Game addicted or not, difficult question and to answer.
A few nights ago, I went to bed feeling a bit congested from what I assumed were allergies. I woke up around 3 am and decided to get up for a drink and an allergy pill. As I made my way to the bathroom, I heard talking from my teen son’s room. My first thought was that he talked in his sleep, but I soon realized he talked to someone. I slowly opened his bedroom door, and sure enough, there he was in front of his computer playing his game. He was playing the same game since going to his room after dinner a full 8 hours ago! My immediate reaction was to yell, of course, but I remembered that there were other people still sleeping.
I entered his room and tapped him on his shoulder. He looked at me with his eyes glazed over and appeared to be in somewhat of a trance for a few seconds. He glanced at the clock and looked at me, confused. I told him that it was time to end the game and go to bed. He said his goodbyes and turned it off. As he made his way to his bed, I told him that we would have to talk in the morning.
I went back to bed in disbelief that my son could have possibly spent that much time on his game. I began to wonder how often this was happening. Thinking back over the past couple of weeks, I remember him seeming quite tired all the time, He was falling asleep during lectures and seemed to be in a daze when moping around the house. I couldn’t even remember the last time that he showered.
The next morning over breakfast, I was hesitant to start a conversation because I just knew that it would be met with resistance. I tried to start with a positive about how much I know he likes his game and spending time talking with his friends. He agreed and then, much to my surprise, admitted that he often loses track of time and some nights doesn’t sleep at all. I told him how much sleep is important for him and that I also understood how much he enjoys his game.
We talked for quite some time about how to fix the issue and decided that after dinner, he was going to start walking the dog so that he could get some time out of the house and that from now on, the internet was going to be turned off at 11 pm when everyone goes to bed. My son expressed some concern that his friends from the game would no longer invite him to things. We had a long discussion about these concerns and decided that the game time could be extended on Friday and Saturday nights.