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home : columns : dear harriette February 26, 2020

1/13/2020 7:36:00 AM
Teenage sons obsessed with video games

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have two sons who love to play video games more than just about anything. They are middle schoolers, but they rarely want to go out and socialize. They do connect online with other kids who plays these games. I suppose I should be happy that they aren't out roaming the streets, but it is weird to me that they are so absorbed in their games. It doesn't seem healthy. How can I get them to come up for air? -- Video Game Overdose

DEAR VIDEO GAME OVERDOSE: You can limit the time that your sons are allowed to use their electronics and schedule other activities that will occupy them. It is important to have other things for them to do so that they don't feel like they are being punished when they are not allowed to play their games.

Find out what else excites them. Start with school subjects. Does anything pique their interest that may get them to want to go out and explore? What museums might be of interest to them? Sporting activities?

If you can't think of anything that is attractive to them, include them in things that you enjoy. The point is that you should replace their game time with interactive face-to-face engagements.

DEAR HARRIETTE: There have been a couple of racist and anti-Semitic incidents at my son's school recently, and it is disturbing to the whole student body, the faculty and the parents. But I don't see much being done about it. At my son's old school, the leadership hosted discussions with the students and parents that were led by experts. At this school, there have been forums for the students to talk to the leadership, but they were unproductive and led to more division.

I want to recommend that the principal hire one of those diversity and inclusion experts to help the school deal with some pretty serious issues. How can I do that and be heard? There are so many accusations flying right now that I don't think anybody is actually listening. -- Voice of Authority

DEAR VOICE OF AUTHORITY: Do your research and identify organizations or individuals who are known as experts in the field. Make a list of several choices that offer specific services at different rates. Figure out who your allies are at the school. In a best-case scenario, you would have allies on all sides -- with the administration, the students and the parents. Form a small group, and ask them to work with you to help present your findings and recommendations to leadership.

Request a meeting with the school principal. Outline your concerns and your reasons for why professional help may be advisable. If you meet with the principal and your small coalition of supporters, you will have a chance to get them to consider your idea.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.





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