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The "Fortniter" and Learning

Are you a parent who has a child who doesn't get enough sleep even thought he goes to his room at 9 pm? Is your child's teacher complaining that your child is lacking focus and failing to maintain his concentration across the day? Is your child seemingly less appreciative of slower, richer interactions with family and friends? If so, then your child might be a Fortniter.

A Fortniter has the classic behaviors that include:

1. Tired look.

2. Irritable morning demeanor.

3. Isolation in his room.

4. An exasperated parent.

5. Distraction

These behaviors were several teachers at a recent workshop I conducted, and the clever term "Fortniter" was made by one of the teachers. It seemed appropriate. Kids who are afflicted with Fortniter behaviors, including daily, hours of game play, will be unlikely to maintain their academic standards.

The use of the term Fortniter is a preferable way to describe a student's struggles are associated with their behavioral choices instead of assuming a biological basis for their difficulties. It is a trend that is preferable, to shift from medical terms that label school children toward developing terms to describe environmental situations that impact learning and that are malleable by teacher and parent influence, rather than by drugs.

The Fortniter is created by too much Fortnite game play. The solution, as it may seem easy, is actually quite difficult because the Fortniter will resist reducing weekly play. Game play is similar to alcohol consumption in one important way: higher quantities negatively impact social effectiveness. For example, most people who consume alcohol choose to drink on weekends when their responsibilities are personal and manageable. However, a person who drinks every day is irritable unless drinking, and does not consistently meet responsibilities because of their drinking. This person will be told to cut down on their drinking, or to eliminate all together but will struggle to do so. The same holds true for a Fortniter. Responsible game play, that reflects the tendencies of society, that is, to do pleasurable things after the work for becoming happy has been satisfied.

The solution:

1. Two or three days of Fortnite.

2. No Fortnite on school days

3. No Fortnite on Sunday night.

4. Socialize without a need to Fortnite

5. Keep Fortnite from being excessive: 3-hours a day is the lower end of excessive

Good luck, and have a plan, discuss with your child the plan, and do not deviate from your plan. Reassess after a month. Do not increase exposure.

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