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Letters From Listeners

Getting Our Son Away from Video Games

I have a 25 year old son who is a good kid - very conscientious and good-hearted, but distracted by video games. My wife and I worked on the issue during his teenage years to no avail. We expressly did not want to use shame in parenting him. Then we formulated a long-term plan to bring him to reality.

At the beginning of his last year of a 4 year undergraduate degree, we moved him out of our house. He was not happy at first; he had to pay his monthly expenses with his part-time job and had little money left for fun. However, he still had friends over often at his apartment and still spent too much time playing video games.

After graduation, he announced he wanted to go to law school. I think that, after a year of paying for most of his expenses, it had finally hit home; he was suddenly determined to make something of himself.

There had developed a new tension between us; he felt  he had to prove something to me, his father. The tension was there between him and his mother, but it was less. I can't really explain this, but it has been really effective.

He moved 2000 miles away from us to a big city and has paid for his law school with loans and part-time work. He ran up sizable school loan debts. He just graduated and is studying for his bar exam. He already has a job with a law firm; others in his class are still looking.

We are hoping and cheering and loving him from 2000 miles away. But the tension is still there, and it still works to help him keep his resolve.


P.S. He still plays video games across the Internet with his friends to help relax. I assume he will never want to give it up completely.

Tags: Education, Personal Responsibility, Response to a Comment, Values
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