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Do computer games mess with childrens heads?

(9 Posts)
suzi2 Sun 18-Oct-09 13:29:49

DS loves the computer and always has, but since summer he's started 'gaming' in a bigger way. He's playing Ben10 games online, Kung Fu panda on the xbox, Mario kart on the wiii etc. I've been putting a limit to it as I don't think it's too healthy for a child of his age (just turned 4). However, he's recently had a few weeks of illnesses so he's played it a lot and still wants to play a lot. He's very active otherwise and does a range of activities.

Just wondering if it'll screw up his brain or something? Or give him RSI or bad eyes? How much (per day/week) do you think I should limit use to? What do others do?

mrsruffallo Sun 18-Oct-09 13:36:19

Sounds like the uses computer games a bit too much to me. I would limit it to an hour screen time a day at this age, although I have let him watch tv for a longer period when he is ill.
I just feel it's laying the foundations for bad habits, relying in this kind of entertainment .
Self motivated imaginative play is what he should be doing most of the time

bamboobutton Sun 18-Oct-09 13:37:22

im going to watch this this interest as dh is always letting 20mo ds watch him play call of duty. no matter how much i say it's bad for him with the flashing lights and violence he keeps insisting it's OKangry

sarah293 Sun 18-Oct-09 13:38:49

Message withdrawn

suzi2 Sun 18-Oct-09 13:48:11

An hour screentime a day... eeek... I'm a bad mummy! He doesn't play on a computer all day - I don't let him. But I think DH would. The games are (mostly) age appropriate and I can see the advantages - ie dexterity, coordination, concentratioon. But I'm sure I read that they screw up brain patterns etc?

Riven, if he was a teen I wouldn't mind I don't think. He's only 4 though so I'm worried it might all be too much for him.

Bucharest Sun 18-Oct-09 13:52:55

I think too much of anything is a bad thing.

My dd likes playing computer games- most kids do- she hasn't yet got into them "in a bigger way" and I hope she doesn't- because I think there are children out there who play them far too much. My cousin's son is a year older than dd and refuses to play with other kids because he's "on the computer", won't go swimming with his brother because he's "on the computer" etc etc.

Common sense I'd say. You know if your child is on the pooter too much, like you know if they're slobbing in front of the box too much, or eating too many sweets.

I can spot the children at school a mile off as well, who play the biff zap you're dead kind of games, as unfortunately it tends to extend into their real life behaviour in the playground. hmm

AMumInScotland Sun 18-Oct-09 14:04:50

I think you do have to limit it when they're as young as 4 - their brain wiring isn't fully done yet, so if they get huge amounts of "instant gratification" from computers, and TV etc, then there's reason to think they'll find it harder to cope with the "normal" level of excitement you get out of everyday life. I mean, if you spend many hours a day having things race round or blow up at your slightest command, then the boring lessons in life about taking turns, paying attention, coping with boredom, etc are going to be much harder to learn.

I don't think anyone knows yet about things like RSI - but I'd guess there's going to be children/teens suffering from this before long.

sarah293 Sun 18-Oct-09 14:30:09

Message withdrawn

Tortington Sun 18-Oct-09 14:41:47

i think it is addictive and exclusive of social interaction if done over long periods of time.

i also find that if ds gets frustrated and angry on the game this behaviour can carry over

its like anything - moderation

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