Dad gets home from work, gives you and your mom a quick peck on the cheek and then heads to the basement where his game awaits. This scenario is becoming all too common as gaming addiction increases among young and old alike. While compulsive gaming is more common among young adults, men who grew up playing video games are now continuing that behavior as adults and fathers.
If you’ve noticed your dad plays video games all day, he may be struggling with a gaming addiction. Now that you’re old enough to voice your concerns, here are some ways you can help break this addiction’s hold over his life.
Why your Dad is Gaming as a Parent
Addiction to anything is more than just a craving. What may have started out as a fun way to unwind has now morphed into a dependence on gaming. Whether its drugs or video games, addiction changes the way the brain functions. Your dad may feel a deep-seated compulsion to game even though he knows his behavior is hurting those he loves.
It may feel like your dad loves his video games more than you, but it’s important to realize that he’s struggling with a chronic, relapsing brain disease.
What it’s Like When Your Dad is Addicted to Video Games
Admitting that your dad is addicted to video games can be painful. While this addiction is just starting to gain recognition among experts, children who grow up with a video game obsessed father experience a variety of unique emotional difficulties:
- Your father was often absent from family outings.
- Your dad snapped at you when you were too loud while he was gaming.
- You often felt neglected or overlooked.
- He seemed to prefer time on his computer or console to quality time with you.
- You worried that your dad wouldn’t be there if there was an emergency.
- Your dad missed important moments in your life.
- Your dad seemed unwilling to put down his controller when you needed him.
Addressing Your Dad’s Gaming Addiction
When it comes to an addiction to gaming, your dad needs to realize that his compulsive gaming is having a negative impact on those he loves. Here are some things you can try to help your dad get his gaming under control.
1. Confront the Issue Head-On
Because a gaming addiction doesn’t seem as harmful as a dependence on drugs or alcohol, your dad may not realize that this issue is affecting you. Have a heart-to-heart and explain how his gaming addiction has impacted your life. This conversation may be the wake-up call he needs.
2. Ask Your Dad to Give up Gaming for a while
Those with an addiction to video games lose sight of what’s important, and their lives and priorities are thrown off balance. Ask your dad to give up gaming for a while. A break may help him realize how much he’s missing out on by dedicating so much of his time to gaming.
3. Encourage Your Dad to Find Non-Gaming Outlets to Relax
Many men use video games to unwind. Try to introduce your dad to some alternative relaxation outlets. Exercising, playing sports, cooking healthy meals and getting plenty of rest are all great techniques for combatting tension and stress.
Find Professional Help for Your Dad’s Gaming Addiction
If your dad’s gaming habits are negatively impacting his life, he may need professional treatment for his gaming addiction. At Gateway Foundation, we offer life-saving addiction treatment that works. Contact us today to find out how we can help your father with an individualized program designed to address his compulsive gaming.