top of page
  • Writer's pictureJeremy Edge, LPC

Unhealthy to Healthy Teenage Gaming: How Your Teen Can Be a Balanced Gamer

Many teenagers play video games. Video game popularity has only increased over the years and with the pandemic cancelling many physical world activities, many turn to video games for competition, socializing, and fun.

It’s natural and okay for teens to enjoy video games. It’s an engaging hobby where friends can connect, build, create, and compete. However, there is almost an endless amount of content to play through in video games. And if teens are not careful, their healthy gaming hobby might become unhealthy and create unbalance in their life.

Here are some areas to focus on in order to experience healthy gaming and more balance in their life.

Have Game Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is important and knowledge is power. When a teen knows what type of gamer they are, why they play, and how their gaming impacts their lives, they have the power to make healthier choices. Video games provide some value to teens but the more they know about what games are doing for them, the more value they can obtain from their gaming experience.

Enjoy Other Activities

Many parents might tell their teen, “Turn off your game and read a book.” While the parent’s intentions are good, the teen might prefer to have their teeth pulled than to read a book for fun.

Teens play games for many reasons and when they learn what they enjoy about their games, they can find fun, non-video game activities to do. It might not be their first choice but it would be better than removing their molars.

Spend Quality Time With Others

Many kids play video games with friends online. However, healthy relationships with parents and in-person friends might be suffering due to unhealthy gaming. Teens relationships with parents might suffer if there are constant battles over gaming time. They might neglect spending time in-person with friends if most of their time is online gaming. They may lose valuable social skills if they spend most of their time online. However, a teen’s life is enriched when they have positive relationships with their parents and spend quality time with friends on and offline.

Take Care Physical Health

Physical health takes a hit when a teen is an unhealthy gamer. Poor sleep habits is usually the first thing to go which negatively impacts mental health, emotions, and the ability to learn new things. Poor sleep also negatively impacts your teen’s gaming!

Exercise, nutrition, and personal hygiene can also be a struggle for unbalanced gamers. The goals for these teens is to spend the most time possible gaming. Doing things for their physical health doesn’t make sense because it’s not progressing in their game. However, (like every other area), the more teens find a healthy balance with gaming and life, the more they can enjoy gaming.

Prioritize Mental Health

Teenagers naturally have a hard time managing their emotions and mental health because they are teenagers. Playing an unhealthy amount of video games can exacerbate mental health challenges. If they feel isolated, alone, and depressed, they may turn to video games to feel better. If they do this every time they feel depressed, they will stifle their ability to positively respond to adversity. They learn to escape from their problems rather than address them. Video games can be a healthy escape every now and then, but it's important for teens to address mental health challenges when they arise.

Find Value in Learning

School sucks. At least that’s what many teenagers think. If a teen is not doing well academically or part of them feels they are not smart enough, it’s natural to turn to video games. Video games have a low barrier of entry – meaning it’s easy to start but becomes harder the more they play. For some unhealthy teen gamers, video games offer mastery and confidence in their skills and abilities school does not provide.

But when teens find value and purpose in learning, school, and work, their gaming is enhanced. They can fully engage in their homework, an idea, or a project and find joy from that hard work. They can learn to separate work from play and find more joy from disconnecting from work and playing video games.


How do these areas apply to your teenager? Do you feel your teen has an unhealthy relationship with video games and don’t think they would enjoy any other activity? Do you see their physical and mental health suffer because of the time and energy they spend gaming? How can a teenager improve on these areas?

The Powered Up Player course is designed for your teenager. This online course expands upon the above ideas and gives teens practical information to find balance in their gaming. If you are a parent looking for a program for your teen, this is it.

Maybe you as the parent are looking for more information, guidance, and advice on healthy gaming. The Powered Up Parent course is for you. You can start on both of these courses today through the Powered Up Together bundle.

Click here for more information on the Powered Up Courses.


bottom of page