Parents are honest with us. As trust is built with our team, many parents report a feeling of relief knowing they can open up and speak honestly with no need to hold back. We encourage parents to tell us as it is. It’s a relief to be able to communicate with trusted counselors experienced with teen gaming and internet addiction. In some cases tension has built up for years. When it comes to gaming parents of children in our program have put it plainly and simply:
“My kid lives for his video games”
“He stays up all night playing his stupid game”
“I am sick of fighting about video games”
“He is lazy and doesn’t want to do anything but game
“I’m fed up with unplugging the internet and then dealing with a raging kid when I do”
“I would just throw the games out but he just buys more or goes to his friends place and doesn’t come home”
“He won’t even communicate with me when he is playing, I just get grunts”
Those quotes are from admissions day or close to it as we learn more about the family situation in order to plan for treatment. Here are some examples of success that youth have experienced upon returning home when gaming was identified as a primary concern to be addressed.
T.F – Edmonton
Engaged in so much gaming on the couch in the basement that he suffered neck and spine curvature and had to see a doctor and physiotherapist while he was with Venture Academy. T.F went on to go home to be the valedictorian of his graduating class and referenced Venture Academy as a significant reason for his success! (His parents flew out one of the staff to their home provinces to attend the graduation!)
M.T – Vancouver
Was not attending school at all, stayed up all night gaming and gave up interaction with anyone except those he met online gaming. Taking away the game or internet turned into heated confrontations so parents gave up. His addiction to gaming was so strong that when the computer was taken away he would beg to hold even a non-internet based computer because he would “feel better” simply by touching the keyboard. M.T successfully returned home and engaged in school, music and a much improved relationship with family!
I.N – West Vancouver
Combined with marijuana use I.N’s parents recognized their son’s attraction to gaming was a huge issue; he would get high with his buddies and play games – constantly. He was completely disengaged from family. His Mom said that when their son was gaming she felt like “my very existence is a pain in his butt”.
Following VA he no longer uses marijuana nor participates in any gaming at all. He sees both as an intertwined addiction. Now I.N attends school full-time and goes to the gym regularly just like he did while at Venture Academy. In addition, he works part time and enjoys time with family and positive peers!
D.T – Victoria, BC
Spent all her time gaming to the extent that she even gave up bathing. Since parents were quite invested in computers as a business, Venture Academy supported our young client in looking for healthy ways to engage the electronic world. She was very successful at Venture Academy. With her ‘return to home plan’, she was able to manage full time attendance at school again and her self-care was at the standard expected for a teenage girl. D.T manages her gaming activities and restricts them to the evenings. She goes to bed at a proper time to get up for school and the entire family is happy with the outcome. She has been home for a year now!