Online Identity: How Fortnite Triggered War Between Parents and Kids

How Fortnite Triggered an Unwinnable War Between Parents and Their Boys

In less than 18 months, the habit-forming videogame has grabbed onto American boyhood, pushing aside other pastimes and hobbies and transforming family dynamics.

The last-man-standing videogame has grabbed onto American boyhood, pushing aside other pastimes and hobbies and transforming family dynamics. Some boys are opting to play Fortnite for such long hours that it has become the primary component of their social life. 

Read full article: 4 ways to stop your computer game addiction for specific examples and suggestions.

1. Limit the computer time 

A. Set a password only you know and change daily if you want to give access while you are away.

B. Set parental controls on the computer limiting what websites they can access.

C. Allow computer time only after other responsibilities are complete.

D. Only allow your child to use the computer in common areas, like the living room or den. Do not allow the computer to be used in their room or during dinner or family time.

E. Limit your child to using the computer for a maximum of two hours per day if they are over 2 years old. Children under 2 should not have access to any screen time.

2. Discussing Appropriate Computer Usage

A. Talk with your child about their excessive computer use. Find out if there are any specific reasons that they spend so much time on the computer. It is when the childs identity is moved in to and is maintained within the online realm, the computer use is likely to be addictive.

B. Establish consequences. Let them know that there are limits, that they can only use the computer for two hours per day for non-homework related items, and that there will be consequences if they do not follow the rules.

C. Follow through. When they do break one of your computer rules, implement consequences immediately.

D. Be a good role model. Don’t spend a lot of time using the computer around your child.

3. Finding Alternatives to Computer Use

A. Suggest alternative activities. Play board games with them, take them to the library or get them together with friends to hang out.

B. Spend time as a family without computers or phones. Spend time each day as a family completely unplugged.

C. Sign them up for an after school sports team. Find out from your child if they are interested in playing any sports.

D. Encourage them to join clubs or organizations. Find out from them what clubs or organizations are offered at their school.

E. Get professional help when necessary. If your child cannot seem to shake the addiction or reacts very aggressively or emotionally to these new rules, then seek professional help for them.

4. Recognizing the Signs of Computer Addiction

A. Notice if your child is isolated. If they rarely interact with others in person, and turn down invitations so they can stay by the computer, they may have an addiction.

B. Pay attention to the way your child handles responsibilities. Though many children would surely rather play a computer game than do the dishes, it becomes a problem when the responsibilities a child has are being completely neglected so that they can continue using the computer.

C. Determine if your child’s sleep habits are affected. Some children may stay up late into the night in order to use the computer.

D. Take note of how long your child spends on the computer. Children shouldn’t spend more than two hours using electronics, such as computers, tablets, or televisions, per day. If your child is using significantly more than that, especially in one sitting, they may be addicted to the computer.

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