For christmas one year, my parents gave my children a TV with a built in VCR. It was a great gift and they loved it, although it didn’t last but about a month before a tape got hung up in the VCR. So we took it back to the store and on a whim decided to trade it for a Nintendo 64 game console and a couple of games. We thought it would be a fun thing for the kids and I wanted to play too. I look back at this move as one of the worst things I have ever done to my son.
Most people can handle playing video games. They spend an hour or so playing and get up and move to another activity, but there are those in our society, in increasing numbers, who become addicted to the activity of gaming. Along the same lines of gambling, alcohol and drugs, to be honest. My son is one of these people. His life has been consumed and ruled by nothing but gaming, sleeping and eating for almost a year now. Before that, school was the major distraction from his gaming. He has been allowed to carry on in this behavior since about kindergarten, and now, after pretty much hitting bottom, he has finally come to the realization that he is ruining his life. I just hope and pray that he will give it his all to beat this problem. For the last year and a few months, he has been living with my ex husband who has allowed this to go on…to be honest, it’s pretty hard to know how to deal with someone like this, so I don’t know how much better I would have done myself. Before we divorced this was a problem that we dealt with constantly. Now, he is going to move in with his grandparents, who have great hopes of helping him to make some great changes in his life, like getting his driver’s license, getting a job and going on to college.
I don’t tell you all of this to gossip about my beloved boy. I just want to put a big WARNING out for those of you who have young children…PLEASE don’t let them play video games!!! I know, everyone thinks that their child will never have these problems. Well, I never thought it would happen to us. To be honest, I never knew this problem existed until I started to live it. The stress of gaming and losing games started to change my son’s personality at a young age. I noticed it pretty quickly, but didn’t have enough snap to take the system away. The anger and tantrums should have told us to toss that piece of technology into the nearest trash bin, but we didn’t. I did try to limit the amount of time he played … thus the tantrums. Oh the mistakes I look back upon. I kick myself over and over.
You can do some easy research on this subject and see that it is a massive problem in today’s society. It breaks my heart to look at others making the same mistakes and I have tried to warn them, but again, they usually think that their family is immune. I pray that they are…otherwise they are in for a huge amount of heartache.
Please, please consider this as a plea to save your children. Thank you and take care.
A Proud Daughter of Texas