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AIBU re 14 year old and Xbox

(22 Posts)
TinfoilHattie Fri 07-Apr-17 12:28:03

Just had a shouting match spirited discussion with my just turned 14 year old. He has spent the entirety of the first week of the school holidays in his room on his Xbox, except for short 15 minute periods where I've forced him out into the garden with his siblings and a family trip out. I have informed him that he will not be spending the next week of his holiday in the same fashion, and if he cannot get off his arse and arrange for things to do or people to meet up with, then I as his parent will step in and arrange things for him. If that means coming with me to Asda, mowing the lawn, painting the fence or running other errands of my choosing so be it - his lack of organisation means he forfeits the right to choose.

Apparently though I am "mean", "unreasonable" and "the worst Mum in the whole of Glasgow".

watchoutformybutt Fri 07-Apr-17 12:30:54

Yanbu
I think the amount of time some people spend on xboxes and things is really out of control sometimes. It's not healthy for humans. We need activity and natural light!

ThePants999 Fri 07-Apr-17 12:32:28

If I had the opportunity, I'd love to spend a week just playing games.

puddingpen Fri 07-Apr-17 12:33:33

I think YABU. He has to socialise constantly at school, don't force him into it over the holiday. If he wants to play X Box, let him! He is probably playing with his friends anyway, so they won't be available to meet up! If you actually need the help with shopping/chores, then ask him nicely and if he refuses you would not be unreasonable to make him do them anyway, but don't punish him because he happens to like X Box whilst his siblings like playing in the garden...

That's my opinion anyway!

Soubriquet Fri 07-Apr-17 12:35:36

That's a hard one

At 14 he should be able to choose what he wants to do with his free time but at the same time, I wouldn't like my 14 year old stuck at home on a games console all day....

So I'm on the fence getting very large splinters

TinfoilHattie Fri 07-Apr-17 12:38:41

I'd love to spend a week just playing games.

That's what he's had... I'm just insisting he has a bit of balance in his life and telling him he's not spending another week the same way.

SpookyPotato Fri 07-Apr-17 12:38:52

I think it's up to him how he chooses to relax in the school holidays... it's so full on in term time. Maybe he's an introvert and needs this down time from always being "on".

VimFuego101 Fri 07-Apr-17 12:39:09

If he chooses to spend time with his friends playing Xbox rather than being out and about with him, that's his choice. But I'd be blocking his internet access until a list of chores were completed each day, and making at least one family meal/ outing mandatory.

EdmundCleverClogs Fri 07-Apr-17 12:40:12

YABU mostly unreasonable in my opinion. It's very important to take breaks from gaming but not by being forced into 'play dates' by your mum. Gaming is obviously his hobby, as long as he's doing his share of the chores/finishes homework and not going on it for 15 hours straight whilst necking energy drinks, I don't see why he shouldn't spend his time off school as he pleases.

I miss the days of being able to game all week....

CPtart Fri 07-Apr-17 12:41:41

YANBU. It's about balance. I have a 14 year old DS and a 12 year old DS. The 12 year old is currently on the Xbox with a friend, but I'll be taking them trampolining shortly and he has cricket tonight. The 14 year old likes the Xbox too, but has spend many hours this week with friends at the local Astro turf and in town. They're both also going to Scotland for 6 days with scouts next week with not a screen in sight.
Xbox has a place, but it's a slippery slope if you're not careful to the exclusion of anything else.

Chippednailvarnishing Fri 07-Apr-17 12:42:28

YANBU
Kids need exercise, stimulation and time away from screens.

MephistophelesApprentice Fri 07-Apr-17 12:45:41

YABU. While it'd be fair to remind him to get exercise, part of the point of holidays is to escape the regimented institutionalisation of school. Trying to force him away from the things that make him happy in the home environment will make him feel like he doesn't have a safe space, or the opportunity to manage his own time.

Do you want home to be a refuge, or just another area of forced compliance?

WankingMonkey Fri 07-Apr-17 12:48:21

I would leave a 14 year old to it tbh...

DSS spends hours and hours on his xbox and ipad. Only surfaces for food and drink really. Calls it his downtime after working hard at school (and tbf he IS top of the class in everything except science so he clearly does work hard)

Any planned days out he comes to though. And sometimes we can get him to sit in the garden with his ipad.

RhiWrites Fri 07-Apr-17 12:50:47

OP would you say the same if he'd spent the week reading quietly? X box isn't intrinsically bad. He's learning skills through playing it, I promise.

BarbarianMum Fri 07-Apr-17 12:55:33

We encourage balance in all things. So holing up in your room for 10 days to whatever is out - family life isn't optional when you live as part of a family for a start.

TinfoilHattie Fri 07-Apr-17 13:03:01

I would be saying the same if he'd read all week to be honest, I think too much of any one thing isn't that healthy. I'm not banning Xbox totally, just saying he needs to do other things as well.

Seems to have worked - judging by the racket upstairs he's helping his brother build his Lego.

WeAreNotInKansasAnymore Fri 07-Apr-17 13:05:24

I'm afraid I have banned the PS4 here. He was like a heroin addict. No sunlight, no activity, no conversation. I had banned first person shooter games, but realised they were still creeping in in the form of socially-accepted Star Wars games. He was aggressive, sweary...

And when I tried to remove it.... OMG. Dreadful. He threatened me with a letter opener and tried to lock himself in his room, saying he would kill himself.

Very, very bad. I'm sure the effects are underreported. Can't be good for the maturing brain. I wish the thing had never entered my house.

WeAreNotInKansasAnymore Fri 07-Apr-17 13:09:26

The child I mention is younger, but my older DD has spent the same amount of time reading or in the bath, and is nowhere near as horrid in her behaviours. She also socialises more and isn't glued to her phone in the same way he was to his screen.

Both have long, long school days, and I believe in letting them relax and chill and do nothing, but I think I have a duty of care as far as being glued to such a harmful contraption is concerned. There are loads of other things they can do to chill out.

It has only been...what...4 or 5 days and he has stopped complaining, will walk the dog, talk to me, sit with his sib and pals, potter about. I don't mind him watching YouTube vids as long as they are appropriate, and he loves Wolfblood on iPlayer. They have baked cookies and made plans for new bedrooms. But no, no consoles ever, ever again, if I can help it.

Chippednailvarnishing Fri 07-Apr-17 13:20:03

OP would you say the same if he'd spent the week reading quietly?

I've confiscated DS's kindle, sitting inside all day staring at a screen is not healthy.

WandaOver Fri 07-Apr-17 13:27:59

When mine were that age i had the console in the living room. They had to share and when I wanted the TV in the evening they had to give it.

Willow2017 Fri 07-Apr-17 14:06:52

MIne has spent a lot of time on games consoles too but he plays with friends online mostly.
I have dragged him out once this week and we are going out 3 times next week. Yes he will fuss and bother about going but once out he is fine and enjoys himself.

Sometimes it isnt worth the arguing about whether he comes with us or not, he appreciates the time alone as I did and most things are boring to 14 - 15yr olds anyway.. Other times its non negotiable and I just ignore the ranting and raving or reiterate (over and over and over) that he is going, end of.

TBH I have spent a fair bit of time on Xbox myself in the evenings over the hols as dont have the stress of post school evenings and the hell of mornings grin and apart from a select few things I watch, the telly is crap just now so I much prefer gaming. Our console is in the living room to and when I want tv he has to get off, no brainer (although there is usually much arguing that he cant save it yet, 5 more minutes etc so I tell him in advance at least twice before his time is up)

pilates Fri 07-Apr-17 14:19:31

YANBU
I think they need to have other things to do. Too much time on the Xbox turns my son into a stroppy petulant brat. The change in him is unbelievable. A bit of fresh air and a game of football and I get my nice boy back.

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