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10 year old ds addicted to video gaming (imo)

(15 Posts)
hmc Mon 05-Jan-15 07:56:37

Video games are his default. He sets his alarm early and tries to play for an hour before school, he rushes over to his game console as soon as he gets home. Part of the addiction is that he seems to lack imagination about how he should fill his time if not gaming "I've got nothing else to do!" (in whining voice). If I suggest read a book / make an air fix model / Lego / teach the dog a new trick etc it's all "boring and pointless" (in whining voice close to tears). So I am going to say no gaming before 9 am (will encourage better sleep patterns), no gaming after 8 pm and no more than 2 hours per day. But how do I manage the fall out and resistance in the mean time?

Has anyone successfully curtailed their child's gaming addiction and what helped you achieve this and helped you to be resilient when being worn down?

LadyCybilCrawley Mon 05-Jan-15 08:01:10

ok this might sound harsh to you, but here goes

he's 10 - you are an adult

don't let him on the game/s

i have a 10 year old boy - he is allowed 60 minutes on saturday and the same on sunday - NO games during the school week

on the weekend, he has to have done at least 60 minutes of reading first before being allowed game time

they whine because it works - when it stops working, they stop whining

rookiemere Mon 05-Jan-15 08:08:35

8 yr old DS has a tendency to spend too much time on his X-box at times. We're not as strict as LadyCybil, but things that work for us are:

- Putting parental time limit on the x-box of 1.5 hrs per day during the week and 2 hrs during the weekend. If he has friends round and they're doing something collaborative i.e. building things in Minecraft and Terraria, I'll give him a bit more, as IMHO these games aren't all bad and they can be quite creative.

- During the holiday we've been very good about making sure we get exercise every day. He moans and groans before we go, but then enjoys the bike ride/walk/whatever and I'm more relaxed about him being on the computer if he gets outdoor time as well.

- Introducing other activities, this does require rather more parental input than I'd think necessary when I think back to how I was at his age, but I guess it's more difficult these days with 24/7 TVs and computers. DS is now addicted to monopoly !! He'd play it all day if he could (sadly with us rather than his next door neighbour pal who got bored after half an hour) . He sometimes plays his monopoly app - question is, is that a bad thing or a good thing ???

RonaldMcFartNuggets Mon 05-Jan-15 08:12:45

I think you need to take it away for a good week to wean him off until his imagination has time to grow back.

BathshebaDarkstone Mon 05-Jan-15 08:15:14

DD aged 7 is restricted to 2 hours a day. Unplug it and put it away. smile

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 05-Jan-15 08:21:35

So I am going to say no gaming

Don't make it too complicated or they will just wear you down.

You think he is addicted.

If he is then stopping the addiction now is the best thing you can do for him.

If he isn't, then he will find other things to do won't he?

I suggest time at the weekend [e.g. two hours Sat, two hours Sun], and none in the week. If he can show you that he can do other things, then you may allow an extra hour at the weekend. If not, for each whine, take off a minute of of his 4 hours at the weekend.

NorwaySpruce Mon 05-Jan-15 08:24:32

What sort of games does he play?

We are the opposite of most previous posters, in that we allow unrestricted screen time, once school work is done.

Our children might play a game obsessively for a few days (usually minecraft, Pi, or Lego games) but the novelty quickly wears off, and they go back to Lego/bikes/reading for a while, then screens again.

Maybe during the next school holiday, you could just let him play it out? I don't see the harm really.

hmc Mon 05-Jan-15 08:24:45

Ok thanks - am girding my loins for some tough love!

gamerchick Mon 05-Jan-15 08:28:18

2 hours a day is fine if he's as bad as you say. If the whining turns into a tantrum tell him he loses a minute for each whine.

Don't just expect him to suddenly think of other things to do though. You may have to love bomb and give him loads of one on one like a small child until his brain unravels itself.

Spirael Mon 05-Jan-15 08:31:03

I would think of gaming less as a dangerous addiction and more as screen time. Assuming what he is playing is age appropriate, then in some ways it's better to be actively gaming rather than passively watching TV! He is at least using his brain and developing useful hand-eye co-ordination skills.

That's not to say it shouldn't be limited, especially if it's having a negative effect on daily life. i.e. Making him late for or being wound up for school, not doing his homework, rushing through a meal, delaying bedtime, etc. Think about what you would find acceptable if he was watching TV then apply that to gaming.

I wouldn't come down like a ton of bricks about his dangerous addiction. It's a hobby and a way to relax! Embrace it and gently manipulate it. If you can, learn about the games he's playing so you can have conversations about it - gets him away from the screen and interacting with you about a subject he'll definitely be interested in.

You could get him a gaming magazine to read. Depending on the games he's playing, you may be able to encourage him to draw/write about them. Maybe help him start a gaming diary, so he can log what he's been playing and whether he enjoyed it. Under very careful supervision, he could set up a review blog to share his thoughts online.

Perhaps persuade him to a youth group, where he might find friends to discuss/share/enjoy games. Challenge him to build Lego models related to the game. Make some gaming related cakes/cookies together. Think outside the box and guide rather than dictate, if possible! smile

hmc Mon 05-Jan-15 08:35:30

He plays all sorts of games including some of the 'worthier' ones Norway

Yes re the love bomb - I plan to guide him a bit with his free time and have offered to do an air fix model (Christmas present) with him for an hour or so today (he has a TD day)....and have plans for a day out / treat on Sunday if he has been positive and cooperative

hmc Mon 05-Jan-15 08:40:12

Some really helpful suggestions here - thanks all

rookiemere Mon 05-Jan-15 08:43:10

Good point from Spirael - at least some games are active.

However if you are trying to replace the games a great TV programme for him to start watching is Mythbusters. One of our friends told us about it and now DS loves it - it's a group of Americans who use science to explore popular myths, some of which involve farting and crashing cars etc. It has encouraged DS to make his own experiments.

MoreBeta Mon 05-Jan-15 08:44:50

I agree with NorwaySpruce.

The deal we have with DSs is you do all your homework and you do sport and then you do gaming.

It waxes and wanes. During the school week it is maybe 1.5 hours per day.

What I am more concerned about is electronic devices in bedrooms. It is absolutely forbidden in our house - and I do check.

NorwaySpruce Mon 05-Jan-15 08:49:38

Oh yes, actually MoreBeta mentions something I'd forgotten.

Our consoles/DS/tablets/PCs/phones are confined to the general living areas, so nothing electronic enters the bedrooms.

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