Dear Dr. Lisa,
How can you cure digital addiction or addiction to Fortnite in kids?
Dear Nervous Mom,
Thank you so much for your question about technology addiction and kids. I get a lot of parents that are worried about the amount of time their kids are spending on video games, especially Fortnite and screen time in general. This game has become so important to some kids socially that it can feel like their whole world exists on the other side of the screen.
Because of this, it can be challenging for parents to try and limit their children’s access to screen time or take it away all together. I always recommend handling these situations like it is a real addiction, because the emotions that kids feel while living on these games and on social media are extremely real for them. Try substituting an outdoor activity or board game one night a week that requires absolutely no technology. As your children begin to see that they can have fun, interactive experiences without a screen, it will become more of a habit to balance online vs offline time.
Just as your child built an attachment to technology through repeated use and positive reinforcement (from winning battles online and getting enough likes on social media) they also have to create new bonds with family and peers offline. Another great tool is to implement our Home Program for all of the vast tips, tricks, and tools to raise responsible Digital Citizens.