Is Your Child Addicted to Video Games?

Dear Sara,

My fourteen year old son plays video games in most of his free time. He is not doing as well in school as last year and doesn’t seem to have any friends. There was a segment on TV that reported that kids could get addicted to video games. Is this possible?

Dear Sherry,

Your son certainly seems to be using his video games to avoid doing what he is supposed to be doing at his stage of life such as getting his education and making friends. One thing you could ask yourself is whether he feels compelled to play his games and whether he feels anxiety if he doesn’t play. If he is just using the game because he doesn’t want to interact with others, he may be depressed.

People can become addicted to all sorts of things. If someone feels a rush when they do something and feel compelled to do it anyway even if they know it is negatively affecting their life then they may be addicted.

If you are feeling that his game playing is affecting his life negatively it might be time to take away his video games for the time being until he begins to do better in school. You could also allow your son to play his games as a reward for good behavior. If you think he is depressed then he needs some help with this. You are his parent and need to do what is best for him even though he will not be happy about it. Good luck.