time limits on xbox live for 13yr old boy

(43 Posts)
MooMooFarm Mon 24-Jan-11 13:43:22

Hi - DS got xbox live for Christmas and has gradually gone from playing on it now and then to wanting to do nothing else, literally. He doesn't even want friends round now because 'it's rubbish playing split-screen'. We thought we were being very reasonable by saying he could play it either before or after tea, as long as his homework was done and he'd showered & done anything else he needed to do.

However we've now had so many arguments and battles over him wanting to be on it for longer, that yesterday I set the family timer on it. He now has 2h30m a day max to play, which is roughly what I said he could have in the first place. However he is freaking out, saying that all his friends play it all night (sadly that does seem to be the case going by how much they are all online!).

I know I'll probably get flamed for allowing him that long, but I thought that would at least be sticking to what I originally agreed.

So, probably ridiculously, I am now feeling guilty - so was wondering if the general consensus is that I'm being out of order, or too soft, or about right? Thanks

PollyMorfic Mon 24-Jan-11 13:51:23

My 12yo gets 45 mins max of screentime (TV/computer/games, whatever) but only AFTER he's done his homework, made his lunch for the next day, sorted out his rugby kit and done any other chores that I see fit to supply him with.

He is not allowed any over-age rated games or DVDs.

All the computer stuff lives in the sitting room, so I can see exactly who is doing what.

[hardcore]

MrsDanverclone Mon 24-Jan-11 14:35:57

Our children/teenagers are very good at making us feel guilty for a whole host of things!
If you have decided that the time limit is going to be 2h 30 mins, then fine, your his parents and you make the rules in your home.

My son is 12 years old, when he first got his xbox and xbox live, he started out on fixed couple of hours a night ( after homework etc ) He wasn't happy because as you say, all his friends were allowed to be on as long as they wanted etc ( he also tells me that all his friends have the latest games and he'll be the only deprived/social outcast/bullied one, if I don't buy it for him upon its release, sadly for him the taunts of how cruel and heartless I am, fall on deaf ears. ) We compromised with giving him the total block of time to use when he wanted, but as he was unable to ration himself, after a couple of weeks ( and days during those weeks when he was unable to go on his beloved xbox ) he asked us to go back to the couple of hours a night plan. He still moans when his time is up, but he moans about most things!

He has been getting lots of positive reports from school lately for good behaviour and work, so every Friday night he's allowed unlimited time until we go to bed.
As your son only got xbox live at Christmas, it might be the novelty factor making him want to do nothing else, I doubt it though, as xbox appears to be as essential as breathing to my son and his friends.
The best thing about the xbox, is that it makes discipline so much easier, nothing deprives my son more than an xbox ban!

inthesticks Mon 24-Jan-11 14:52:05

I have 2 DSs so we have the who's turn is it arguments as well.
Ever since they first had Gameboys I have had strict time limits. There are many MN posters who believe a child will self limit. I don't know any boys who self limit on x box live.
They are allowed 2 x 1 hour slots on weekdays and an extra hour at weekends with one day a week of NONE.
DS1 is a little older and has a little more on a Saturday night when all his friends have a late night game.

This works for us, not without some argument and resentment but I stick to it ruthlessly.
It is also true that as far as I can tell none of their friends appear to have any limits set on game time. Different parents different rules has been my mantra since they were old enough to say why can't I do what my friends do?

thisishowifeel Mon 24-Jan-11 18:24:47

The power of the threat of removal is quite astounding.

I have said to ds (14) that if he cannot regulate his use, then I will do it for him. I have removed it twice now. He knows that I will remove it again, and is doing better this time.

I am aware that I appear to be much stricter on this than his friends parents.

evenmoremiserablethanbefore Mon 24-Jan-11 20:13:56

I have removed my sons xbox indefinitely.
He was a grade A/B pupil and a typical cheeky teenage boy,but the xbox (mainly COD) has turned him into an aggressive monster.
he was totally addicted to it,playing on it constantly,running downstairs for a snack then running back up....
just had his school report.....D's,E's & F's
even a U which I think is the lowest? not sure
he was even waking up in the early hours and going on it,spending all his weekend on the horrible thing.
i hate xbox,it has stolen my son.
he left home a few weeks ago,because i took the xbox away after his behaviour became so bad
he has come home now...he's still rebelling a bit,but i have told him NO MORE XBOX
he was tearing the family apart,being nasty to his sisters and talking to me and his dad like crap.
i blame myself for buying him the new cod game....never again.
let this be a warning
remove the xbox or lose your son,its simple
i dont even want to go down the 'regulating his use....

it didnt work,just caused more arguments,tantrums....
he even broke his new headboard on his bed because he kicked it in such a temper
bed was £300
xbox is evil

evenmoremiserablethanbefore Mon 24-Jan-11 20:23:01

I have removed my sons xbox indefinitely.
He was a grade A/B pupil and a typical cheeky teenage boy,but the xbox (mainly COD) has turned him into an aggressive monster.
he was totally addicted to it,playing on it constantly,running downstairs for a snack then running back up....
just had his school report.....D's,E's & F's
even a U which I think is the lowest? not sure
he was even waking up in the early hours and going on it,spending all his weekend on the horrible thing.
i hate xbox,it has stolen my son.
he left home a few weeks ago,because i took the xbox away after his behaviour became so bad
he has come home now...he's still rebelling a bit,but i have told him NO MORE XBOX
he was tearing the family apart,being nasty to his sisters and talking to me and his dad like crap.
i blame myself for buying him the new cod game....never again.
let this be a warning
remove the xbox or lose your son,its simple
i dont even want to go down the 'regulating his use....

it didnt work,just caused more arguments,tantrums....
he even broke his new headboard on his bed because he kicked it in such a temper
bed was £300
xbox is evil

evenmoremiserablethanbefore Mon 24-Jan-11 20:23:29

oops sorry,posted it twice!!

NannyKaren Mon 24-Jan-11 21:33:36

Dear MooMooFarm, he's 13, he shouldn't be calling the shots. i think you have been perfectly reasonable with him. If he chooses to go against your wishes.......... and remember its his choice... in the first instance, when he is at school remove it from his room. If after a few days he behaves then give it back but with a time limit on its use. Hopefully he will have learnt his lesson.
If that fails and school work and general behavour become bad then CUT the plug off.
He definately will not like it but HE will start to take you more seriously!
Its a very childish thing to do but despite trying to reason with him you have so far got nowhere.
Goodluck!
As one of the replies says above 'our children are very good at making us feel guilty'

This is why we have the consoles in the living room. DS1 plays for a couple of hours at the weekend and maybe an hour after school. It's pretty much self limiting because he's got siblings who want turns, and obviously there's no way he can play after he goes to bed.

Pressed send too soon sorry.

We have a general rule in this house - any bitching, whinging or moaning about playing time (or what's on TV, or who's doing what etc) leads to no playing time (or whatever) at all. Reasonable discussion yes, but acting like a little kid means being treated like one.

maryz Mon 24-Jan-11 22:07:35

I find the problem is that they genuinely don't realise how long they are on it.

Over Christmas I left ds2 on the xbox, went to the supermarket and when I came back he was still on it. I asked him to get off, and he insisted he had only been half an hour - he had been over 3 hours on it shock, and hadn't been to the loo or eaten anything.

Now I use a timer, and make sure I point out every hour, and things are much better. We also have it in the sitting room, so use means compromise.

But I still won't have xbox live because I'm a horrible mother I don't think he would be able to self-monitor, and I couldn't cope with the rows (he is a bit obsessive, to say the least and I think online games would be a disaster, because they can't be paused).

And MrsDimitri is right - moaning = ban in our house grin.

sharon2609 Mon 24-Jan-11 23:26:08

You wouldn't allow your son to stay out til whatever time he wanted..it's the same thing...he cant play on the x box til whenever he wants. I dont agree with children having games consoles pc's etc in their rooms..it splits the family up.

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 25-Jan-11 00:02:04

We also have all consoles in the living-room. Have DS1 who can self-regulate. He's 16, has Xbox live and sometimes doesn't play for weeks at a time.

Have DS2 who's 12 and has bought himself a PS3. He finds it very hard to self-regulate and gets very upset if he's not doing well (Gran Turismo). Because the console's in the living-room he does have to get off and we have no hesitation in taking console time away from him.

MrsDanverclone Tue 25-Jan-11 10:13:01

I think the secret to living with the dreaded xbox is that you do what works for your family.
All his friends might have their xboxes in their bedrooms, unlimited access and 18 rated games etc, but in our house the rules are different. My children have never had tv, dvd, computers etc in their bedrooms because I am a horrid, suspicious parent, who likes to keep an eye on what they are doing.
My son's xbox is in the dining room ( which has lovely big double, glass panelled doors. When we moved in and dcs were small I mentioned to a friend I was going to change them, as the mother of teens at the time, she said how great they would be for keeping an eye on teens and their friends as you occasionally wander past)

Maryz is right and they don't realise how long they have been on it, so I helpfully give my son time checks, even standing in front of him to flash my hands for a 10 mins to go, then 5 mins to go. So he has no excuse for not knowing its time to come off.
As inthesticks says you have to stick to what you agreed ruthlessly, even if it turns you in to the nagging parent you never wished to be.
Any hint of Harry Enfield's Kevin like behaviour, ends up with him losing xbox time. The thing I hate most about the xbox live, is that it does make them more aggressive and I find I have to monitor swearing and talking to each other in horribly negative ways. He gets a warning about it, then he's off!

inthesticks Tue 25-Jan-11 12:09:20

Our x box is in the living room as well so that rules out night time gaming.
Computers all in a family room and DS1 (15) has only just got a tv in his room which he tends to use for watching DVDs when friends come round.

MooMooFarm Tue 25-Jan-11 20:16:44

We have made a point of having our pc (the old fashioned type, not a portable lap-top) in the dining room, in full view of everyone.

But things have just 'evolved' into DS having his xbox in his room, partly because he saved up for it with his own money so I felt it was fair enough. But also because he plays some 15 games such as Halo (I won't allow him COD or any other 18's), but has a much younger sister, who I wouldn't want watching that kind of game. If the xbox was in a 'family' room it would be impossible to keep her away from it!

So I'm a bit stuffed really, although I do think having consoles in family rooms is a good idea, generally (we have a wii in our sitting room which we all play together - no 'nasties' on there though!).

Anyway, so far this week he's accepted the new time rules fine - he didn't actually play it at all last night as he said he wanted to save it up for the weekend. He actually sat in the sitting room with us for the evening which is a first for a long time!

fedup4 Wed 26-Jan-11 11:44:05

I think all this time on playstations, x-boxes and facebook is totally ruining our children - socially and educationally - but unfortunately everyone has them these days and it is a constant source of conflict in our house.

I started off after Christmas saying I wanted my two sons who are 12 and 15 to have 2 hours screen free time every evening but that still leaves far too much time with them being on the damn things and I am not happy about it.

The problem is they have no other interests.

hanwelljulie Fri 04-Feb-11 23:07:51

I despair. I had removed my sons xbox for two weeks for misbehaviour at school. He recently got it back, following improved behaviour (and I have to say he was a nicer person without it). However it is still a constant source of arguments, such as tonight when I insist he came off it (he had been on for a few hours as had receieved great feedback from school today)Anyway he was furious when I made him come off, and of course 'all his friends' are still on it. From now on I am going to severely restrict his usage time, but already am dreading the rows! I feel very sad and wish I could get rid of it forever!

pinotmonster Sun 06-Feb-11 20:54:36

I hate the dreaded Xbox too! DS goes through fits and starts but since getting Black Ops for Xmas he was on it constantly, sneaking on it in th night etc and he was vile! He is a handful anyway at the moment but I think it was making him more violent!

I was trying to limit time on and it and the Xbox live but then his controller broke and i have not replaced it! I told him he could save up for another one (no chance as money burns a hole in his pocket!).

It has been so much nicer without it, the Xbox live expires at the end of April and I am really not going to renew it, I just go so sick of hearing him shouting down the microphone!

SecondhandRose Mon 07-Feb-11 11:45:26

You can put parental controls on an XBox. You can also turn off the Internet if he is on Xbox Live. I would limit to one hour a day and more in school hols. My ds finally came to his senses about six months ago and stopped playing thank God. Sold the lot and bought a guitar instead, much more pleasant.

hanwelljulie Mon 07-Feb-11 20:27:02

thanks! hopefully the controller will break soon (sooner if i have anything to do with it). Its good to know Im not alone!

hanwelljulie Mon 07-Feb-11 20:30:36

thanks for the advice. will look at the parental controls option. just had the one row about it today!! And just about to have another one :-(

luluzulu Wed 09-Feb-11 21:03:16

I HAVE 2 BROTHERS 12 AND 13 CALL OF DUTY HAS TURNED THEM INTO RUDE, AGGRESSIVE, AND NASTY YOUNG BOYS AT THE BEST OF TIMES . SOUNDS TERRIBLE I KNOW BUT THEY WERE LOVELY YOUNG BOYS UP UNTIL THEY STARTED PLAYING THESE LIVE GAMES, WALK IN THIER ROOM AND YOU WILL HEAR ALL SORTS OF FOUL AND ABUSIVE LANGUAGE, OH AND GOD HELP US ALL IF THINGS ARENT GOING WELL ON THE DAMN GAME WE ARE SICK OF REPLACING CHAIRS, HEADSETS ETC. TOLD THEM TODAY IF THEY BREAK ANYTHING ELSE WHILST IN TEMPER THEN WILL NOT BE REPLACED. NOW THEY HAVE STARTED PLAYING W.O.W WHICH IS PLAYED ON PC IN LIVING ROOM SO WE HAVE TO SIT AND LISTEN TO THIER BORING ARGUMENTS DAY IN AND DAY OUT ABOUT WHO WENT ON AT WHAT TIME.AND THE FIGHTS CONTINUE(PHYSICAL AND VERBAL). WE ARE AT OUR WITS END IN OUR FAMILY THEY ARE THE YOUNGEST OF THE BUNCH(OF 5)AND HAVE THE LEAST RESPECT OF ALL THE LANGUAGE THEY COME OUT WITH IF GOD FORBID THEY GET TOLD TO GET TO BED ANY EARLIER THAN 12 MIDNIGHT. AND YES IF YOU MAKE THREATS TO REMOVE INTERNET ETC WE ARE THE MOST CRUEL AND TERRIBLE FAMILY AROUND. WHERE DO WE START? AT LEAST I NOW KNOW WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES SUFFERING.

lcj68 Thu 10-Feb-11 18:36:00

My DS is 14 and no longer has his xbox as we've taken it off him for good. He was unable to self regulate despite given several warnings and having it taken off him for a week here and there, and after a particulary ugly w/end where he became aggressive when asked to turn it off, we decided it had to go, I'm fed up with the arguements and DS paricularly poor attitude, in fact am going into school tomorrow, as he never does any homework etc as cannot be bothered!
As far as I can see it's the bain of parents lives, if it's not how much time they can play on it, it's whether they can have COD, and we never gave in on that either, so that was something else to argue about.
It's now Thursday and today is the first day I have had a civil word off DS, so it's taken him 4 days to calm down and stop calling us "freaks"

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