My Psychology Today Blog Post on Helping Kids Deal With Video Game Addiction
I'm really proud of it - it suggests parents treat obsessive video game playing and similar nonproductive activities as a form of procrastination. You'll find it here. Excerpt:
"If your kid is receptive, have a nonjudgmental conversation about what procrastination is, and the reasons people do it, and why he specifically might be doing it. You can talk about how it's okay to spend some time on mindless or otherwise unproductive activities, but why it's dangerous to overdo it. You can also talk about:
>The unique “addictiveness” of a lot of our electronic gadgets, including the music, visuals, and intermittent rewards (like slot machines!);
>The social pressures to overuse;
>The consequences of overuse, including lassitude and loneliness; and, finally,
>You can discuss your own procrastination challenges and how they've affected you, and what you're doing to handle them. Of course, kids are very aware of our own shortcomings and apparent hypocrisies, so if you haven't mastered your own electronic addiction you're going to have a hard time convincing him to tackle his. On the other hand, this is a fantastic project for you both to work on together while providing each other with mutual support and encouragement.
If you're lucky, your kid may acknowledge some of these points, or even add some new ones; if not, you can still state your opinions and concerns in a nonjudgmental way.
Please share with other concerned parents!