Help with 10yo dd and her addictive/ obsessiveness

(19 Posts)
Eggwhisk Mon 17-Mar-14 18:25:41

Help please, I'm getting more and more concerned about my dd. For a couple of years now she seems to go from one obsession to the other. It started with sylvanian families, then Moshi monsters, furby, monster high, minecraft. All day every day all she talks about is her latest obsession, she'd look through magazines/argos book/amazon planning what she is going to ask for birthday or Christmas, then before you know it that fad has passed and she's on to the next one.

It has got a lot worse recently as she saved up to buy a hudl and now she's getting up way before everyone else to come downstairs and play minecraft or watch YouTube videos about bloody minecraft. She would be on there from dawn till dusk if we let her. When we ask her to come off she either has a strop or teases her brother and sister, she can't seem to think of anything else to do and I feel at a loss!

I don't know weather to just let her get on with it, or give strict time limits for playing that game or make her go cold turkey! Help please

piratecat Mon 17-Mar-14 18:34:59

Has she always been really into things? My dd is similar, and i have sometimes wondered about the cause of it, if there is indeed a cause.

My background is a divorce early on and her being badly affected. You can't help it, wondering if there's something you should be doing or could have done.
Yet, i have also witnessed children of friends being extremely obsessed with things at this age, i think, i hope, it's ok.! From Minecraft to Moxy Dolls.

I have lived with dd's obsessions, and indulged her in them a fair bit, Manga, Pirates, Pokemon, Take That, Moshi Monsters. She has a very short attention span for alot of things, but can seemingly spend hours thinking and playing and being some of the things she has loved.

With Minecraft, I think a time limit is probably a good thing though, it being screen time. At this age it's channeling all those hormones, it's about finding out who they are and what they like. It's about carving a separation from us.

I have always gone along with what dd likes, and she soon moves on to something else. Thought i must admit I have probably bought her to many bits to go with things, over the years if that makes sense. That bit is my fault, but as an only child it's been doable.

Littlefish Mon 17-Mar-14 18:37:57

Re minecraft - I would insist on her handing in the tablet before she goes to bed at night and enforce a time limit on its use.

Eggwhisk Mon 17-Mar-14 19:00:30

Thanks both, good idea littlefish, she usually just leaves it in the sofa so I will put it away tonight so she won't know where it is in the morning. What do you think is a reasonable amount of time to spend on it? Today she had a couple of hours when she first got up, then half an hour after school and then another half an hour after dinner. Now she's just mooching around not knowing what to do, she is now asking for biscuits and hot chocolate.

She can't seems to entertain herself at all, If I suggest she plays with toys or reads or draws she just stomps off saying it's boring.

Piratecat I separated from her dad when she was 2, and I have been with my dh since she was 3 so she has had some upheaval in her life. She is also a very anxious child and panics a lot about all sorts of things, especially her health.

Littlefish Mon 17-Mar-14 19:48:23

Personally, I would say nothing at all before school and then up to an hur before school.

What time has she been getting up to play it?

Could you sit down with her and help her write a list of possible things she can do. Eg. Build a Lego model, paint a picture, fold washing! do her homework, read a book, use newspaper and Sellotape to make something to wear/something that flies etc. That way, when she's wandering aimlessly, or complaining that she has nothing to do, you can point her to the list.

Eggwhisk Mon 17-Mar-14 20:25:38

I think she must have got up at about 6ish today and I came down stairs at about 7:15. I have asked her not to play on her hudl before we're up but she 'forgot' I don't mind her having 30 minutes if we're up with time to spare but not when she moans about coming off and having breakfast for example.

I'm going to put it away tonight but I expect she won't be happy when she can't find it in the morning

Nocomet Mon 17-Mar-14 20:38:19

DD2 obsessively played SIMs at that age. I shouted gardern occasionally, but otherwise ignored her.

When not being told what to do at school, DCs need their safe world, be it SIMs, minecraft, reading, playmobil, producing lots of never finished bits of craft (me and DD1).

I don't think it's worth worrying about.

Littlefish Mon 17-Mar-14 21:22:12

Nocoment - I agree that children need to be able to immerse themselves in something they enjoy. However, I think 2 hours in the morning is an excessive use of screens, particularly when the child in question then moans and complains when asked to stop. It's about having a balance, and it sounds like the OP's dd doesn't have that balance.

Eggwhisk - perhaps you could talk to her about having her Hudl for half an hour in the morning once everything else is done. ie. breakfast, teeth clean, bag packed, water bottle filled etc. However, if she complains when told to put it away, she loses 5 minutes the next day. Would that work?

Nocomet Mon 17-Mar-14 23:11:59

I don't do mornings, I wouldn't begin to ask
How long my early rising DD2 spent on her lap top. I haven't a clue.

I'm afraid I'm a great believer in the pick only battles that need to be picked school of parenting.

IME that results in my DDs working hard at school and being open and chatty about things when it suits them, they feel they need to be.

Both have good brains that can, in quite different ways be turn to stubbornness and deceit if pushed (I don't push).

pandora987 Tue 18-Mar-14 12:20:18

I also have 11 yr old DD obsessed with Minecraft. She will play on x box, watch endless Youtube of other people playing it, face time her friends while playing it. Just started setting her alarm for 6:30am so she can get up and play it.
But positives - she's interacting with lots of friends (mostly boys) she wouldn't necessarily have much in common with otherwise. Minecraft at least is about building things and strategy, not blowing things up and violence too much. She is up for school, used to be massive battle to get her out of bed by 8am. No more Disney channel ...
I just have to remind her to turn off to do homework, get fresh air etc.
I'm sure it'll pass and I agree with Nocomet - pick your battles!
Facetiming friends is great - like having other peoples kids round but who aren't actually there - result!!

Nocomet Tue 18-Mar-14 15:44:28

Face time is indeed great, it allows my 16y to have real friends to talk to like a teen should.

DD1 has never really fitted in at school, but she has two DF's from guides and now rangers, who she sees about 1.5 times a week, but chats to by ipod far more often.

bemusedisnottheword Tue 18-Mar-14 17:18:44

omg op, this is my dd down to a t. i have had the same with dd1 now 11. her latest craze is my little pony, and has figures, has watched all the seasons, spends hours on youtube researching songs from the show, drawing the ponies which she is fantastic at actually.

She is in year 7, is a bit of a loner, only has a few friends, sees no one outside of school as all her friends bar 2 went to another school. Her friends in school think she is a bit odd, all she goes on about is mlp.

it does worry me a bit tbf. My dd now goes to guides in the hope of her meeting another girls she has more in common with, however she does remind me of me at her age.

DD1(11) also has obsessions.
Started with Harry Potter, I also remember Bratz, Moshie Monsters, Ben Weevil, Monster High. Its Mario Bros now. She just researched how to make old Gamecube Mario games work on the Wii, and will now buy some of these games and necessary accessories on eBay for her upcoming birthday. Lots of time spend on YouTube watching videos posted on obsession of the day. She spends hours playing make-believe games centered around current obsessions with DD2(10).
She is also hooked on her iPod that she got at Christmas. This we ask to be left downstairs every night. Otherwise, she would be on it until midnight or later!

My girls also watch YouTube in the mornings. They watch and eat, and have to get off the screen to get dressed and fully ready (incl. coats & boots on), and then they can watch another few mins if ready early.

I leave her at it, it doesn't bother me.
She gets lots of homework, and also plays violin 7 days a week (lessons or practice), sings, does speech and drama and gymnastics.
I reckon it all balances out.

And I've a bit of an obsessive streak myself

Mirandasbestmate Sun 23-Mar-14 08:09:15

First step would be to put a password control on it then she can't go on without you putting t he code in. that way you control the time she's on it at least .

Bonsoir Sun 23-Mar-14 08:12:31

It sounds as if your DD is in emotional and imaginational shutdown and uses her obsessions to avoid her mind wandering off to painful or distressing feelings.

Eggwhisk Sat 26-Apr-14 18:23:28

Hello OP here, sorry I hadn't looked at this thread for a while, thanks for the replies. bemused my dd sounds very like yours and she has indeed been talking about my little pony lately, something that she hasn't been bothered about years. She has very few friends at school, she really enjoyed brownies and will start guides after Easter. I have just started another thread about her as it is wearing me down.

bonsoir I feel you maybe right about using the obsessions to stop her from thinking about real life. She has said many times that she doesn't want to grow up and she is very anxious about a lot of things

DogCalledRudis Mon 28-Apr-14 12:03:02

My DC have limited screen time - 1hr a day. Whatever they get obsessed with, goes when the novelty wears down

Nix0406 Sun 18-May-14 12:00:55

Does anyone's child get angry at you when you ask them to get of the screen?

Nix0406 Sun 18-May-14 12:01:26

Does anyone's child get angry at you when you ask them to get of the screen?

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