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Playing games on the computer/ despite restrictions, constant battle of negotiations

(22 Posts)
keyboardwithpaper Wed 29-Apr-20 08:40:35

Our children are allowed to play games, but with restrictions of time per day... It is such a frustrating topic in our house - as soon as children get up, they ask when they can go on the computer, however the know it is after 3.00 pm, but still they are trying to ask in the morning: "please, just a bit"...

I am wondering ho I cab fix this situation from beneath - i.e. to teach children sel-control when to stop to play games? I sthis possibe?
I thought to watch some videos that teach children that computer games hook the brain? In this way, children can learn the mechanics of being pulled that way. I woudl like to find the way so that children control/ understand that they need time limit?

I would be so grateful for effective ideas.

OP’s posts: |
Malmontar Wed 29-Apr-20 08:41:36

What do you offer them instead? And how old are they?

RedskyAtnight Wed 29-Apr-20 08:49:05

Assuming they are secondary school age (you've posted this in secondary education) I think this is extremely difficult at the moment and you might want to look at reducing your limitations (which might in itself make the computer less interesting|). Our normal strategy would be to encourage other activities, and obviously they would normally be out at school all day, which imposes a natural limiter.

Do they have school work to do? I think I would suggest that they are able to play after school work is finished (with a caveat that you check the quality if you think they are likely to produce any old thing to get it done quickly). We also insist on getting outside and exercising and at weekends they have "jobs" to do.

If they like on-line gaming, I also suggest that this is a valuable social activity, when they have limited opportunity to otherwise interact with their friends. What other things can they do in the house (that they are actually interested in, not just thing that you think they should be interested in)?

I'm not sure your average teen cares about the effect of computer games on the brain that much tbh.

keyboardwithpaper Wed 29-Apr-20 08:53:19

my DC - 12 and 8 years old. Alternatives - reading books, garden, bike, engineering creating books, Lego. They love constructing lego...maybe could buy a new set to excite them time to time...

OP’s posts: |
Malmontar Wed 29-Apr-20 10:14:39

In the situation were in now I personally don't think after 3pm is reasonable. I think a daily limit is more reasonable. Are you yourself working? If not, starting an activity yourself and asking them to join you helps. Kids at that age are not great self starters, especially if theres too many options.
A lot of options is stressful. Think of an activity and set a time each day for it eg Monday obstacle course in the garden at 11am after it's lunch and make a dream obstacle course out of Lego. Have a flick through the engineering book and see what page they could use for inspiration. Telling them read the book is too indimidating. Tuesday 11am bike ride. Everyday at 2pm we read a chapter out of a book we've chosen. This may or may not inspire them to read more themselves but a blank 'stop palying games' is way too broad, even if they do have excellent resources at home.
Kids get really spoon fed at school. You can't expect them to wake up and make up creative activities now. If you give them specific ideas at specific times it'll grow from there.
If they like Lego maybe encourage them to make a video game level out of Lego.

Malmontar Wed 29-Apr-20 10:15:06

Also, don't buy anymore stuff. They will be able to use what they have now. Probably forgot they had some of it once they get going.

keyboardwithpaper Wed 29-Apr-20 20:58:44

Yes, just making a bank of activities to replace gaming - online chess seems to interest them...

OP’s posts: |
inwood Wed 29-Apr-20 22:05:53

My kids are nine. We are sticking to school term time rules. No screens before 'school' apart from tv. After 3 they can do what they want but no you tube on weekdays.

blissful201 Thu 30-Apr-20 22:55:42

Both of us work full time at home now and are constantly in conference calls so it's extremely difficult to keep screen limits. Kids copy adults. How can they stay off screens when they now see mum and dad glued to screens all day? We put limits on devices for 15 mins each time they use then the devices will automatically lock and they have to do something else for at least 30 mins, they can choose whatever they want to do in that 30 mins off screen as we simply can't help, so they either play Lego, go out in the garden, have a snack, read a book, draw on papers etc
School work has been minimal (state primary) and can be done in less than 20 mins which we insist are done first thing.
Other than that screens have been used so much more than we would have liked but it seems to be the reality now for a long time.

gribbled Fri 01-May-20 07:54:23

What sort of computer is it? If it has a Windows operating system you could set up time controls using this: account.microsoft.com/family/about
We've used it in the past for locking the computer at bedtime, and it works well.

RedskyAtnight Fri 01-May-20 08:27:44

* just making a bank of activities to replace gaming - online chess seems to interest them.*

Isn't online chess just a game on the computer? Why is this acceptable but say, Fortnite or whatever your DC's game of choice is, is not?

Crimsonnightlotus Fri 01-May-20 08:42:31

We have no limit to use computer or gaming console. If they get up early, they can play before school work. We have set time to do the school work, so they stop playing voluntarily.
After school work, they choose to play again, or choose to go out to play in the garden or do something else.
Personally, I don't think gaming/computing is bad for children at all, especially online chess.

Porcupineinwaiting Sun 03-May-20 12:23:39

Every time they ask, make the time they can play half an hour later. Ditto when they winge. They are just taking the piss.

avocadoze Sun 03-May-20 20:37:31

Mine all have screen time restrictions on their devices. But they know that on weekdays there are no games (except after all homework is done on a Friday), so don’t bother asking 🤷🏻‍♀️ They can do as much as they want at the weekends, and will spend a few hours both days on various games.

Valkadin Tue 05-May-20 10:01:30

What amount of time are they allowed on their computer? DS was just never allowed on after dinner in the evening.

Hoppinggreen Tue 05-May-20 10:26:30

DS can’t go on his PS until 4, if he complains then it’s 4.30. If he keeps complaining then he doesn’t go on at all that day. Yet more complaining means a 2 day ban and so on

my2bundles Tue 05-May-20 13:36:57

Mine do morning school work then can play computer games during lunch break Afternoon lessons than once they are complete they can go back to computer games or anything else they want to do as long as school work is complete they can play what they like. It works for us, and considering there are no after school clubs at the moment they can play with their friends online instead.

mississississippi Tue 05-May-20 14:26:16

Here, my 12 year old is 'at school' 8.30 until 4.30, so no games during that time. Lunch break is in the garden with his brother. My 9 year old finishes 'school' at more like 2.30, but I don't let him play games while his brother's still working - but anyway he's just as happy in the garden or doing music practice or playing a board game with me if I've finished my work for the day. After that we usually try to go on a walk or a bike ride together, or we might play a board game or watch a family film or something. After dinner they usually go on the PS for a bit before bed. Weekends are much more relaxed - they often do an hour or two of gaming before breakfast, and often some in the evening as well. My 12 year old would happily spend all day gaming if he was allowed - my 9 year old is less fussed. I find it really helpful to maintain a clear difference between school days and weekends;I don't think it really occurs to them to pester for screen time on a school day, because they know that doesn't happen, either now or in normal times.

underneaththeash Tue 05-May-20 15:32:36

We're the same (8 year old DD is the worst), it was bad the end of last week and so I just said that the rule was still after 4pm and if they asked me again that I'd knock 15 minutes off their computer time each time they asked.

underneaththeash Tue 05-May-20 15:32:53

We're more relaxed at weekends too.

Beamur Tue 05-May-20 15:36:25

I with all the posters who are saying stick with your rule and it gets later with every whinge.
It's a simple and reasonable rule. If you're busy with work you don't want to be faffing about checking on them.

NeverEnoughCake2 Fri 15-May-20 21:10:08

Upper primary-aged DC here, one with a Fortnite addiction. We use Microsoft family settings as linked to upthread to keep the laptop being used for school stuff during the "school" day. Xbox needs a code to be entered onto the TV by a parent to work.

However, Xbox is allowed at the end of "school" hours every day (barring massive bad behaviour) - we recognise it's how DC are connecting most to their mates at the moment and have even organised them to video chat their friends while playing some days.

So, basically a pretty clear demarcation of work and play time - DC know they will get to play but that it's balanced by getting some work done first.

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