• Lorant Nemeth

How to avoid easily fight and meltdown with a frustrated gamer teen?

With the limitations of lockdown recently, not only shops and business relationships have been transformed, but also family ties. Whether these changes have affected our lives for better or worse, the communication between parent and child has undoubtedly changed. The new online education system brought something full of challenges for all of us, and much of the children's free time happens within the four walls. No wonder kids who were already playing video games have become even more immersed in their virtual environment, thus further isolating themselves from real life.

Of course, understand parents when they want to spend quality time with their child, but the seedling refuses to pay attention to the adult's word because he/she is too engrossed in the game in cyberspace. In such cases, of course, the parent tries to resort to the well-established old parenting methods in vain.

"Go to your room. You are grounded!"

"No phone until tomorrow!"

"You cannot do this, and you cannot do that!"

Nevertheless, what did we adults think? Are we trying to confine an energy bomb between four walls with education methods? We find that our relationship with the child is starting to deteriorate more and more.

This statement is exponentially true for teenagers!

Furthermore, you are increasingly finding that conversations are usually debated instead of laughing good ones - and you also feel that your child is more emotionally attached to cyberspace than you.

I know this is hard to say or read, but if this is the fact, you have to ask yourself the question:

Have I tried everything?

How can I become a better parent?

In the 21st century, blaming virtual games is a bit hypocritical.

Let's face it; you are probably reading this article on your mobile! I suspect that in all 98% of cases, you make check payments, bank transfers, corporate and personal mailing, reading news via your mobile phone. Right?

Then why do you hate a segment of virtual life so much? Out of fear, maybe?

Observe how you talk to your child, how you try to raise them! Do you realize you speak to them as your parents did to you by chance? Unfortunately, these patterns of parenting from the past are outdated and ineffective today!

Of course, you can say to yourself now: 

I am just going to take the device from the child, and that is it.

Yes, this may be a short-term solution (no, it is not), but if we look a little into the future, I see a darker fate for you! I see your actions undermine the secure foundations of your relationship with your child. In the future, communication between you two will diminish when they leave the parent's nest. At first, calls become less, and then personal family visits break off almost completely.

What other ways of parenting exist rather than use old methods?

The answer is gamepathy.

What do I mean by that? A parent's empathic ability for their child's gaming life.

If you begin to understand and accept the virtual world where your child appears daily, then your relationship will ascend to a whole new level.

How can you do that? With active listening and learning. Obviously, as a parent, we pay attention to our child, but to better understand this lifestyle, we need to develop a different kind of attention. Moreover, this is nothing more than observing the virtual space.

That is right! That something that your child adores, that you, as a parent, demonize with such great fondness. Mostly you blame games for your child's behavior.

What do I do about it? Well, you can apply for a gamepathy. The how is simple: active listening practice with your child just as you would do with your business partner. 

With this step, you can inquire about what kind of game your child is playing. However, do not fake interest but get interested! 

Feel free to ask:

"What are you playing?"

"Are you playing online or offline?"

"Whom do you play?"

Learn as much as you can about the game and the character of your child in the game! Do not use new terms that are not specific to your speaking style; just be yourself. This method will provide you with a good talk-material for the next family lunch so that you can converse in a meaningful way and, at the same, spend quality time.

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