Here we will highlight a few of the steps and factors to consider to build a plan to reduce or eliminate problematic gaming. You will also find out how to get personalized, professional support.
How many hours per day is your gamer playing?
- less than 2 hours per day
- 3-4 hours per day
- 5-7 hours per day
- more than 7 hours per day
Generally we recommend starting off by creating a plan to reduce gaming, ideally to two hours per day or less. However, if gaming continues to be problematic you may have to move to an elimination plan instead.
Whichever plan you decide is right for you, you will need to create a structure that is practical and realistic to implement, based on your individual circumstances.
Here are some of the basics you’ll need to create a successful reduction plan.
Step 1: Identify and communicate the times when gaming will be allowed and when it will not. Generally, gathering your loved one’s input will lead to a better outcome and less conflict. If you opt for an elimination plan then gaming should not be allowed at any time.
Step 2: Once the rules have been established, you will need to determine the consequences of breaking them. We suggest using tiered consequences for when rules are broken. Try three or four to start. Example: First offense: loss of gaming privileges for a day. Second offense: loss of gaming privileges for two days. Third offense: loss of gaming privileges for a week, etc. Depending on your personal circumstances and your gamer’s age you might decide to substitute loss of car privileges, loss of receiving an allowance or watching a favorite show, as a substitute or addition to losing gaming privileges.
Step 3: Identify the areas you feel your loved one’s gaming is negatively impacting their life. While you may want to fix everything at once, we recommend you choose one or two to start off with. Typical areas to focus on are:
- Mental Health
- Social life
Step 4: Decide how you will measure change and improvement. For example, if you choose sleep as a target of change, decide if you will measure improvement by the number of hours they sleep or by your gamer being in bed by a certain time. Or both!
Step 5: Whether you’ve chosen reduction or elimination as the goal, one of the most important ways to support your gamer at this point is to help them fill the time they used to spend gaming. Having a void will only make it more difficult for them to stick to the plan. You might even discover that there are things you enjoy doing together.
Step 6: Finally, what are some activities you and your gamer can both enjoy together?
Great! Now that you see some of the basics in creating a plan, next you will need to present your plan to your gamer.
- Does that feel daunting?
- Would you find it helpful to have a script to announce your plan to your gamer?
- Would you like to feel more confident establishing or enforcing consequences?
- Would you like to know how to deal with a gamer denial?
- Would you find it helpful to know how to navigate withdrawal symptoms and aggressive behavior?
- Would you like to learn all the other steps in building a successful plan?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then Reclaim is for you! Reclaim is our step-by-step parent program designed to reclaim your loved one from gaming, even if they are in denial or you don’t know where to start. You’ll find all of the details below.
In Reclaim we also have coaching packages for you to receive personalized professional support based for your individual circumstances.