are entitled to remove games, and devices including mobile phones from the home if moderation does not work, even if the device belongs to theor child. Your house, your rules. They have the option to leave if they don't like your rules. Perhaps its time for you to stop adjusting to their demands. This website can help you plan your strategy for change.

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

Polga
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A child psychologist recommends removing the games completely

"In the last few months two separate sets of parents have asked me what to do with 20-something unemployed sons who play video games all day and through most of the night. Those two sons represent thousands of young “men” who are wasting valuable years of their lives playing electronic games that have no redeeming value and pose a real hazard to their emotional and social health.

Before any evaluation of your son can yield a reliable picture of his mental health, the video games have to go. To accomplish that, you have to recognize that you are part of the problem. You’ve become enablers."

Read more here: 

https://www.arcamax.com/homeandleisure/parents/johnrosemond/s-1505217

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

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Polga
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A challenging read for all

A challenging read for all enablers of game addicted children

See:

https://eu.rgj.com/story/life/2017/09/05/rosemond-no-not-all-things-good-moderation/633801001/

from the article :

"The mother of a 25-year-old man-child who fits the above description recently asked if there are “resources for parents” who are dealing with adult video game addicts. I have figured out that in this context the word “resources” is a euphemism for “stuff we can read or meetings we can attend to convince ourselves that we’re doing something when we have no real intention of doing anything but complaining endlessly to anyone who will listen.” When I suggest the “resource” of involuntary emancipation, these parents come up with one excuse after another, demonstrating that where there is an addict, there is often an enabler or enablers."

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

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Kindrella5
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The thing is anything called

The thing is anything called addiction is not good at all. We should consider that if we let kids play a lots games or approach games with inappropriate contents, it will cause serious problems. And, parents are the one who control it.

Kristijan
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Children Screen Addiction Survey

I did enable the screens for my kids, but I've started to be aware of the problem and I limit screen time for my kids now.

The older one is 11, and he owns his PC. He was playing during the week, but since we've noticed bad results in school, we forbid any playing on the PC except for the weekend days. He is allowed 2–3 hours max on a PC per weekend day after he is done with homework and learning and after being outside with his friends for a couple of hours. Luckily he likes to go out. He owns his smartphone too. I limit the smartphone use through an app to 1h per weekday, 2 hours on a weekend's days.

The younger one is 6, and she likes to watch youtube videos, mostly some educational /entertaining ones in her mothers' language. So in a way, it's a good activity because she has learned the language. On the other hand, she is watching too much of it. I have to limit the screen time for her also.

Polga
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Failure to Launch

Failure to Launch

I recently read a detailed review of a book around failure to launch on Goodreads.

Here is part of it. It sums up nicely how parents can disable their kids from facing up to real life

"Anyway, the main idea is that - excluding serious clinical cases of substance abuse and deeper trauma - parents are a huge reason why many young adults ‘fail to launch’:

* They [the parents] are too anxious to ask for what they want and exercise their power;
* They’re too concerned with what the child will think of them;
* They feel sorry for their children (“poor baby, what will they do?")
* They project traits or imagined potential onto their child, that the child either doesn’t have or doesn’t wish for themselves (e.g. be a doctor, the next Nobel prize winner, etc.)
* They’re diverting attention from their own issues and disagreements.

In short, parents coddle out of misplaced love. They let the child stay at home rent-free, pay for their groceries, a credit card, etc. This translates into learned helplessness for the child:

* They child might have no clue what they want from life;
* They don't exercise agency, because everything's been taken care of
* They feel crippling anxiety when they finally have to encounter life's realities;
* They lack working accountability systems to keep them honest, in a virtuous loop

To address that, the author developed his own method for working with both adult clients and their parents, which he describes at length in the book.

If you want to look smart, just read two chapters: the one where he explains his process for young adults, and the one for what parents need to do to make the launch a success.

He follows a logical process that gets young adults to:
1. See their reasoning as faulty, egocentric BS (e.g. when they blame for all their ills, but fail to see how they're a burden on their parents)
2. See their behaviors as a conscious choice (e.g. to be passive and let mom and dad handle things)
3. Discover what they like, what is realistic, and make plans to accomplish their stated goals.

In short, help them deal with the cognitive dissonance that ensues when they realize what they do (sleep, play, go out with friends, chill) is counter to what they say they want (money, degrees, toys, etc.), and work from there.

He does make a good point that many young adults end up seeing life through proverbial “sh** goggles.” At some point, they stop getting praise from their parents and teachers and start internalizing they’re good for nothing (and so on). This can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy, but mom and dad bail you out, so... "why bother?"

As a parent, if you think you don't have “any power” to change things, you can try his eye-opening exercise: list all the things you do for children for free, and imagine what would happen if they were taken away. This will help you see that you do hold most of the cards in the situation; all you have to do is play them. Done the right way, this will make the child feel unpleasant but needed emotions that can spur behavior change.

Outside of that, there are few 'to-dos' and few practical takeaway for parents because: a) it takes two to tango, and b) by the time parents think there's a problem, they've missed out on a lot of opportunities to change things or examine their own enabling behaviors. As the author puts it, "many parents don't have the ego-strength to make [needed] changes on their own."

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

Gamersmom
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Great information Polga!

Thank you for continuing to add excellent information for parents to this forum.  I am sometimes amazed at how many 20-somethings seem to think they are entitled to have their parents support them indefinitely.  It's crazy.  When I was young I couldn't wait to get out on my own and run my own life. I think I will go get a copy of the book you recommended.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

Polga
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Glad it was helpful :)

Glad it was helpful :)

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

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