Boot camp for Internet-addicted kids

Filed under: Just For Moms, Teens, Just For Dads, Health & Safety: Babies, In The News, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

Kids in South Korea take Internet gaming very seriously. Earlier this year, when the makers of the game Starcraft announced an upgrade to the popular 9-year-old game, some 300,000 fans turned up in a Seoul stadium to hear the announcement and get the details. It was big news in a nation where 90 percent of homes have high speed Internet access and kids have been known to die from exhaustion after playing for days on end.

South Korea, the "most connected country in the world", is now taking steps to cure their Internet-addicted teens. In addition to the over 140 Internet addiction counseling centers, the South Korean government has created the world's first Internet addiction boot-camp. And that's not just a play on words. In addition to therapy workshops and off-line creative exercises, teens at the The Jump Up Internet Rescue School in Mokcheon, South Korea are pushed through military-style exercises and monitored constantly during the 12-day sessions.

South Korea may be at the forefront in creating and treating Internet addicted kids, they aren't the only country facing the problem. Dr Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health and Science University, believes that as many as 9 million Americans are at risk of "pathological computer use". "Korea is on the leading edge. They are ahead in defining and researching the problem, and recognize as a society that they have a major issue," he told the New York Times.

I know of at least one kid who has a "major issue" with computer use and I can't help but wonder why his parents don't set limits. Do you limit your kids as to how long they can spend online? Do you know any Internet-addicted teens?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.