MY SON LOVES VIDEO GAMES MORE THAN ME!
Dear Woo Woo Girl:
My 19 year old son spends his day locked in his bedroom playing video games. He rarely socializes with us and calls people he texts, friends, even though he never sees them. He has no life. He loves video games more than me! How do I get him out of his room?
Desperate Mama Bear
Dear Desperate Mama Bear:
Stuck in his room playing video games all day is sooo common.
My kid does the same thing. If I try to intervene, World War 3 breaks out
Gaming is especially alluring. It tricks your child into thinking he has friends. He chats, screams, swears through the headset at people he calls pals even though he never sees them. Intentionally developed to entice kids and adults into a virtual world, video games also ramp up the prefrontal cortex-the pleasure centre.
BUT IT’S SO BAD! Hmmm….depends.
Here’s the thing. Remember when you were young? There were times when you pulled back from the world for whatever reason. I would sit in my room for hours and read, or go off drinking which is way worse than screaming at a monitor. There is no middle ground as a young adult.
Playing video games is the same kind of thing. A way to pull back from situations that seem overwhelming. Games are seductive. A virtual world is a place to hide. If your kid is aka “normal”- meaning he/she isn’t anxious, depressed, has learning disabilities, or social sadness, then consider gaming a time out – a fck you to the world.
Let’s face it. The world can be pretty scary.
But I get it. My kid is one of those kids addicted to gaming. He’s also anxious, finds it difficult to navigate the world, and highly rigid. Am I worried? I used to be. But he is sloooowly moving forward. He’s in college now. He does the work. He comes down for dinner. He makes muffins for charity and on the odd occasion cooks dinner. But he went through a really tough phase… and is coming out the other side.
IF ANYTHING VIDEO GAMES FOCUSED HIS BALL OF MESS
Let’s be real. Video games is a first world problem. I bought video games for my kid and I have the power to take them away.
Just throw the damn thing out, if it becomes really self- destructive to your child and your family. I have NEVER hesitated to pull out the cable, shut off the internet and have physical dragged the oversized TV into another room.
The reason we don’t want to do it, is because video games are babysitters. You know where your kid is, AND we don’t want to deal with the fall out…which is not pretty. (I have had the police show up at my house, because someone thought there was a murder going down!)
WHO CARES WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THINK!
1. Pull the plug
2. Set up the internet so all games goes off at a certain time
3. Set up a challenge: After 30 minutes on the rowing machine, walking the dog, doing something for charity, THEN you can play the damn games.
BUT IF GAMES ARE A REAL CAUSE FOR CONCERN IN YOUR HOUSE, YOU ARE DEALING WITH A SAD SOUL!
Think about it. When we retreat, it’s because we are down, burnt out, fed up, disappointed.
HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK?
Show him his happy place…There are soo many places to go!
Video games accelerate that happy feeling. Show them how to find it. If I could buy friends I would, and I know you would too. But let’s face it. Navigating the world is ultimately a solo journey. But keeping the tone light and funny in the house goes a long way to decreasing tension and making your child feel like it’s safe to try other things-even if there is a bribe involved…
My son’s happy place is nature and jet skiing. It’s also my bargaining tool. He can’t get on the jet ski if he has stayed up all night playing video games. Bam! Problem solved. He loves jet skiing. It’s the same rush when you shoot up a bunch of people. And I love that he loves it. Everyone needs a passion, so help him /she find it. Whether it’s through study or a hobby once he finds it, he will eventually find his tribe.
Now for some really Woo Woo stuff…
When it was really at it’s worse, and the controller was aimed at my head, or thrown at the wall, I took my son to an energy healer who read his past life and his current situation.
CRAZY RIGHT? Maybe yes, maybe no.
It was so outside his realm of normal that he listened to her. He had tried talk therapy, and that kind of approach didn’t make my kid FEEL better. It falls into the talking head syndrome. Blah, blah, blah…
The energy healer read his body and past life and explained why he was the way he was in such a different way, that it made him feel better. It made him feel understood. She placed her hands around different parts of his body and after an hour, told him in a past life he had been in the army and his friends were killed in the war. He felt guilt over it, and in this life time kept trying to rescue people. Interesting. That was the theme to his friendships. What is his career choice? PSW and social work.
He came out feeling lighter and happier. Whenever I can get him to her I do. She makes a difference in his life and I love that.
Another not so out there approach is the Wim Hof method of boosting your mood through breath work and cold showers. He’s known as the Ice Man who holds numerous Guinness Book of World Records for extreme feats such as swimming under the ice while holding his breath.
He’s cool to research, and kind of macho which would appeal to the more physically motivated kid. More importantly, it’s fun, you can do it together and have friendly ice throwing competitions!
I GET IT!
Some of it sounds weird and over the top. But we live in over the top times where medications are the go to, and social isolation takes on many meanings…Help your kids explore woo woo stuff… its just another tool in their back pocket. Check out the blog on What the heck is Woo Woo and what does it have to do with ADVICE!
Woo Woo Girl