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my 6 year old is addicted to Ipad and to Minecraft

(154 Posts)
newnametoday1 Tue 17-Jun-14 21:49:34

This is a cry for help. My bright 6 year old is absolutely addicted to his iPad - first it started with the odd tv program that we downloaded for him, then to him searching for shows he liked on you tube and now it is minecraft - both playing and watching the videos or others playing minecraft that have been loaded up onto you tube.

If we let him he would sit on it all day (of course we don't as he goes to school). It is the first thing he wants when he wakes up in the morning and when he comes home from school. If he does not get it he kicks off often throwing things round the room if we refuse to give him it (cushions etc). This normally results in him being sent to his bedroom.

We know we need to solve this now. He seems to have a proper addiction to the iPad. We have tried to limit hos time on the ipad for say half an hour in the morning and say an hour or two in the evening but he instigates stalling tactics and often will not hand the ipad back. We do not think that going "cold turkey" is the way to go but we are at a lost about the best way to proceed.

I've looked to see if I can find any relevant threads on this but I can't. I was wondering if there are any information resources that could help us with this. Thanks very much

Littlefish Tue 17-Jun-14 21:54:51

I would say no iPad in the morning, and only 15 minute in the evening.

If he gives it back when asked, he gets an extra minute the following night, up to a maximum of half an hour. If he doesn't give the iPad back when asked, then he loses 1 minute the next night.

Llareggub Tue 17-Jun-14 21:56:59

Yes mine was the same. He kicked off about something and so I confiscated it for a month. He found lots of other things to do and now his addiction is pretty much under control.

coffeetofunction Tue 17-Jun-14 21:57:55

My son would play in his from morning till night...

Could time on the I pad be earned? Ie, 5 mins for getting dressed without being asked, 5 mins for brushing teeth, 15 mins for a good day at school, 5 mins for good dinner manors, 10 mins for washing up ect ect...then you can limit time but he will feel he still has some control.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 17-Jun-14 21:59:25

No ipad in mornings and must have ipad free nights here.

Power off the router and if he kicks off deal with like any other tantrum, he'll soon get the message it won't get him anywhere.

Distract from ipad by doing stuff together, board games, activities or get friend round, send out to play if you live somewhere that allows this. It's light late so perfect time of year to get out together.

2.5 hrs a day is way too much at 6.

MissOtisRegretsMadam Tue 17-Jun-14 22:00:32

Could you sell it?

newnametoday1 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:02:49

yes I know it is sad
Thanks for all the advice
Unfortunately he is so strong willed it is unbelieveable. If we said no ipad he would keep asking until late into the night and I mean later than it is now.

newnametoday1 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:03:33

Sell it? Not a chance. This is not a money issue. I just don't want it to take over his whole life.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 17-Jun-14 22:05:46

If he keeps asking keep saying no. He's 6 why isn't he in bed now?

newnametoday1 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:06:52

He is. He gets in bed at 7 ish and normally has ipad for hour or so. Even when we have taken it away he can be awake for hours though - very stubborn.

andrea315 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:08:30

My daughter was the same listening to stampylong nose or whatever his name is if she wasn't playing it I have just taken it away and she gets it back 3 or 4 times a week and after homework, tea, bath etc she was fine after a couple of moaning days

AnyFucker Tue 17-Jun-14 22:08:45

Erm, who is in charge here ?

The kid is 6 years old. The fault for this situation lies with you. Sort it out, FGS.

nikki1978 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:09:00

We took the ipad away entirely in the end. Said it was broken. Our DS who is incredibly stubborn and strong willed gave up in the end. Took a few days but he rarely asks about it now.

We let him keep playing Minecraft and encouraged him to do other things and he doesn't play much at all now and neither does his sister.

You are the grown ups so you decide. They will get over it!

nikki1978 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:10:17


Recipe for disaster.

Just take it away and put up with some tantrums.

GotAnotherQuestion Tue 17-Jun-14 22:11:58

We had this with DS 1 aged 4.

You're right, limiting time each day doesn't work; their persistence is remarkable (not to mention exhausting!).

It even affected his sleep (dreamt he was falling all the time, which mirrored one of the iPad games played).

In desperation we erased everything that wasn't listed for his age appropriateness. This meant deleting innocent games like sonic the hedgehog because it was age 5/6.

We also set strict limits - iPad only at weekends. It sounds as though "that won't work!" But it actually did. Within about 3 weeks he didn't even want to bother playing it at weekends.

However in the first few weeks we had to deny ourselves the iPad too (out of sight, out of mind). It was worth it thought, because he addiction has gone thankfully.

We don't dare reinstate the games until he's the right age though! But toucan get app locks or hidden folders if you're clever enough inclined to.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 17-Jun-14 22:12:01

Ignore. Once he's learned no means no he'll stop asking, you just need to be more stubborn than him consistent.

One of my favourites is "ask once more and you won't get to play with it tomorrow either" , check he understands what you just said and if he asks again follow through. Don't make tomorrow miserable though, do something together.

Ipad in bed is a big no for us too, can you read a book to him instead?

andrea315 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:12:19

Oh and she kept asking well after bedtime for it and staying awake but I just ignored untill she gave up its funny really because she isn't a child that normaly even sits still for TV

newnametoday1 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:13:30

nikki how do you let them play minecraft then - where it can be better policed?

naturalbaby Tue 17-Jun-14 22:13:47

My 6yr old would be on the tablet all day if I let him.
He has a 30min time cap per day - I put the timer in front of him so he can see how many minutes he has. He knows he has to get his jobs done before he touches it - ready for school or homework done.
I keep it out of sight and reach and only give it to him when he has 30mins after doing his jobs.
I have a friend who's ds now has glasses and the optician suggested that the ipad could be a significant contributing factor. Put your foot down, get the timer out. Your child needs boundaries and if he can't regulate himself then you need to do it. When he is calm then you need to have a talk with him about why there are rules - he has to get stuff done, it's not good for his body to sit for that long etc. Get him to agree the rules are there for very good reasons, then get him to explain what the rule is and why when he starts to kick off.

petitdonkey Tue 17-Jun-14 22:14:58

newname - I have a DS who loved Minecraft and the iPad but does accept our rules around it (with some whining!)

Am I right in reading that you let him have it in bed an hour before sleep? I honestly think that might be the problem - Google iPad affecting sleep and you will read numerous articles about how it can disrupt sleep patterns. We have a strict 'no screens upstairs' rule and DS knows that he has to turn the iPad off when we say otherwise it would be taken away.

I do sympathise with you but you have to take control of his access.

Ediemccreedy Tue 17-Jun-14 22:15:37

Internet usage should be supervised, he shouldn't have it in bed with him, that's a recipe for disaster.

isitsnowingyet Tue 17-Jun-14 22:16:07

Disconnect the Wi-fi, as and when you need to. Or make sure the I-pad has a code that only you can access.

You need to get him on board and agreeing to an arrangement as others have said. I found that setting the timer on the cooker saved a lot of argument, particularly if they set it themselves.

PacificDogwood Tue 17-Jun-14 22:18:47

Yes, another iPad/MN addict here, aged 6, same issues as you, probably a bit younger as he has 2 older brothers.

And <drumroll> he has suddenly lost interest grin

We did have a 'no iPad in the morning' rule, and 'no screen time 1 hr before bed'. Those 2 rules were Cast In Stone and there was no deviation. Exact length of time spent on it was negotiable (I believe 2 hours on a rainy day is ok, whereas the same cannot be promised when we are out and about). We did come up with how much time he was allowed before he got the iPad and set the timer. Refusal/tantrum on having to give it back resulted in less time the next time. Worked a treat, but was hard work.

newnametoday1 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:19:12

thanks for these great comments. We are trying but think we are going to need to get stricter and find other ways to keep him amused.

newnametoday1 Tue 17-Jun-14 22:20:32

pacific are you also saying no ipads in bed? I just don't think he will be into book reading or me stroy telling but will definitely try.

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