Video game DANGER for teens

Video games are fun, beautiful, challenging (at just the right level), compelling, and they give us INSTANT FEEDBACK. It’s no wonder they are so compelling (and so addictive). Video games are slick, sexy, and meet so many of our emotional needs (in the short term).

But for many teens, video games are their ADDICTION.  Just this past week, the World Health Organization declared video game addiction a new category of mental disorder, and teens are highly susceptible.

SO many teens today are feeling STUCK doing school, and like they’re in a holding cell until they get to the adult world (which can also terrify them because they’re not sure they have what it takes to handle the adult world). Video games fill SO many of the needs for worthiness, purpose, a clear role, clear boundaries, clear objectives, clear rewards, and connection to something bigger than themselves. Video games are also a great way to distract ourselves from negative feelings, or avoid things  we don’t’ want to do. It’s no wonder so many teens just LOVE video games.  But there are potential dangers…

Have you seen the movie trailer for Ready Player One?  I just saw it last week when my husband and I went to the theatre to see Star Wars.

In just two minutes, the trailer covers how many teens feel, why they game so much, and how gaming fills a deep human need for connection.

“I’m sitting here in my tiny corner of nowhere.”

“There’s nowhere left to go except the Oasis”

“It’s the only place that it feels like I mean anything.”

“Like many of you, I came here to escape, but I found something bigger than just myself”

The main character in Ready Player One, Wade Watts, is relatable to so many teens because he feels powerless, stuck in his small world, and searching or something more. When we see Wade enter “the oasis” (the virtual world) he enters a world that is more engaging and stimulating than the world he lives in. He feels worthwhile in this world. In the Oasis there is a clearly defined goal with a HUGE reward. Even more than the compelling nature of searching for treasure is the sense of purpose that he gains from connecting with something bigger than himself (the political rebellion). In a few short minutes we can see a worthless small town nobody find purpose, connection, and a compelling future.

This is the trailer I’m talking about

Watch it with your teen! It’s a great conversation starter about how gaming fills our human needs.

Video games are like CANDY, because they’re so wonderful, they can crowd other healthy options. Just like helping little ones not eat candy all day long, it’s up to parents to help teens set healthy boundaries around video games.

Some psychologists are suggesting that 3 hours of gaming or more per day has harmful effects on social interactions. There is also research to suggest that excessive gaming is detrimental to the brain’s health. As a educator and a mom, I know that it doesn’t take 3 hours of gaming a day to start to cause a problem. Whenever gaming crowds out a teen’s homework time, their sleep time, and your teen is a sleep-deprived, moody, anxious, and going to school without completing their homework, those are CLEAR signs that your teen needs help to set boundaries with their gaming.

When video games start to crowd out other activities in a teen’s life, like spending time in person with friends, physical activity, school work, contributing to household chores, sleep, or personal hygiene, they have become a problem!

In the last week I connected with Elaine Uskoski, a mom of two young men, who told me the horrific story of her youngest son who went off to college and instead of attending class, shut himself up in his dorm room for 2 months playing video games. When she finally cut through all of the lies he was telling her (and that she was telling herself) she met him in person, and saw that he was a rack of bones. Not eating. Not showering. Only gaming. Who knows what would have happened if this mother hadn’t FINALLY listened to her intuition and stepped in. For more details, you can read Elaine’s book, Seeing Through The Cracks.

I don’t want this nightmare to be your story. If you have concerns about how your teen’s video gaming is impacting the other areas of their life, please reach out.

Book a complimentary 30 minute coaching session with me TODAY.

Elaine told her son,  “You can hate me for the rest of your life, but I’m going to SAVE your life”.

And she did. But she didn’t do it alone. Elaine reached out wherever she could for the support she needed.

End this now.  You could be saving your teen’s life.

I’ve created some extra time in my calendar this week to offer a FREE 30 minute coaching call for YOU.

BOOK NOW to grab your spot.

You’re not alone.

Deanne

P.S. Elaine told me that not only was her son lying to her about his gaming, but that she had been lying to herself. She had been downplaying the severity of what she was seeing, she had been trying to give her son his independence as a college student. But deep inside her, she knew there was a problem. She made her decision to take action, now it’s time for you to make yours…from your deepest place of strength. I can help. Book your call now

How do you want to show up as a parent in 2018?

I’m just about to sit down with a cup of coffee and a notepad and do some “visioning” around my heart’s desires for 2018.

I know that I want to connect deeper with my kids as they grow another year older, connect with my husband (who, bless his heart, is doing the dishes from last night’s party as we speak!) and connect with my own inner light.

I’ve use a specific process for my “visioning” time for the past few years, and  and it has TRANSFORMED my life. When I invest just a little bit of time into acknowledging all I’ve become as a parent, and centering myself in how I want to show up in the world in the next year, my relationships are deeper, and my life is richer.

I want that for you, too!

That’s why, for the FIRST TIME EVER, I’m opening up this powerful “visioning” process to EVERYONE in my community.

Together, we’ll tap into the wisdom that you’ve gained over the past year, and we’ll align your “Inner Compass” (what you check in with every time you need to make a judgement call- which is ALL THE TIME when you’re raising kids!!).

Here’s the truth: Only YOU know the year you just had with your kids. Last year’s experiences hold incredible wisdom for you if only you pause and reflect.  This is the time to gather all that we know to me true about our kids, ourselves, our world, and align our “inner compass”, our parenting wisdom, to THIS season in our lives.

As parents, we really measure time by how our children are growing and the stages they pass through; their first year of high school, their last year of living at home, the last “family holiday” when everyone is still living under the same roof.

We often get so focused on our kids’ milestones that we forget to PAUSE and reflect on our own parenting milestones. The first time we watch them drive off on a vehicle alone. The first time they break their curfew and we’re waiting up, sick with worry. Each time we reach one of these milestones, it feels like a stretch, and we’re constantly checking in with our inner compass, our best judgement, all that we know about our teen and the world we live in, to make a wise decision about what’s best for our teen. We know that we need to let our teen become more independent, but we always wonder if they can handle it. It’s the gradual letting go that is so critical for our relationship with our teens, and yet no-one is giving us a pat on the back or a gold start for these silent milestones.

Until now.. It’s time to acknowledge our efforts, our heartache, our restraint when we wanted to hold our kids in our arms to keep them safe. Only YOU know the year you’ve had with your teen.

This is your invitation to join me for an incredible event where you’ll turn this year’s  parenting experiences into WISDOM, it’s called your Inner Compass Alignment.

I’m leading a courageous group of parents who are willing to press PAUSE on the busyness so that you can reflect on the year you’ve had, and set a powerful intention for how you want to parent in 2018.

This is your opportunity to re-calculate, to re-adjust, to re-align with who you are, and how you relate to your teen THIS year.

Join me for this Inner Compass Alignment, and start 2018 strong! Here’s what you’ll discover during the event:

  • Acknowledge all you’ve been and become as a parent this year
  • Access the wisdom you’ve gained from 2017 so you don’t have to re-learn any of those lessons
  • Chart your course for connecting with your teen in a new way!

You’ll walk away from this experience feeling centered, clear, wise, and inspired to connect with your teen!

CLICK HERE to access the full invitation!

I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for you and your family!

Deanne

P.S. Please share this invitation with your parent friends, or your partner. Together we’re building a community of courageous parents who are leaning into growing with their kids through the messiness of the teen years!