To a teenager there is nothing on earth that is more fun than a video game. Learning guitar, playing basketball, going to grandma’s house for dinner… nothing will match the thrill of video games. Parents need to remember that impulse control, emotional regulation, the ability to see cause and effect are all still developing until their child is 25. A teen or adolescent is more prone to impulses, especially if they have attention issues or developmental delays.
Similarly, If you’re trying to cut down on your teen’s screen time, remember this: you have to set the example. You may need to implement some screen-free time at home, and you as the parent need to follow the same path, or it won’t work.
Here’s this week’s Tips on Teens question:
“We have an 11 year old son who is obsessed with video games and the computer. Screens have always been something we have had to moderate with him as a child. He becomes a different person when he is on them. In prior years, we have had to take a ‘screen break’ during the whole summer, and let me tell you, he becomes chatty, excited about being outdoors and more motivated.
Now that all school and homework are online, he is grumpy, unmotivated and glued to his screen. All his friends are online playing video games and he feels it is the one thing he really excels at. He says his dream is to be a famous YouTuber. I am all about helping our kids follow their dreams but I am not sure this will help him be a better person in the long run.
Since he is so good with video games and computers, should we be guiding him toward educational courses like coding, video game design, etc? Or will that just lean him more into isolation and the virtual world? How can we teach him to be responsible and balanced with screens when all school is online?
This has been the biggest challenge with our son, please help!”
Concerned about the influence of commercials and social media on your kid’s development? Check out Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
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.