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12 year old DS becoming obsessed with the xbox...and everything else is 'boring'.

(11 Posts)
CountryLovingGirl Sun 10-Apr-16 07:08:34


My son turned 12 last month and is gradually becoming more like a teen everyday. He has an xbox 360 and xbox one in his room and plays on both a lot! He also watches videos about games on you tube. I am trying to get him out and about but he is constantly whinging about things (won't go to the cinema anymore in case movies may be slightly related to Disney, won't go swimming anymore).
His friends also seem to spend a lot of time in the house. We have a boy across from us (in his form, that he went to primary with) and he is hardly ever allowed out to play! I was always out at this age so I find it hard watching someone waste away their childhood like this.
If I restrict the xbox time (I tend to discourage him playing it) he becomes really horrible and can wind his younger sister up!
He is an intelligent boy (level 6 in his maths SATs and top set at secondary) but I don't want him to waste his life on some daft game. He can become really aggressive when playing FIFA 16.

He has had homework since they broke up for Easter that still hasn't been done!
Any ideas?

LaurieFairyCake Sun 10-Apr-16 07:18:08

I think this battle is one you need to win or he'll be controlling the house.

If he's aggressive when he's not on it you deal with that separately. Help him find hobbies and interests.

I'd put a limiter on it for an hour a day and no more. And I'd say none today until the homework is done.

Right now he's a kid and you need to set a pattern for the future that all day gaming isn't his goal.

In our house we always do the homework/marking(dhs a teacher) before leisure time.

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Sun 10-Apr-16 07:24:03

Gosh he sounds just like my boy was who is now 15. He still spends a lot of his time on his PlayStation and unless he's got plans with friends will only venture downstairs for meals, homework, the odd film and if the wifi is crap. Oh and he will come out for the day with us now if what we are doing appeals to him.

We've just been on hol for a week and he didn't seem bothered to be parted from it to be fair.

When he was your lads age I always felt like I was bullying him into doing something else which ended in a battle of wills which is no good.

I would say he is a lot better now he is older. He has been out with friends a lot this school hols. Now he is old enough to go out and do more exciting things with friends independently he has had more time away from his PlayStation.

When he was your lads age I did used to try and spend half an hour a day playing it with him just to spend some time with him. I am spectacularly crap at it but we had a laugh.

I suppose the answer may be to set ground rules. No Xbox until homework done etc. Do pick your battles though as I remember a stage when I felt like I was constantly on at him about it. And he has come out the other side and is a sociable human being now if that helps!

IDoAllMyOwnStunts Sun 10-Apr-16 07:26:32

Oh and I agree aggression when playing is no good. I think I'd try the approach of if I hear you being aggressive the wifi is being turned off.

Then deal with any problems re winding his sister up as you would normally.

RNBrie Sun 10-Apr-16 07:30:20

Set how much time he's allowed to play each day. Any aggressive or petulant behaviour and he loses time. Stick to it. I'd also take it out of his room but I'm generally against tvs and consoles in bedrooms anyway.

SavoyCabbage Sun 10-Apr-16 07:44:14

He needs to find other interests I suppose. Expose him to the possibilities and the idea that not everything is boring. There are more grown up hobbies than the ones they went to when they were younger. Easier said than done I know!

I was at the park this week and there was a group of teens building a ramp for their skateboards out of bits and bobs. Wood, tea trays etc and they had a mattress to fling themselves on to. They were having such a good time together. Laughing and trying out different ideas. Enjoying each other's company. Presumably they enjoyed the actual skateboarding part too when they got the ramp built.

Another activity I've noticed groups of teenagers at is speed skating.

My twelve year old does quite a lot out of school because we just moved and I wanted her to have some friends. She does four out of school activities a week, two of which are on her school site and straight after school. One on a Saturday morning.

She likes drawing so I encourage that by getting proper equipment and books. Manga pens, watercolour pencils. We went to Comicon even though it's my idea of hell as there were some comic artists there.

CountryLovingGirl Wed 13-Apr-16 13:52:27


Thanks for the replies.

I really do hope that this is a pre-teen phase and he will, eventually, come out of it and realise that there is more to life than his bedroom and the xbox/utube. He was really aggressive last night and 3 times I had to go up to him to tell him to calm down (he shouts at the characters in the games). He is nasty to me when I go up but when he goes to bed, and everything is switched off, his character changes. I may start turning off things but then he becomes very, very difficult to deal with.

I am going to book him into some extra football sessions in the summer school hols. I work so he does need extra stimulation away from the childminder's house (that is another story, he refuses to go there now too). Hubby gets paid 13 times a year and we always make sure we have that extra pay available for the summer school hols so we should have plenty to take them out and about. Luckily, we both have 2 weeks off (going to Italy) and hubby has two long weekends at each end of the 7 weeks off (6 days each time). Hoping I can squeeze a few extra days off.

He is becoming more aware of others around him (kids) and gets embarrassed easily now. He shuts the windows in the car if I have music on; he won't go and see a 'kids' film (anything slightly related to Disney); he won't go to Disneyland and anywhere 'kiddie' and he is getting fussy with clothes (no character clothes).

I think he is at the start of puberty too! Oh joy! Please let this be a phase...

CountryLovingGirl Wed 13-Apr-16 13:55:21

Anyone with older old were your boys when you started letting them go into town with a friend? Things like the cinema, bowling or just a browse around the shops. My old childminder has a boy (same age) who goes into town and meets friends. He has said my DS can meet up with him if he wants to. Is 12 too young?

CountryLovingGirl Wed 13-Apr-16 13:55:50

I mean during daytime hours (Saturday, usually).

AntiquityUbiquity Wed 13-Apr-16 14:07:11

Ds is exactly the same age and plays games & watches them on YouTube as his primary entertainment. He's also just as intelligent fwiw.

He has 2 hours gaming related time (includes watching it) maximum during the school week. I've given him so many bans that he now regulates his own behaviour so he gets short bans for being unable to think of anything else to do during non game time, he gets bans if he yells at the screen or takes it all too seriously as it's supposed to be enjoyment, bans for being rude or not doing what is asked of him with regards to chores.

We're past the worst of it through being firm and consistent.

mommybunny Wed 13-Apr-16 20:33:32

My DS is 11 and would play every minute on the PS4 if we let him. It's been hell trying to think of things to keep him occupied over the Easter holidays. One thing we do let him do is walk through the woods into the high street (about 30-45 minutes each way) so he can go to the sweet shop, WH Smith etc but he's on a very strict time limit and if he's one minute late he knows it will be a long time before he gets to do it again. He really loves having the independence, the activity does him good and so far hasn't disappointed us.

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