The media is reporting that the popular video game Fortnite may face lawsuits because some weak Canadian parents claim the game is “…as addictive as cocaine.”

Groan. I have three pre-teen boys who love video games. My oldest especially loves Fortnite. In fact, he’d love to do nothing more than play Fortnite 24 hours a day.

But he doesn’t. Know why? 


Given the choice, my kids would subsist on chips, cookies and crackers all day. They don’t…BECAUSE I DON’T LET THEM!

Given the option, my kids would watch mind-meltingly stupid YouTube videos nonstop (of kids playing video games—didn’t know that’s a thing? It is). They don’t…BECAUSE I DON’T LET THEM!

Given the chance, my kids would never shower or brush their teeth. But they do…BECAUSE I MAKE THEM!

Seeing a pattern here?

Yet, these Canadian parents claim it’s the game, not their own shoddy parenting, that has left their child damaged. In fact, they go so far as to claim they’re helpless because the company that makes Fortnite “…purposely designed the multiplayer video game to be as addictive as cocaine.” They also claim their sons developed such a “severe dependence” on the game that the kids stopped eating, showering, and socializing (seems like rather normal teen behavior to me). 

Of course this was all preventable. 

Here are four parenting tips for keeping your kids from becoming addicted to Fortnite:

Tip #1: Fortnight runs on something called electricity. The game console actually includes a cord and a plug, which is inserted into an electrical outlet, usually located against a wall in your home. There are several located in each room. If you don’t use that plug feature, the game won’t operate. 

Tip #2: Fortnight can also be run on computers and other devices—all of which can be physically taken away from children who live with their parents. These computers and other devices can actually be locked away for safekeeping. In extreme cases, these items may need to be sold or donated.

Tip #3: Televisions come with remote controls, all of which include an “on” and an “off” button. I have found the “off” button to be especially helpful when trying to guide my children to better, healthier decisions. Cable companies also offer parental controls that include a password or a number. I have my televisions so locked down that the only options my kids see are Teletubbies and Gilligan’s Island reruns. 

Tip #4: Parents might also try a parenting strategy called “consequences.” It works like this: Good behavior (like eating, showering, and acting like a human being) is rewarded (with things like being given limited amounts of time to play games). 

Of course, there’s no money to be made in good parenting. It’s difficult, exhausting and generally unpleasant. Perhaps that’s why fewer parents are actually doing it.