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Fortnite and managing younger sibling

(11 Posts)
Ellie1005 Wed 09-Jan-19 09:14:41

DS1, 10, ASD high functioning, plays Fortnite rather obsessively, but we've just got to a point where he reacts well and responsibilities to the screen time limits we give him - he's shown he can manage it and playing is a fun experience for him where he enjoys the dance emotes, dressing in the different skins and also it's one of the few opportunities he has a the moment to socialise with friends, although online only. So although I've never really been comfortable with him playing just shooter games, I can see positives at the moment.

However, DS2, 8, is heavily influenced by his brother and has been desperate to play the game his brother is obsessed with. I experimented letting him play in Creative (still shooting but just with people you choose to link up too, plus more Minecraft-like in building opportunities), and joining his brother online for this. But I don't want him to play Battle Royale as I don't like the idea of an eight year old playing shooter games, plus all the marketing/addictive nature of the game etc. The result since I let him play Creative? Just pushing for more, obviously, unsatisfied, more obsessed and dwelling on the fact his brother can and he can - it's just caused so many problems and bad behaviour tantrums. Regretting it. Trying desperately to get a fair balance in the household.

So do I ban him completely given the bad behaviour, telling him he can play when he turns 10? Or do I weigh it all up and to keep the peace allow him full access to the game (but still in limited amounts like his brother)?

Am I overreacting about shooter games? (After all, he plays Roblox and other similar games where they're running round trying to shoot and kill - it just doesn't seem as real as Fortnite...)

Help and advice appreciated! How do you manage siblings when one has additional needs and something is beneficial to them, but it's not what you feel comfortable with for the other sibling?

zzzzz Wed 09-Jan-19 19:17:38

It’s difficult because I wouldn’t let any of mine play that sort of game. A child with asd is likely to be more than a couple of years behind emotionally. Are they really the same age emotionally? In which case why is it ok for ds1 but not 2?

Ellie1005 Wed 09-Jan-19 20:54:33

Hi, I see what you mean but DS1 has always appeared older for his age in many ways, definitely more so than NT DS2 - plus Ds1 has obsessions and a persistence that DS2 doesn't have. Under normal circumstances I would never have let DS1 start playing the game. And now trying to protect DS2 from it...

I know this seems trivial but trying to balance out their different needs is constant and this one has really got to me today...wish I were parenting in an age before screens existed!!

zzzzz Wed 09-Jan-19 21:30:45

You can remove the game from all of your lives. You can also remove screens altogether if needed. Hard, but achievable.

Ellie1005 Wed 09-Jan-19 22:20:31

Can imagine very hard but can see how so much better in the long term.

Any one else had to do that, and has it made things so much easier?

cansu Thu 10-Jan-19 07:27:17

Personally I would pick your battles. Many children with asd enjoy and get a lot from tv and games. Whilst I can see how they can cause problems too, there are lots and lots of difficulties raising a child with asd screens would be at the lower end of my worries. As regards your youngest I would tell him simply no he can't use it yet as he is too young and be a bit grey rock like and ride it out. Can you find him another game that is more are appropriate and offer that one instead?

zzzzz Thu 10-Jan-19 07:31:01

I think the issue isn’t screens it’s fighty games. They’re fairly “junk food” for the nt brain but imo disastrous for an asd child with that particularly challenging combination of obsessive character and social vulnerability.

zzzzz Thu 10-Jan-19 07:35:48

It sounds like something they could both enjoy later on but just not yet?
I’m actually fairly pro anything that can be used as a support but this sounds more like a burden in your lives.

The easiest way to remove anything from anyone’s life is to replace it with something more desirable so that it gets left behind. So fill his time with something you want him to be doing and have ever more tedious access...or just say it’s over.

OneInEight Thu 10-Jan-19 08:13:18

With the benefit of hindsight (sixteen year old who is almost permanently glued to his computer day and night) I would put in rigorous restrictions in time and access now. It is a lot easier to relax then to try and impose restrictions later on when your child is a lot heavier and taller than you. We initially used as a tool to try and reduce ds2's anxiety but honestly I think now it causes more problems in this respect than it solved. I do get it is difficult when you have two children - ds1 can self-regulate his use (so we could be pretty free and easy with his use) but ds2 can not.

Ellie1005 Thu 10-Jan-19 10:55:19

Thanks - all comments appreciated and valued!

It is so hard to balance, and it's really helpful to share (offload!) this issue and read opinions from others who are or have been in similar situations....

Jaz32 Tue 15-Jan-19 11:54:41

@Ellie1005 my boys are the same age as yours and it’s also my older one with asd. I had to get rid of fortnite as it made my oldest more aggressive - he cannot be on any type of device/console for more than 1 hour without getting aggressive when asked to come off. There are days when I’m busy and I make the mistake of allowing him longer so I can do stuff and then I regret it later as he’s a nightmare!

I have the same issues about the younger one wanting the same level of access to things as the older one and I’m the worst mum in the world for banning fortnite as all their friends are on it!! I also have a 1 year old who I don’t want witnessing the violent games or the outbursts that follow!

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