“Mom, I want to be a professional gamer…”

So your son says to you, Mom, I wanna be a professional gamer. Ah, what do you do? Well, let's talk
about that today on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family
therapist, and I specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives. I lead
two organizations, the Group Private Practice Teen Therapy Center, and the nonprofit 501c3
organization, Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. And every
Wednesday at noon, I jump onto Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions and let's jump
into today's question. My son wants to be a professional gamer. He's supposedly really good
too. If it was a sport or an instrument, we'd let him do it all the time without thinking twice
about it. We wouldn't wanna get in the way if there's a chance he really could make a career out
of it. On the other hand, we feel like there are much healthier pursuits than video games. Are
we stuck in the ice age or is this professional gaming

thing the new version of baseball? Thank you for your question. That's a big question. Will
e -sports, sports, video game sports, take over and become major crowd -pleasing events that
our biggest celebrities just like football and baseball and basketball? I don't know. A lot
of young kids think it will. Time will tell. But I hear this a lot. And again, if this kid was playing
baseball or playing violin, the parents are like, go, do it. Do it for eight hours a day. Fantastic.
Explore your dream. But video games, I don't know. It's not necessarily the most healthier
pursuit, kind of limiting what you can do with it. And there's a point to that. But here's the
thing on this. And I hear this a lot. I had a parent years ago say, her kid was very talented in art.
We were exploring how to expand that creativity. And mom's like, I don't want him to pursue that
because I don't want him to major in art. I don't want him to be a bum on Venice Beach selling watercolors.
And I had to let the mom know

that there's plenty of opportunities to use art in ways that are very productive. There's advertising,
marketing, there's design. There's all these kinds of things that we need artists for in the
world. Now, are there less opportunities for artists than accountants? Yes. However, accountants,
artists, video gamers, they're all gonna need the same thing. And what that is, is balance.
So let's say you allow your kid to follow this path, this dream of being a professional video
game player. They can't just be playing video games all the time. They have to have something
else. They have to be able to have some regular exercise, relatively healthy diet, some sleep
hygiene, getting eight to 10 hours sleep a night, have interactions with other people face
-to -face. I know we're in quarantine, but have some kind of interaction with the family, go
do stuff. They can't just do video games. They can't, because they'll burn out. No more, they'll
burn out and they won't be as good a video gamer. And

it's really important that they have balance so they can stay strong and stable. Just like if
they were doing violin or dance or baseball or math. If your kid was so into math and that's all
they did, that's not very good for them either. Now, we need mathematicians. We need really
good mathematicians, but we still need people that have balance so they're having self -care
and take care of themselves. If you decide you wanna do this and you wanna explore this, keep
in mind that out of the professional gamers in this world, there's probably a handful that make
millions of dollars, like a professional athlete would. Probably 150 to 200 who make in the
six -figure range. Maybe three to 400 who make an average of like $60 ,000 a year. And you should
also know that the lifespan of a gamer, if you're 25, you're past your prime, you're old. 25 -year
-old professional gamers are, it's like Tom Brady, if you know who Tom Brady is. He's a really
old guy who's really good at football for some reason,

I don't know why.

That's kind of the, so if your kid does go down this path and does start making money, by the time
they're 25, they're done. And so let's say they're averaging, let's say 50, $60 ,000 a year.
A third of that's taken out of taxes. Maybe another third or so is expenses. So maybe they're
keeping 10 to 15 ,000 a year and stocking away for college, which would be great. And they can
always go back to college later on, especially if they have a well -rounded life. They could
probably hit the ground running, go to college and do whatever they wanna do. Some are gonna
take this career and turn into a streaming career. And streaming basically means you play video
games live and you comment and you make jokes and all that stuff. And there are a handful of people
who do really well at this. Most people don't. And you may need to let your kid run through this.
And try it out. Just like if they're gonna try to go be a baseball player or be a singer or whatever
that is. At a certain point, most people

will recognize, this is not working. But again, if that's all they have in their life, they're
gonna crumble. They need to make sure they have interactions with people, they have other interests.
It's really important they have that so they can make that transition because that transition
is likely to happen. I'm not saying you should allow your kid to do this or you should stop them.
Ultimately, that's gonna be up to you. But what I would say is, what helps you preserve a loving
connection with your kid? And that's what's important because that will last a lifetime. Your
connection with your kid lasts a lifetime. What grade they got in English class or what score
they got on the last video game, it's okay but it's not lasting. Your relationship is lasting.
That means you need to set boundaries but also you need to make time to connect with your kid and
bond with your kid. And as long as your kid has connection with you and some friends and some other
interests and is able to have some

self -care, then maybe you let them give it a shot. Who knows? It's a tough question. Thank you
for sending this question. We love the questions. Keep them coming. If you have a question you'd
like me to answer here on Tips on Teens, you can email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter
.com or you can direct message us right here on Facebook or Instagram. Thanks again. My name
is Kent Toussaint from Teen Therapy Center and Child and Teen Counseling and I will see you next
Wednesday on Facebook Live. Bye -bye guys.

Baseball player? Violinist? Nope, your teen wants to be a professional gamer.

No matter what your kid’s dreams are, they need balance and a good connection with you. That way they can remain strong and stable for whatever comes at them. Your kid’s career might not last, but your relationship with them will, so it’s important to make time to connect and bond with your them. With balance and connection, they can successfully pick up other pursuits later (like college!) Here’s the question from this week’s Tips On Teens?

“My son wants to be a professional gamer. He’s supposedly really good too. If it was a sport or an instrument we’d let him do it all the time without thinking twice about it. We wouldn’t want to get in the way if there’s a chance he really could make a career of it. On the other hand, we feel like there are much healthier pursuits than video games. Are we stuck in the ice age, or is this professional gaming thing the new version of baseball?”

Is the idea of having a career as a professional gamer for real? Check out this article about some parents who found out.

Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live.  He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com.  Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!

Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE!  Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/

If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.