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by Abigail Van Buren

Video Game Is Addiction for Boys Young and Old

DEAR ABBY: Last Christmas we purchased a video game for our sons, ages 8 and 10. At first it was fun, but now I am sick of the hours wasted in front of the television set. If the boys aren't playing it, their father is, and the arguments and hurt feelings are not worth the money invested. We used to go to the parks or beaches, or just spend time barbecuing after work. Now it's, "What game should we rent tonight?" followed by an evening of no communication.

I swear, they are addicted to it! Am I wrong? Has this happened in other households also? -- MAD AT THE VIDEO GAME, LACEY, WASH.

DEAR MAD: You are not wrong. But who makes the rules at your house? You should allow your sons to play their video game only as a reward for having done their homework and chores. And there should be a limit on how much time they can spend in front of the television set. Kids can get hooked on a video game -- but wise parents can turn that addiction into a bargaining chip.