Setting limits for video game usage

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Setting limits for video game usage

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One of the biggest challenges to helping overcome video game addiction is, once intervention has happened and you are able to get some stoppage in the use of it. Maybe they have been in treatment or been away from the game for a week or two. How much is acceptable going back into it? It's really critical to establish boundaries before starting to play again. Another method that has been successful for some parents is the parents actually start playing with the child. That's tough, especially because some teenagers don't want their parents to be involved in anything they are involved in. One of the conditions of you getting to play this game is that I'm going to be involved. That can also be a very helpful thing, but it's got to be limited. Once you take a break and stopped the usage for a week, two weeks, or in some cases. a whole month; then you restructure it and say, "We are only going to play these types of games and we are only going to play for this long. Otherwise, you are too vulnerable to get back into two, three, four, five hours of usage." It's tough to go cold turkey, but you can set limits on the time and the number of different games or even eliminated the worst of the violent video games.

View Rick Meeves, PhD, LMFT 's video on Setting limits for video game usage...

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Rick Meeves, PhD, LMFT

Clinical Director of CRC

Dr. Rick Meeves has spent the last 16 years working with adolescents and their families. He currently serves as the Director of Adolescent Clinical Services for CRC Health Group, the nation’s largest provider of addiction treatment and related behavioral health services.  Rick has helped families deal with the rapidly expanding access to video and electronic media. As a practitioner he has seen teens lock themselves in their rooms, playing video games for days on end. He has also seen teens who became addicted to online gambling. Rick has seen parents who have accepted this behavior as some acceptable alternative to staying out all night or using drugs or alcohol. He has helped families re-establish healthy patterns and use of electronic gaming and has established healthy patterns with his own boys.

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