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Teenage son addicted to PC!!!

(12 Posts)
SueTheBlue Mon 13-Jun-11 20:00:01

My DS (aged 17 and just left high school) is addicted to PC games/internet games (his particular favourite at the moment is Rift). He spends around 5 - 8 hours daily playing on these games, and despite me trying to interest him in doing something else he refuses to budge, unless its bedtime or mealtime. Now he will be at home until September when he starts Sixth Form College. I have started limiting his time on the PC to 6 hours max per day, and intend to cut it down further, probably to around 3 - 4 hours daily. We're on Day 2 of "The Regime" and I'm already a nervous wreck but standing my ground so far.

I would be interested to hear from anyone going through a similar experience, and how they have dealt with it, any tips or advice would be really appreciated. I've been beating myself up about leaving this addiction for so long, I think I was hoping he would have more of a social life by now (my daughter was out all the time at his age) but apart from the odd trip out he hardly sees his school pals. Whatever happens things need to change, its just really tough...hopefully things will improve as he spends less time on the PC, fingers crossed smile

generalhaig Mon 13-Jun-11 20:41:48

good grief!!! you're cutting it down to 6 hours a day!!!

you say he just budges for meals, well who's cooking his meals? who's doing his washing? who's paying for the broadband?

sorry, but you need to get tough! we have a rule that computer games cannot interfere with real life, so they are solely something to be done when nothing else is happening

ds (14) was starting to get obsessed with x-box but we instigated a regime of only having access at weekends/holidays - the rest of the time is=t's just not available.

ds is actually much happier

it might be difficult to start with but you need to be firm!

OpusProSerenus Mon 13-Jun-11 20:50:56

My son has had phases like this and I worried about addiction, etc just as you are doing. He did play online with schoolfriends though as well as with "randoms".

All I can tell you is that he always argued that when he had other stuff to do and less time he wouldn't and now he is older and working he doesn't. He even made some money selling his characters and their possessions from some games on Ebay

I did try to arrange other things to do at times to get him off the computer e.g. days out, jobs to do, etc but didn't want to force him off the computer only to have him bored and under my feet or watching trash tv all day.

Not a lot of use I'm afraid but it did sort itself out for us. Try not to panic

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 13-Jun-11 23:18:26

There was a programme on TV relatively recently about this sort of thing. It is a real addiction for some people. I think 4 hours per day is still far too much. I'd be tempted to not allow him on the computer at all for a week and see how he copes. I bet he won't cope very well. This means that he is addicted.

On the programme the boy started missing school to play on the computer games. Your DS sounds the same. He sounds as if he really does have a problem. I really would hide the laptop/PC if you have to go out. Lock the room that it's in if you're not there. Really.

SueTheBlue Tue 14-Jun-11 13:51:26

Thanks for all your replies. I know that 6 hours is way too much, but was just doing that as an initial start point to wean him off far today he's been on there for about 2.5 hours...I've told him he can only have 6 hours all day and its up to him how he does it, but once the time has gone that's it, so hopefully he will think a a bit more about how long he stays on there. There's no easy way to do this, but I thought taking him off it altogether may be too much at this stage...working towards 3 - 4 hours max over a couple of weeks...fingers crossed smile

jshibbyr Tue 14-Jun-11 14:39:47

he's 17, he probably could control his own life by now really, just be greatful he's not going into fields and drinking, that's what most people i know did after secondary school, as long as he is doing all the chores he must do around the house, he's cleaning and tidying his room, after that what he does with his time is his own.

be harsh on the chores, he must do them he is old enough to look after himself, therefore he should do so, no chores done no pc smile

i'm sorry if this seems harsh but, you gotta be harsh on him but also step back a little due to his age, if he was 10, thats different, hope you get further on the cutting down though but chores and things may help to

chloesmumtoo Wed 15-Jun-11 14:07:13

SueTheBlue My ds is also very addictive in gaming but is only 14. If it is not his xbox, its facebook/computer and if its not that it is his mobile! He seems interested in very little but will go out with mates and on his bike luckily at the moment. He has electronics pretty much when he gets in from school and up until tea around 6pm ish. Then his dad quite often wants to give him some games of COD in the evening but atleast they are comunicating together! Between 7-8pm he gets free texts ahhhhh.....It is very frustrating. However, he has no game consols in his room or computer and we wont allow his mobile up there at night now which is good. We also felt things got way out of hand when he was getting the internet free on his phone, we had to ring up the company and put a stop to it. I think it is problem that a lot of parents will face today and once they hit the teens they switch off from us as it is and don't want to do other things with us. I have no advice but it is a concern which I face also. It has always been a struggle for us to get through the hols limiting console time. I used to try not to allow it in the mornings and to try to do other stuff. I have a younger dd with allergy problems which takes up my time somewhat and so it has unfortunately been easier for me at times to just let him be. Plus once addicted they are very hard to get settled or happy doing something else as they have lost all interests in other things.

SueTheBlue Sun 26-Jun-11 20:25:48

Hi! Thanks for replying, its took me ages to get around to reading this, so apologies for not acknowledging sooner...

It does sound as if you have a similar problem to me with your son, and I can empathise with you having to spend time with your daughter, therefore leaving your son with his games...sometimes you just have to get things done and can't be constantly watching or monitoring them on the PC/games console/phone. My DD, aged 20, inadvertently made things worse last week when she came home with her boyfriends old X Box, so now DS wants to play on that too, claims he was just "watching" her playing when I found him in her room the other night, but I'm pretty sure he was participating in the game!! Its enough to make you tear your hair out with frustration sometimes...I am still limiting him to 6 hours maximum spread over a day, (hoping to cut that down even more when he starts sixth form in September) and am pretty much sticking with that, although some days I have had to go out for a while and had to leave him, knowing full well he will have "extra" time while I'm away. Its difficult enough to get teenagers interested in anything, but gaming just takes over their whole lives, and its so sad to see, particularly as I'm a 60's "child" who had to pretty much make my own amusement when I was a teenager, yes, it was boring at times, but you had to use your imagination a lot more back then..makes me sound so old, I'd better stop now;) You have my sympathy with your son, and I hope you can manage to cut his time back a bit...its a daily struggle, but I feel that if I didn't do anything about it, that would be far worse.

mummynoseynora Sun 26-Jun-11 20:30:33

do you know you can add parental controls which specify what hours of the day he can log onto the pc ?
I would also NOT be saying how he uses the max hours is up to him - staying in front of a screen for more than 2 hrs at a time is bad for your health - so I would say 2 hour blocks only

SueTheBlue Tue 28-Jun-11 18:19:44

I know what you mean about the 2 hour blocks, that's what I've been trying to do, and on the whole he is better about it now...he's definitely getting used to being "limited" now, so things are looking up. I will look into the parental control aspect, as sometimes I have to go out, and I know he'll just stay put if I'm not there....thanks for replying smile

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Tue 28-Jun-11 18:47:09

amazing how many power cuts you might get in the next few weeks .

merylann Thu 30-Jun-11 16:26:02

My son is exactly the same - 16, left school and has whole summer before starting 6th form. He spends all day either on the computer or watching TV. Doesn't have many friends either - never goes out. However, he has done OK at school, does his chores, has no trouble doing without the computer and TV when we go on holiday and is fairly sociable if we have adult visitors. I have told him he has to do 'something' over the summer. I am looking into day courses, volunteering opportunities, trips etc but so far have come up with nothing. He's not at all sporty. Anyone got any ideas? We are east of England.

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