Where are all my mums of gamers? I tell you what, parenting isn’t easy, it’s literally the hardest job on the planet, BUT, parenting a gamer is a whole different level of HARD.
My youngest son has always been a bit of a challenge, he is high functioning autistic with sensory processing issues and a few other things thrown in on top. School was always difficult to the point of me pulling him out because no one could keep him focused, he was disruptive because he couldn’t understand he work and he ended up outside he classroom more often than not. I was up at the school twice a day doing parent helper activities with his class and doing all the mum things but he could not settle. I ended up taking him out of school and homeschooling him which was an absolute bloody nightmare. He just couldn’t learn, he struggled with everything and I found it very hard to teach him anything. In the end I just let him do his gaming, as that is all that he wanted to do, and he was very good at it and I just couldn’t deal with his crap (I was heavy in peri menopause at this sage, my brother had died in our house and mentally I was toast). Fast forward to now and thousands of dollars later for the latest computer equipment, the countless gaming chairs that get broken, headsets, upgrading computer hardware and the game,s and man I need to win lotto just to replace it all. But it was a decision that I had made to help him pursuit that one dream he had of being famous, which didn’t happen because he is now 16 and wants to go out and get a job, which, is exceedingly difficult in the covid climate for a kid with no formal schooling.
Anyway, mums of gamers, how are your nerves? Do you wake up in the morning to a sink full of dishes because your gamer has to eat and since he sleeps all day you aren’t awake to cook him food. Do you know what I ended up doing? I spend a day a week making him meals and freezing them, that way I know he is having proper food and not just snacking all night. He is usually still up when I get up so I cook him bacon and eggs every day or just eggs on toast, but I always make sure he has a meal for breakfast or honestly he will go a full 24 hours without eating because that’s just what they do. I saw a meme that said Gamers are the only species on earth that can go without food for an extended period of time and it won’t bother them! Oh and lets just talk about their rooms for a minute, who can find the floor in their gamers bedroom? I know I can’t, and I tried to make my way in the room the other day to wash his sheets and had trouble finding the bed. BUT his computer station is clear and organised and you can find everything go figure LOL! Oh and can we just talk about the frayed nerves from, completely out of nowhere, comes this screaming and swearing and I’M GOING TO KILL YOU, as you walk past his room or if you are about to sit down to a nice cup of coffee! What the hell sort of games are they playing, I don’t want to know. The swearing is next level and we have put a stop to that because it’s seriously isn’t necessary, but the intermittent yelling has sen me grey!
Now while I have painted a pretty dark picture there is an absolute upside to this world. My son is 16, he has never caused us any stress or worry, he has never been in situations where he can be hurt or harmed, he is the BEST kid ever, he is mature beyond his years and he is not running the streets, he is home safe. And before anyone says that’s not a good life for him, remember he is autistic and some kids with autism cannot deal with other people or crowds. The good news is he is getting better with that now and is happy to get outside and do stuff.
The upside to this lifestyle is that we always know where our gaming children are because they can’t miss a play for not even a second LOL! We don’t have to spend too much on clothes because they rarely change and we don’t have to wait for the knock on the door from the police to tell us something has happened to our child. But in all seriousness, he is a very good boy, he is very grounded, very specific in what he wants out of life and very happy to stay home until he is ready to move out, in his 20’s he reckons. At the moment he is learning about cryptocurrency with me, this is a big wide world that he has found some interest alongside me which is awesome!
So mums of gamers, there is hope for your children, don’t despair if that’s all they want to do, its better than walking around the streets getting into trouble, and if they choose gaming as their career, there is a lot of money being made. Hang in there, your gamer kids need you!
Here are my tips speaking from experience –
- Make sure they shower
- Make sure they eat
- Clean their rooms when they are out
- Organise a visit to their older siblings place and go through their computer history
- Make sure you go in to their room often and turn the light on
- If they keep screaming past your bedtime turn the wifi off in the middle of a game – they will soon learn life isn’t about them
- Make sure their chairs are good quality they spend a lot of time in them
- Make sure they come outside with you every day or they will need a vitamin D infusion1
- Limit the energy drinks, they will do them massive damage when they are older
- Talk to them about what is going on in the real world and keep them in a reality check
- Don’t stress out about them, they will be fine, for most kids it’s a fad but for those serious ones make sure they know they will be sharing that gaming wealth!
- Try to understand them, not understanding and supporting them could throw them further into the cyber space and less into the real world.
There is no hard or fast rules but those are the things that helped me get past all the irritation in the early days. Don’t get me wrong it still annoys me on some days especially when I am trying to study, but for the most part my gaming child is such an awesome child!