Helping My Son Overcome His Addiction to Video Games
(Minghui.org) My son started playing video games when he was in preschool. Up to today, as a middle school-aged child, he is still addicted to them. For my son, nothing is as important as playing video games and he is oblivious to everything else, including his academics. Because of playing video games, my once kindhearted and smart child has become ill-tempered, arrogant, and defiant.
I was very worried for him. Perhaps my son realizes what might become of him, but is still unable to break the addiction. I could see how helpless he felt and I wanted to help him. I enrolled him in several extracurricular activities and did outdoor activities with him on the weekends, but I was still unable to divert his addiction to video games, and he became even more resentful of what I was doing.
I’ve used many different methods to help him, but they were all useless. Seeing my son sinking deeper and deeper into video games, I became very anxious and impatient. The more I told him not to play, the more my son would play. My initial goal of pulling him out of his addiction ended up in vain. Our relationship became very tense. One day I got so fed up that I slammed his cell phone on the ground, said a lot of hurtful words and hit him very hard.
At that moment, I became the devil in my son’s eyes. I destroyed the cell phone that my son was clinging on to so dearly right in front of his eyes. My son’s bursts of tears made me wake up from my rage. I felt so miserable and regretted what I did.
This happened two years ago when I just started cultivating. I was hitting people and breaking things because I had many attachments back then. I was truly regretful of what I did. However, the Fa taught me to look inward. Though the problem lies with my child, I was responsible for what he’d become since he came into this world very pure.
Upon reflecting on myself, I realized that I used to play video games. So, when my child first encountered video games, I wasn’t as vigilant and even allowed him to play. I was also polluted in this big dye vat of ordinary society by doing internet shopping, watching movies and following several news media on my phone. I was surrounded by secular issues and it wasn’t something very positive. As a result, my child would also attempt to find so-called “happiness” in playing video games. I was not truly helping him to achieve true happiness, a happiness from the bottom of his heart.
I have a habit of only looking at problems on the surface. When my son was addicted to video games, I attempted to solve the problem by enrolling him in extracurricular activities, and when reasoning with him didn’t work out, I hit him. When one is addicted to something, this person must have an inner desire to quit. If we do not instill positive things in our children in a timely manner, the evil will take advantage of the situation. If I wish for my son to be better, I need to be more diligent and abide by the principles of the Fa.
“The other day I said that the Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
As time passed, my son gradually forgave me and we were getting along very well. At times when I was unsatisfied with him, I would no longer get agitated and would try to advise and reason with him. I would also read the Fa to him and share my understandings on the Fa. The power of Dafa influenced him and he started to take the initiative to read Zhuan Falun. While reading Zhuan Falun, Dafa’s boundless principles moved his heart. Because of his good memory and enlightenment quality, the way he conducted himself changed for the better. When we are met with a dilemma, we would abide by the principles of Dafa. The Fa is now deeply embedded in his heart and I am very happy.
One Sunday morning, after reading a Minghui article on how to eliminate the attachment to video games, my son said, “Mom, I will delete all the games on my computer. I do not want to play video games anymore.” I was very surprised at his change and asked him calmly, “Are you sure?” He said, “Yes.” In the afternoon, he deleted all the video games on his computer including those games saved to his hard disk. After saying that he wouldn’t play video games anymore, I kept an eye out for awhile and saw that he was indeed no longer playing them. I was very astonished at his drastic change. This was the power of Dafa and it changed my son and I.
In middle school, my son had a lot of academic work. I told him that doing schoolwork is important but studying the Fa is even more important. I wouldn’t enroll him in any tutoring program because I wanted him to make use of his time to study the Fa and improve himself. He agreed and said the he would use more time to study the Fa with other practitioners his age and improve himself.
“For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.” (“A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
Our path in life is just like a play and sometimes we get entangled in it too much and our emotions are all stirred up. Only cultivators are clear-headed and know that we are the true protagonists in this play. Everything around us are all props for us to overcome our tribulations and improve ourselves. No matter what we encounter we should be grateful and not have any sentimentality.