Most people assume that the term ‘addiction’ refers to those who struggle with chemical substances such as alcohol or illegal drugs. However, the truth is that any pattern of behaviour that has a negative impact on one’s life can be classed as an addiction. In fact, one addiction that seems to becoming a growing problem is gaming addiction, particularly as this type of illness most often affects young children and teenagers.
One mother who has been left in despair after her son developed a gaming addiction is Rowena Grant. Her son Mikki spends around five hours every day playing internet games, and she blames his teachers for the problem.
At the weekend, Mikki’s gaming time increases to around ten or twelve hours a day, and he will not go outside or even eat because he becomes so engrossed in his games. Rowena said, “I’m worried sick. He plays for almost 45 to 50 hours a week. Adding up the hours shocked me. He is not the only child I know to be addicted, and as a mother, I think it’s time parents became more active in seeking out support for their children and themselves. My two other children are girls, and while they use Facebook and social media, they are always out and about. But Mikki, like other boys in his class, is obsessed with gaming and wants to stay indoors. This is a growing epidemic and unless we band together our children could be lost to us.”
Like so many other youngsters these days, Mikki lives in a virtual world and has access to a phone, iPad, PlayStation 4, and a TV in his bedroom. This allows him to communicate with other online players across the world. Rowena is worried about his behaviour and the fact that he becomes aggressive when playing online. She said, “In the last two years, his obsession with gaming has rapidly increased to the point where he barely talks about anything else and refuses to go outdoors. I have to physically force him to eat his dinner and beg him to leave the house and come shopping with me. I did have a minor breakthrough this Christmas when a friend got a metal detector. He went out with one of his mates for two hours on a Sunday, but then it was back on the games. When he is not playing on them, he will be on the iPad watching YouTube videos of other people playing the games and picking up tips.”
Rowena has placed some of the blame for Mikki’s gaming addiction on his school because of the fact that it uses iPads and computers in lessons. She said, “The teachers let the kids use them and don’t teach them to write properly. If a child has problems, they let them type. The education apps encourage the children to earn rewards to play games, and that plants the gaming seed. That has, in part, caused my son’s obsession. I also feel guilty for buying the computers and games, but I literally have no idea how to fix this.”
She went on to say, “My son wants to be like other kids his age, and I don’t want him bullied at school for not having the games and being able to join his friends online. The trouble is, it’s now out of control, and I have an 11-year-old addict for a son.”
She also believes that the use of mobile phones and social media have a negative impact on families and said, “I am appalled that some families text each other in the same room. I don’t want my son to be part of that.”
Rowena has taken desperate measures to force her son to concentrate on school work by placing him in a homework club. She said, “It’s my only way to get him to engage without computers around, but I shouldn’t have to do that. I have also signed him up to after-school clubs to ensure he does something other than online gaming for a couple of hours. However, that costs and one of the reasons I am speaking out is that I think there are tens of thousands of parents in my position who know their children are addicted but are scared to admit it or seek help. I am desperately worried that, without major intervention, my child and others like him will end up unable to write or read properly and their social skills will decline.”
If you are worried that your child may have a gaming addiction, contact us here at UKAT. We have experience in dealing with this and many other types of addiction. We work with people of all ages and can create a programme that will work for you and your child. Contact us today for more information.
Source: Mum reveals how her pre-teen boy plays games online for up to 10 hours A DAY… and blames his TEACHERS for his addiction (The Sun)
If you successfully complete our 90-day inpatient treatment program, we guarantee you'll stay clean and sober, or you can return for a complimentary 30 days of treatment.