My Teen Gets Angry Playing Video Games, What Should I Do?

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The way my teenager gets so angry playing video games. It's supposed to be fun, but he broke the controller, slamming it on the table. How do I handle that? Oh, that's a really good question. Um, a lot of energy when we play games, a lot of intensity. And, and so I think we pause and we say, okay, what happened? Do we buy a new one? Do we not buy a new one? Right? Do we educate? How do we educate? Sometimes there's consequences for those intense emotions. I'll give you a very personal example. Uh, my son was playing with his, uh, what do they call it? The VR or the meta, whatever he was, he was playing, and he hadn't put away his guitar, and it was sitting on the couch and he had the VR on, so he's not at sing. And he sat on his guitar and broke it. I didn't need to say a whole lot, uh, because he learned a very valuable lesson. He was so sad. It was like he had broken something that meant something so much to him. And so we talked through that and, and, uh, how, how do we, how do we do this? What do I do with my guitar? And, and so he had to come up and identify some like this and some solutions and what couldn't be done and what couldn't be done. And sometimes there's beautiful natural consequences for actions. And I say beautiful, because in that context, the good news is that his parents actually had purchased a warranty. And that, fortunately that warranty covered the guitar, but sometimes the consequences and the emotional consequences that he dealt with for quite a few days before we actually figured out whether they would help, uh, refund or help buy a new one. Obviously it was prorated, so it wasn't what it was worth, but the consequence and the natural consequence was absolutely beautiful. Him learning about putting things away, him learning how to, uh, deal with something that he cared a lot about is his beautiful guitar. And so sometimes when a child breaks something, they do something in anger, they do something, helping them think through that solution, helping them talk about how they could solve it. Is it a very great, it's a great opportunity to help them learn? What are we learning? Well, we just don't go out and buy a new one. We, we spend time helping them understand what happened. What do we do with that? Okay, so when you feel that, that intense emotion, right? I mean, teenagers are teenagers. They're gonna break things. They're gonna do things in so many ways. But there, as you described, the anger, there's a great opportunity for insight. It feels to me that there's a lot of emotion with this. Now, notice I an emotion. I didn't say anger. Tell me what it's like for you. Help me understand what you're experiencing. Now. We're asking questions. We're getting more information, and we're doing it in a way that helps them feel heard and understood. Now, again, I can go the other direction. I could lecture them. You know, it's your result of getting so angry. That's a natural consequence. You're gonna have to live with it. I could do that, but my child already feels, what, what are they feeling? Embarrassed, ashamed, bad. So, so I wonder what my child's feeling in that experience. I, I don't know what they're feeling, so I'm not gonna guess. Why not talk with them? Why not find out? And that helps us understand more of how they're interpreting their episode of anger. And ultimately, that's a great educational opportunity. So in that specific situation, I think I would wanna have the conversation. Now, notice again, I'm not going after the behavior. You're too angry. I'm looking at the scenario. How do I educate? How do I inform? How do I learn? Help them learn that there are consequences. And how do I teach them in an effective way so they can actually think through this process? That type of processing is a skill that we all need to learn, and that's an opportunity to help educate them and think through and work through. And you know what? There may be a time down the road you say, look, do these things, work on these things, and then let's figure out how to get that control replaced, or whatever. It is replaced, but we're doing it in a very intentional way and helping them learn about their emotions and how to express them, and how to be cautious with those kind of outbursts. Anyway, that would probably be where I would start if my child was chronically angry. I still have an interesting question for us all to consider. Why, well, why is my child angry? What are they so upset at? Do we know? That would be kind of a starting point for me. If my child's angry, I would, well, I really wanna ask those types of questions.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner