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Befriend Your Computer Game Addicted Brother

Questioner

S (17_male_Pakistan)

Reply Date

Dec 03, 2017

Question

As-salamu `alaykum. I have a little brother and he always comes home late; he is addicted to computer games in Internet cafés. My mom finds it hard to make him avoid such things and we have tried everything to discipline him. He sometimes steals money from my mom to pay for the computer fee.

Counselor

Answer


As-salamu `alaykum,

My dear son, I am really happy to see you so concerned about your younger brother and so keen to fix his attitude towards your mother and your family. Let us first analyze the problem:

Some teenagers try to prove themselves in various ways, for example, if they are not able to achieve well in studies, sports and so on, they then—and this is very common—indulge in other things such as computer games. The reason behind this is simply that they can reach very high levels of competency in the game(high scores), which give them a false sense of success and fulfillment.

You and your family should try to create an environment that provides enough opportunities for him to strive and prove himself through useful means: An environment where his achievements and accomplishments are praised and rewarded—even with just a loving look, a hug, or some words of praise.

Here is a list of some simple tips:

1. Arrange a family meeting with your parents (without your brother) and discuss the issue, outlining that everyone should play a role in the remedy. You must change the means by which he gets his sense of accomplishment and confidence.

2. You all need to pay attention to his psychological needs as he enters the teenage stage. Your mother needs to spend quality time with him.

3. You must play the role of his friend, so that he gradually places trust in you and confides in you. One thing you can do is to come to an agreement with him; you will accompany him to the computer café, and in return, he will accompany you to the sports center. There, you can enjoy your time together, playing some type of sport—a type that you know how to play and that you could teach him—and enjoy your time away from any screens.

Another suggestion would be to take him out with your friends—those friends you see as trustworthy—as he probably needs a change of peer group at this stage. There are plenty of activities you can do together where time would be better utilized and he would get education as well as entertainment. After a while, you will be closer, and you can then compare between the time spent on useful activities and the time wasted in playing computer games.

I am sure that when you see he is gaining confidence and success from achieving in activities like sports, arts, computer programming, and so on, he will then spend little or no time on games, in sha’ Allah. You must also remember to be considerate and listen to him (you must all listen to him at home) rather than

giving orders without explaining. You must be patient, even if you don’t like what he says, and remember to focus on the long term benefit rather than the short term, as it is difficult to build and easy to demolish.

May Allah give you strength, wisdom, and success.

 




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