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Computer Addiction

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Casual scribe

Re: Computer Addiction


New to the forum. 

My son is 15 and we have experienced very similar behaviour with computer games. It all seems so harmless when you initially agree to them being in the house. But we realised on a family holiday that we had to do something about it. We were travelling  on vacation through the Rockies and said to our son, hey look at the bear and her cub! He barely even raised his eyes from his handheld! I couldn't believe it. So when we got home, we agreed that we needed to get him involved in something else. It's very difficult as gaming is much more exciting than real life. A local archery club was beginning near us, and we kinda reckoned that it maybe had the same appeal as some of the games he was playing, but was teaching him to be social and getting him out of his room!

2 years later the new activity has certainly worked! He still games, but maybe for only an hour a week, compared to the all weekend previously. The bad moods and rage has gone, as he can now channel this energy into his archery. We are so grateful that we could get him involved in a sport. There is so much tech available to teens nowadays, we can't get rid of it totally. They have grown up with it and so don't know any different. It's hard for us as parents to understand the how addictive gaming is, but it had become our sons life and he couldn't see anything else. I knew we were in trouble and we had to break the gaming cycle. Hope this helps somewhat!


Re: Computer Addiction

Hey @VirginiaMum 


Thank you so much for sharing this story with us Heart I'm sure it will give hope to parents that are currently struggling to manage their teens screen time. I love the idea of getting him involved in something that had a similar appeal to the games he was playing. 


Well done to you and your family for breaking the cycle of gaming Heart 

Casual scribe

Re: Computer Addiction

Hi - new member here


I'm sorry that its a couple of years since your post but it really resonated with me. I hope that your son is OK and that he is achieving some better balance.


My son (15) also has ADHD and Anxiety and, although he also has an ASD diagnosis, I suspect that his behaviours are more a consequence of the former. He also focusses almost exclusively on screen-based activities, primarily gaming and watching videos. We've tried to expose him to lots of activities over the years ranging from swimming/water polo to soccer, AFL, cycling, kung fu and so on. While he's been willing to give them a go for a while, he gave up as soon as they became challenging or competitive and, by challenging, I mean that his heart rate started to rise! When we tell him its time to have a break from screens, he often goes and les down and has a sleep. It seems that, in his view, life without screens is just something that has to be endured for as long as it lasts so the best way of making the time go quickly is for it to be while he is asleep.


There are lots of other challenges which I'd love to discuss such as his defiance and resistance to doing anything to help around the house. The same is true of his studies - he has failed a number of assessments because he doesn't want to accept that he needs to have structure in place and spend time doing the best job possible. I his view, if he spends and hour where he is supposed to be doing homework, it is first and foremost an hour 'not doing fun things on the computer' so it is just something to be endured and it doesn't matter how effective his study is. My wife and I both have plenty of experience of study and could help him so much if he was remotely willing to let us.


ANyways, that's probably enough for now - it would be great to hear if you have had some successes




Re: Computer Addiction

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Hello @joblial , welcome to the forums! Sorry to hear about the troubles you have been having with your son lately. It sounds like you have been really proactive so far by introducing your son to various types of activities. It is a shame that he has not taken an interest in them. It sounds like activities that involve being active are not too interesting for you son. Have you tried introducing him to other activities such as drawing and painting as a way for him to express his creativity? He might also like doing some more hands-on activities such as completing puzzles or DIY activities. Sorry to hear that your son has been also been defiant and having some issues at school.


Have you been able to talk to anyone about this yet? If you were after some more advice on how to handle your situation, I would recommend calling Parentline. They offer free and confidential counselling and support to parents and carers on any parenting issues they may be facing. The number for ParentLine differs per state. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see which number to call if you're interested. Hopefully this helps Heart

Casual scribe

Re: Computer Addiction

Thank you for you quick response and supportive email. I will look into Parentline. We had a number of sessions with a psychologist a couple of years ago and learned a lot about how his brain works and potential strategies but it can often feel like an arms race. Its helpful to see that there are others out there with similar challenges and there are lots of ideas out too.

Thank you

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