Recently, I was approached by a young mother after one of my parenting talks. She wanted to confide to me about her pressing problem with her husband which was causing her distress and confusion.
Her 32-year-old husband, she shared, would rather be playing games on his phone than spend time with the family. The couple has two children aged 2 and 4, but they’re mostly ignored by the father.
Being a working mum, she was feeling lost and angry about the situation. From managing the housework to taking care of the kids, she told me that she had to manage it all by herself.
Her husband would just be lost in his own gaming world, which would sometimes go on until the wee hours of the morning. Every time she confronted him, his excuse would be, “You know I was an avid gamer before. Yet you still chose to marry me. I’m just doing what I love to do and you just have to live with it.”
What an easy excuse! It pains me to hear that a father is willing to put anything else above his family, and more so, a computer game.
At 32, he should already know his priorities in life. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case and his family is obviously suffering.
The woman told me that she is considering moving back to her parent’s place. I wouldn’t be surprised if she does eventually.
The reality is, more and more young people are becoming addicted to gaming. While a small minority make a living out of gaming, a bigger majority is badly affected.
I came across a post on social media, presumably from a disgruntled girlfriend, about how her boyfriend reacted angrily after she complained about his gaming habit. He claimed that she was trying to control his freedom.
The girl said that if he’s still heavily into gaming at 22, she might as well dump him because, at that age, they should be planning for a stable future. I couldn’t agree more.
That’s the reality confronting parents today. As if we don’t have enough challenges raising our young ones, we now have one more thing to worry about. Gaming addiction is very real and it could easily affect our families too.
Like any addiction, it needs to be curbed as early as possible before things get worse.
The good news is that parents can still take control but we need to start taking action immediately.
Like anything else, prevention is better than cure. We need to ensure our young ones do not spend more than two hours a day on their mobile devices.
For those older ones, we must find a way to get them to spend more time offline. Get them to play more sports or get involved in co-curricular activities. Encourage them to take up volunteering jobs or get themselves involved in community projects. The options are plenty but parents must influence their children to spend their time wisely.
Hopefully, with the early and positive interventions, we’ll be able to curb the gaming addiction. As a result, we’ll produce productive and resourceful individuals who have more time to create a brighter and better future for themselves and others.