Disobedience or Addiction?


Dear John,

Our almost-15-yr-old son has been disobeying our rule of no Xbox on school nights but last week was a doozy. When we were away for the weekend, he got his 16-yr-old sister to drive him to a Game Stop store on a Thursday night to purchase an Xbox controller. They lied to their uncle (who was babysitting) about where they were going and he hid the bag and then played Xbox that night in the basement instead of watching TV.

In addition he went to bed with his phone all the nights we were away, and our other rule is for phones to be charging in the kitchen drawer by 10 pm nightly.

We're scratching our heads because he was going to be able to play Xbox all night Friday and Saturday for 8 hours while we were gone. He says a friend wanted him to play a certain game with him so that's why he did it.

The sad truth is that we have tried to let him monitor himself with video games but it's impossible for him to do. He can play 8 hours on a Friday night. I've wanted to run over the xbox in the driveway but my husband doesn't back me up.

We know we have to lower the boom but we're thinking through this carefully so that the monkey stays on his back. We think there are 2 issues. The first is potential addiction to video games, so we want to remove the Xbox and cut off video games on the cell phone. How long should we do this? I want to take it away forever or until after the summer is over, and insist that he get a job this summer. There is also the disobedience, so we're thinking of grounding him for 2 months which would include not being able to use a cell phone other than to make phone calls.

My husband thinks this is too much, because all the boys play video games together as their source of entertainment, so he wants to bring the Xbox back at some point.

In addition, of course, our daughter was an accessory so she's lost the use of the car for a month for helping her brother break a family rule.

We have many many Rosemond books and just listened to Teen Proofing lecture and are continuing to come up with solutions. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!

Become A Member To View The Answer

Please register and purchase a subscription in order to view the answer. Existing members please log in.


View All Questions