The Fortnite Obsession: I Pulled the Plug on the Game After This Happened... by Belinda Lichty Clarke

Opinion Tech Teens Parenting
6 years ago

The Fortnite Obsession: I Pulled the Plug on the Game After This Happened...

30Seconds is talking about it. Your friends and baseball moms are talking about it. It's not just a phase – Fortnite's an obsession. At first, I worried it was too violent, and that allowing my teen boys to become studied assassins with multiple weapons was just plain shi#&y parenting. And then the cool mom part of me told me to relax. So I did … for a while.

Fast forward to the months following winter break and we get the wake-up call. Two Fs, a D, a few Cs and maybe a B+ – and that was in gym. This is not the same freshman who pulled a 3.9 (weighted, to be fair) at the end of fall term. This is a kid in the grips of Fortnite.

So, we pulled the plug. At least on weeknights. Did we get push back? Oh, yeah. But only temporarily. Luckily, baseball helps, since during baseball season there's less time during the week to do much of anything.

Grades are up, but it's going to be tough undoing the damage before school ends in June. He now knows that digging yourself out from even a short stint of crappy grades can really impact the big picture. And even college prospects, possibly.

Like everyone else, I'm waiting for this phase to curl up and die.

Do your kids play Fortnite? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!

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Elisa Schmitz
Thank you for sharing your experience with Fortnite, Belinda Lichty Clarke ! It's amazing how much time and productivity it seems to be sapping from families everywhere. You did the right thing, IMHO. I remember when my kids' obsession was Minecraft, and this seems even more addictive. Wondering how other Fortnite families feel about this? Stacie Ast-Kutzbach Kathy Ast-Kutzbach Tanya Kuzmanovic
Ann Marie Patitucci
I hear ya, Belinda Lichty Clarke ! My son loves it too, and I'm not a fan of video games, esp. this kind. We have a no-technology rule during the week, so at least we only have to deal with it on the weekends, but I find that a challenge, too. Thanks for sharing your perspective!
Tanya Kuzmanovic
Right on! As parents we have a say, we have control, we have the ability to set boundaries - in order to point our kids in the right (Fortnite-less) direction!
Bri Montoya
I, like most parents, have felt the urge to rid the world of all things Fortnite at least a time or ten. However, I have to admit that the game is really well made. It's no wonder it's so popular - the graphics are great, the visuals are fun, the game play is exciting and cooperative, and it takes thought and skill to win, which is a thrill. Video games, like most things in our lives, can be good in moderation. Video games build problem solving skills, engage critical thinking, increase hand-eye coordination, and encourage teamwork. Because of these things, we've decided not to completely pull the plug on Fortnite...rather, we are working with on son on building skills to monitor and regulate himself. We help him with and encourage good decision making, teach him to watch his team, give him skills to monitor himself, and help him recognize when he needs to self-regulate and make the decision to step back. Sure, it can be a lot of work and he definitely still needs help and parental guidance, but these are skills that will last him a lifetime!
Belinda Lichty Clarke
excellent input. thank you!

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