Posted on Jun 2nd, 2006

Like most of his friends, my 11 year old son Jonathon is deep into video games, with his particular "drug of choice" being X-Box.

I picked him up from a friend’s birthday party sleepover this weekend, and as soon as we got in the car, he was in tears. When he got calm enough to be understood, he told me that he had beaten all the levels on the newest Star Wars game, and then one of the kids had saved his game by mistake and Jonathon had lost all the "work" he had done.

For those of you not familiar with video games, this is a VERY BAD THING.

To make matters worse, he had homework and chores to do when he got home, we do not allow him to play during the school week, and there was no way in his mind he was going to be able beat all those levels again by his Friday night birthday sleepover.

The makings of an 11 year old tragegy.

He and I worked out a way to do a little bit of homework, beat a level, do a little bit of homework, beat a level, etc. before he went to bed that night. I also told him that Mom and I would talk about it, and perhaps if he did well in school, did his homework and kept a good attitude, he might be able to play during this week to make up for the levels he lost.

When he talked to Mom about it (after Mom and I discussed it of course), Mom even suggested this would be a good test run to see if he was now old enough and responsible enough to play some during the week on a more regular basis.

The point of this little drama

It occurred to me later that Jonathon has two choices about how to handle this little drama:

1) keep it to himself, and feel miserable, resulting in acting out his misery and probably getting in trouble, or

2) talk about it and get some support

The results of getting some support

Several good things resulted from his talking about the situation:

1. He got it out of his system.

2. He got the support he needed and did not have to handle it alone.

3. We came up with a plan to solve the problem.

4. In addition to a plan for getting the problem solved, he got to go beyond that and have an opportunity to make things even better (getting to play video games during the week.)

5. He got to discover that Mom and Dad could be reasonable human beings and parents. (In my humble opinion anyway.)

The moral of the story?

Ask for the support you need. You may discover that the problem you are facing is not only solvable, it may carry some gifts for you as well.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

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