Your teenager or child has discovered a new passion! It’s a new video game!
It’s nice, he invests a lot in it!
Maybe a little too much right?
It is normal that when a person discovers something new and is passionately interested in it for about two weeks.
After that, it is worth following a few steps to ensure that it does not become toxic to him and those around him.
- Talk to the young person: “What is this new game?” “What interests him inside?” “Who does he communicate with in the game? Unknown? Friends?”
- Evaluate how long he plays it? How often? Does it affect the rest of his life? Does he sleep less because of that?
Before panicking because “Help, my young person is addicted / addicted to video games”, it should be remembered that addiction is a clinical diagnosis that is given when the person is no longer functional: he no longer eats properly, no longer sleeps properly, spends large sums in his addiction, no longer acts correctly with his entourage for the benefit of his addiction.
This addiction can be tobacco, alcohol, drugs, gambling, movies, music, video games, anything. It all depends on what the person has decided to take refuge in.
It is good to ask why the person plays:
- Have time for yourself
- Having time with friends online
- Lack of intellectual stimulation?
- Willingness to feel in control in the game, to feel powerful in the game?
Many reasons are possible.
There are also many nuances in the possible behavior of the child and his practice of video games. Ideally we hope and aim for a healthy playing balance.
- that the young person plays moderately, sometimes, or occasionally,
- He continues to go to college, or high school and have good results.
- He practices a sport
- He has other passions
- He sees his family and friends without a problem
- He talks about his life, tells his stories with enthusiasm
It is also good to remember that despite the fact that he is still a child, especially in your eyes, he sometimes needs time for himself, without invective from you, or from the teachers. He needs time to create, to be free and keep busy as he wants, and also to be bored.
Boredom, even if it’s counterintuitive, is very beneficial for everyone. This makes it possible to form ideas, to have new ones, to rest the mind.
Should we intervene?
The young person remains a child, he may not yet have all the cognitive functions developed to play moderately, he may perform excesses at times. And that’s normal. Even adults are not immune to this.
It is also in adolescence that young people detach themselves from their parents and try to create their own identities.
It is also normal to find yourself overwhelmed by this, because it is difficult to manage your life as a couple, the teenager who plays a lot by locking himself in the room, work, friends, and his personal needs. There is no need to feel guilty about this, it is temporary, and fortunately there are people who can help.
It’s all about whether and when to intervene.
There are specialists who know how to guide the child in his practice of video games.
They know the most popular games of the moment, and will be able to give tips to the child to improve in the game BUT also the other spheres of his life.
Indeed, when the young person meets people who have gone through the same stages as him in life, and who give him good advice to win more at his favorite game, it changes everything!
Tips can range from respecting sleep hours to have cognitive functions at the top, balancing classes, sports, food to be more effective in the game, and taking an interest in other passions and other games, to establish new strategies in your favorite game.
For more information, I invite you to consult the articles of our psychologist colleague, Elsa Brais Dussault here.