Son rejects idea of addiction

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Dedasmiles
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Son rejects idea of addiction

I have a 17 year old son that has been spending years playing games, most of the time behind our backs and in the middle of the night when we wouldn't see him. We were always trying to set limits on games, but he said because of that it made him want to play more and sneak around to play games or watch YouTube videos of gamers. My adult son purchased a PS4 for the family last year for Christmas.  So my youngest started playing, and after his time was up, he was sneak again and play in the middle of the night.  And when we would take the PS4 away, he would sneak the computer to his bedroom and play all night.  We have talked to him over and over about game addiction, and he will get very angry and say we are lying about his symptoms and he is not addicted.  Every night he plays till about 2:00-2:30 in the morning.  We even added a time tracker to his account so he could see how much time he was spending on gaming, and he says that was not correct because he is not "actively playing" that whole time.  It's just excuse after excuse and I don't know what to do.  He has in times past not played for a week or two to prove to us he was not addicted. But when he does play, it's hard to get him to do his schoolwork or his chores.  And when he is not playing, he is watching people play or reading about the games.  He also always has to be entertained by some kind of technology.  He has to be watching TV or browsing the web... he spends and average of 4-5 hours a day playing.  We gave him a limit of 3 hours.  He just doesn't believe me when I tell him it is unhealthy for him.  He says you can't believe everything you read and continue playing. Taking the games away don't help, cause he finds a way by sneaking.  Last night his friends came over and he played games with them for alittle bit, but when they wanted to play cards, he went to him room, on his phone and watched a movie.  When I asked why he did that, he said they were not doing something he wanted to do.  Other than completely banning all electronics, I don't know how to fix this problem. Thanks!
 

 

Dedasmiles

Polga
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Welcome Dedasmiles

Welcome Dedasmiles

It sounds like he is really hooked on these games and he is not able to do the right and balanced thing to help himself because he is addicted. Denial is common; that way he does not have to do anything about it. They put the problem as our fault and not understanding; addicts are great at manipulation

You have two choices; do nothing and watch his life stall, or findout as much as you can and make a plan on how you are going to stop enabling and how you can influence him while he is still a minor.

You say that taking the games away does not work. We have to be vigilent about it; it is not easy. You need to have strategies, and consequences for when he breaks your rules. It's hard work to do this but it can be done where their is motivation . Would you let your kids have hard drugs in your home ? Probably not as this is recognised as no way helping the addict to get better. If you said taking away crack or meth does not work to get a drug addict "cured", then you would also be right. They are still an addict because we can't cure it, but if the addict is not using they have a chance to recover and heal, so that maybe they can rethink their choices. While he is using, he is not developing emotionally. The point of taking away games and Twitch or whatever feeds their addiction is to help them to heal and get out of the madness.

Go to the link for parents in my signature and read and then reread all the info linked in the first aid kit. Let it settle. Make a plan. Understand what you are trying to achieve and the fact that we cannot cure them, we can only influence them and give them a chance to heal while they are under our care. Maybe think about wilderness program or some such.

If he wants to game once he has turned 18 and is an adult, that is his choice but you don't have to support him or make him comfortable with a roof over his head. You can say "no gaming devices including smart phones in my house if you want to live here". He may leave but life will then hit him and he will have to wake up. He will need a job to pay for his accomodation so less time gaming. Recovery happens when we stop enabling.

There are some tough choices to make. Sorry you are having to deal with this. This addiction is powerful and you need to find your power to counteract it

 

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