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To be starting to get fed up with step kids contact time being spent on games console

(50 Posts)
Tututuna Thu 04-Apr-19 18:22:26

My step children are with us 50:50. They are lovely and we do have a good relationship my issue isn't with them personally.

But recently I am getting so fed up when they are here. They have an Xbox in our living room and for the time they are here, all they do is play games.

I know that it's a generation thing now and a lot of them do it but DH will not entertain the idea of getting them something for in their room so we have our house back. He says it would be like shutting them away and not spending any time with them. But to me, they don't even notice we are in the same room when they are on it! We don't converse with them or join in.

It's definitely a DH problem, I know this. He needs to limit screen time better but it's getting to the point where I no longer look forward to them coming.

I don't mind playing games with them, watching a film, baking together etc... But I end up wanting to pull my eyes out with a rusty fork after about 3 hours of gaming in the living room. Our downstairs area is mainly open plan and they are on headsets with friends so it ends up being very loud.

We do try to go out for walks etc... But the second we are back in the house it's on. If we suggest doing something else there are tears and massive tantrums and my DH doesn't want to the 'bad guy' so allows it to continue (totally his issue).

It's not up to me to parent his children, I understand that but am I really being that unreasonable to suggest that if he wants to let them play games all afternoon/evening then can they do it in their bedroom so I feel like I can enjoy my home?!

I feel like a wicked step mother and I'm not, I really do care about these kids a lot but I feel like my house is completely taken over all day with this problem.

MotsDHeureGoussesRames Thu 04-Apr-19 18:27:30

YANBU at all.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Thu 04-Apr-19 18:29:20

What happens if you or DH want to watch TV?
I assume they are using main TV to game on.

Tututuna Thu 04-Apr-19 18:31:16

We end up sat in our room on the bed (we have a small tv in there).

ScreamScreamIceCream Thu 04-Apr-19 18:34:01

Get a bigger TV for your room paid for by your DH.

Unfortunately some people don't see the problem with others gaming whether they are 12 or 50.

Tututuna Thu 04-Apr-19 18:38:08

But am I really unreasonable for not wanting to spend my time sat in my bedroom?

I know that's what I'm asking of the children but they are children. I would never have been given run of the living room whilst my parents sat in their room.

It absolutely is their home. But as the adults who's house it is, I don't think we should have to sit in our bedroom!

Moominfan Thu 04-Apr-19 18:39:44


Northernparent68 Thu 04-Apr-19 18:41:48

Can your DH and his ex wife agree a screen time rule for both houses ?

Alsohuman Thu 04-Apr-19 18:42:21

Not unreasonable at all. Put the small TV in their room and they can use that.

BlackPrism Thu 04-Apr-19 18:46:38

They're not your children no, but they are your stepchildren and in your home and you're correct that this is unacceptable.

Mum and dad need to get together and agree a screen time amount that will be upheld so that neither is the bad guy.

If that doesn't work then they need to be in their room as it is they who are being antisocial not you

Ginger1982 Thu 04-Apr-19 18:48:47

Your DH needs to put his foot down here. You wouldn't expect your biological kids to force you into your bedroom. A limit needs to be set, like 'after 6pm it's family time.'

cornflakegirl Thu 04-Apr-19 18:59:49

Why is them playing games you're not interested in more antisocial than you watching telly they're not interested in?

My kids are gamers and also take over the telly. I tend to get it back for a couple of hours in the evening. I like that they're around even if we're not actively conversing.

Tututuna Thu 04-Apr-19 19:01:16

Yes I totally agree re setting some proper screen time limits, I've suggested this before and he always hmms and ahhs about it but nothing ever happens.

I think I need to tell him seriously that this needs sorting now.

It absolutely isn't their fault, they are being allowed to do this but I can feel myself starting to look forward to them leaving and I don't like admitting that.

Tututuna Thu 04-Apr-19 19:02:52

Why is them playing games you're not interested in more antisocial than you watching telly they're not interested in?

If my DH wants to let them play games he can, I just don't think it should be all afternoon/evening in the main living area. I am more than happy to get them something for in their bedroom.

Somerville Thu 04-Apr-19 19:04:31

No children or teens should be spending half their leisure time on screens. It’s pretty crappy parenting from your partner, and that’s the issue. (As you know.)
Putting a tv in their room won’t address the parenting issue.

ItsBloodyFreezingg Thu 04-Apr-19 19:09:04

Get a bigger TV for your room paid for by your DH

Why should OP have to sit in her bedroom. They are children!!

Why is them playing games you're not interested in more antisocial than you watching telly they're not interested in?

Because they are children?! They shouldn't be allowed to dictate the living area. OP and her DH are the ones who own the house. It's not unreasonable for them to expect the children to play in their rooms if they are doing something disruptive to others.

But I agree, it's a parenting issue for your DH to sort.

Cside Fri 05-Apr-19 07:49:52


underneaththeash Fri 05-Apr-19 08:05:11

I'm sure DH's ex wife if not impressed with them spending hours sitting in front of the computer either. It's hardly good parenting.

We have considerably less time on consoles/ipad in the summer when the weather is better, so you can use that as an excuse to reduced the screen time.

I'd recommend that you do something more fun though than go for a walk every week... what age are they?

Friedspamfritters Fri 05-Apr-19 08:09:01

A TV in the bedroom(theirs or OP'S) isn't the answer, everyone staring at separate screens is so depressing. Screen time has to be limited. DH needs to step up.

Tututuna Fri 05-Apr-19 08:25:44

From what we hear from them, they do the same at their mums but of course they could just be saying this so DH feels bad for telling them to get off it.

They are 10 and 13.

It surprises me so much, it's definitely not just them. They are on headsets talking to friends who are also constantly on it, they continue to be invited to games by their friends way after they've gone to bed and me and DH are watching TV.

Re the walking, we don't have much choice as we have high energy dogs that need long walks so we do go out walking most weekends with them however, we do try to do other things too. We went to the arcade the other week, they used to enjoy cooking/baking but not so much anymore etc...

Sometimes we try to at least get them on a game the whole family can join but it's rare.

Vulpine Fri 05-Apr-19 08:30:06

He wants to spend time with them but then hides put in the bedroom! Gaming is different to tv. You generally don't wear headphones to watch tv for a start. The player us completely cut off from the world around them.

Kaddm Fri 05-Apr-19 08:37:42

Most of the advice with gaming is to keep the console in a shared area downstairs. It’s really not great for them to be penned in bedrooms with consoles. I have a 13yo and he games on the TV in the lounge. The only noise is his own voice as everything else is in the headset so the noise doesn’t bother me. This is how he communicates with his mates, almost exclusively. I think it’s fairly normal. Although we (the rest of the family) do speak to him when we want, he’ll pull back his headset or mute the mic and he will also be willing to pause or take a break as long as not ata critical point. Like for homework, food, walk etc

Tututuna Fri 05-Apr-19 08:38:08

He wants to spend time with them but then hides put in the bedroom

To be fair, he spends a lot of time downstairs sat in the living room whilst they are playing. It's just if there is a time where I want to watch something or the odd occasion where he does as well, then we do it in our room.

He doesn't want them to feel like they have to be shut in their bedroom when they are here.

They don't have to be! Only if they are being allowed to spend their entire time on games. If they want to come and do something downstairs they are more than welcome! Honestly I'd be happy to get my old step kids back that liked spending time with us sad haha

EvaHarknessRose Fri 05-Apr-19 08:39:11

You should make a habit of chucking them off the console to watch TV or read quietly. They will beg dad for a console upstairs and you are only claiming your fair enjoyment of the living space.

Tututuna Fri 05-Apr-19 08:39:50

I don't mind so much if it's an hour or so but it's literally from the minute we step in until they go to bed, which isn't that early anymore!

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