Gaming addictions in teens are a result of compulsive behavior that centers on technology, electronics, video games and other forms of online entertainment. When a teenage boy’s schoolwork is suffering, and graduation is in jeopardy, it is definitely time for parents to step in and take some action.
What is Gaming Addiction?
Most American teens are really into playing video games and connecting with friends on social media. In fact, many parents are puzzled about the attraction to online activities in teens. However, parents need to recognize the difference between a video game enthusiast and a gaming addict.
Gaming addiction is similar to other compulsive behavior problems and disorders. It’s part of a larger umbrella of addictive behaviors that medical experts are studying closely. Essentially, any activity that severely interferes with a teen’s normal life and compromises their decision-making abilities is a big problem. More and more, gaming addiction jeopardizes a teen’s future, especially where school is concerned. Without graduating, a teenager’s life and career goals may not be met.
Why Some Teens Can’t Stop
No matter how hard they try, many teens with gaming addiction cannot control themselves on their own. Compulsive behavior is often part of bigger emotional, mental health or behavioral issues like depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and others. Video games can stimulate part of the brain that releases endorphins, those pleasure hormones that flood the body with good feelings. Sometimes, teenagers who have real-life struggles turn to gaming to help them cope better, and the compulsive behavior begins.Teens who cannot control their behavior and are unable to regulate their game time need professional help in managing their habits. With gaming addiction, teens often put off doing homework, projects and participating in school activities in favor of gaming. Friends, hobbies, and other aspects of normal teen life are pushed aside so they can keep playing. They are distracted and thinking of gaming when they are in school, and rearrange their lives in order to maximize playing time. When schoolwork suffers and graduation is in jeopardy, it’s time for parents to find some help for their troubled teen son.
What Can Parents Do?
There are a number of things that parents can do to help curb their teenager’s gaming addiction. As with any teenage behavior, strong boundaries are a key part of keeping any negative behavior at bay. The first thing to do is set limits to how often and how long the teenage boy can use the gaming system. In a worst case scenario, parents may need to get rid of the system altogether.
Parents should also encourage teen boys to participate in other activities, such as sports, hanging with friends, hobbies and volunteer work. Setting school as a priority is important, and meeting with counselors, teachers and tutors can bring the troubled teen boy back up to grade level and help repair credits. Summer school, therapeutic boarding school and other supplemental measures may need to be implemented depending on the severity.
It’s never too late for parents to seek out professional help for their teenage son who is in danger of not graduating because of a gaming addiction. When everyone in the teen’s support group works together to help him change the direction of his life, school success is sure to follow.