Dirty word in this house, how about yours? How can one game cause so much angst, upset and ………… you guessed it………………stress? The answer lies in its superior and mastered creation. It is unbelievably good at hooking them in with its target and reward systems. Seriously, who ever you are that invented this game…….. you must be laughing all the way to the bank!
Meanwhile, the rest of us mere mortals are entrenched in the battle of our life trying to save our kids from addiction. For those in Australia, you may have watched 60 minutes last night, what a scary episode. Our whole family watched it. I wanted the kids to see why we are so worried about it and why we impose restrictions. One child watched the whole thing with a concerned expression in disbelief. The other child (the bigger gamer) although trying to cover it up with macho behaviour and the ‘as if I would do that’ attitude, was shocked and scared by what he saw (as was I). He wanted to stop watching, to walk away and pretend it wasn’t real.
It is such a scary world in which to parent these days. The number of distractions out there is phenomenal. When even full-grown adults are falling prey to things such as ‘Fortnite’, our kids have little hope of negotiating a path of balance and health. They are just not capable of fighting against this. They need us to do it for them.
I guess, the biggest thing we can do as parents is model the right behaviour. As we all know, actions speak louder than words. If as a parent, we can mostly (lets face it we are all human) behave the way we want our kids to behave, then at least some of it will hopefully rub off on them. If we can lead balanced lives ourselves with work, sport, healthy eating, play, outdoors, indoors, reading, ipads, phones, computers, TV etc. It will show them that everything is ok in moderation. After all it doesn’t matter what it is, if one thing starts to take over, it is an addiction and it will cause problems.
Another thing we need to do, is make sure our kids know we listen to them. Make sure they know they can come and talk to us about the important things, that we will always have time for them. Some children will be more prone to addictions and other mental illnesses. This needs to be recognised and kids given the help they despirately require. Obviously this starts with parents but also as a community we have a responsibility to find ways to support these kids and their families.
I can only hope that we are doing the right thing in our house. We allow it, but we restrict it (admittedly sometimes not as much as we should). Each house is different and I personally try not to judge others……………….all I can say is GOODLUCK and keep doing your best for your kids, it is all we can do………. and perhaps cross your fingers and pray that they turn out ok!