My Son, the Computer Addict

19 November, 2020
Q I cannot tear my son away from his video or computer games. He spends all his time indoors which doesn't seem very healthy or active.

How can we, as parents, make the outdoors seem as exciting as what kids do with their video games? I appreciate any advice.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

We have to use a combination of restrictions and limits, in addition to providing them with ideas, motivation, and examples on how to engage in activities that are more healthy.

They must learn appropriate boundaries and why such things are important for them. They must be taught that life is best lived in a balanced manner.

Setting a good example is often the most effective form of education.


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum, 

Balance is an important lesson that we have to teach our children from the time they are born.

We have to use a combination of restrictions and limits, especially on things like TV. In addition, provide them with ideas, motivation, and examples on how to engage in activities that are more healthy.

Our kids will learn from our example. Thus, if they see that we are interested in something, they will also take an interest in it, in sha ‘Allah.

However, once our kids have established certain patterns of behavior and expectations, it is difficult to change them.

My Son, the Computer Addict - About Islam

Unfortunately, at this stage, it is more difficult to address the issue because the child has already come to expect things a certain way. As you say, now you have to literally tear him away from the video game to get him to stop.


Check out this counseling video


I personally feel that you need to make him understand that outdoor activities can be even more fun than video games. However, a seven-year-old boy requires discipline as well in such matters.

Set Limits

I believe it is important to set limits for the child and stick to them. For example, perhaps you can set a limit of one to two hours per day of video games. If the child is not disciplined, it will do irreparable damage to him later on.

I have been witnessing this now where I currently live. The trend for parents now is to spoil their children and provide virtually zero discipline.

It is really sad for their kids are being raised to be helpless human beings. They cannot do anything for themselves. They learn that they are the center of the universe, which has a multitude of horrible repercussions.

Many parents do not realize how serious a problem spoiling children too much can be. Without discipline, children have a hard time learning self-discipline later on. This is a big problem because Islam is a deen (Islamic way of life) that is predicated on self-discipline.

How can we expect our children to regulate their own selves and behaviors later if we do not teach them any boundaries?

They must learn appropriate boundaries and why such things are important for them. They must be taught that life is best lived in a balanced manner.

Explain

Also, do not underestimate your child’s ability to understand such matters. Children understand quite well when we adults explain things to them in an age-appropriate manner.

The challenge is for us to make the effort to teach them why they should and should not do certain things.

We need to respect our children as human beings and take the responsibility to discipline them in an appropriate manner. They need our education so that they develop to become balanced when they grow older, in sha ‘Allah.

Finally, if you want your child to find certain activities interesting, you must provide an example for him. Show him your own interest in such activities.

Setting a good example is often the most effective form of education.

Salam

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah
Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.