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X-Box live - success stories

(21 Posts)
alexsdad Tue 21-Jun-11 08:22:54

So, DS (11) is pestering like mad to be able to get X-Box live. "All" his friends have it - and whilst I would normally be hmm at the claim, I know that 4 or 5 of his closest friends do.

Obviously I am aware of the assorted horror stories on here about this, and I didn't want to re-hash those - but I was wondering if any of you do have DS (or DD)s who play on this "successfully" (i.e. non-addictively), and if so, do you please have any tips/hints on settings and/or tactics to keep the activity under control?

Amaretti Tue 21-Jun-11 08:27:23

It depends more on the child than on the rules, IMO.

Some are just more obsessed by that stuff than others. We say total ban before school, at weekends off between 10 and 4, otherwise agreed times. DS1 is fine, doesn't use it much. DS2 would be on some kind of screen all day if he could.

RoseWei Tue 21-Jun-11 09:09:03

I'm going to find this thread useful - thanks for starting it, OP.

DS on far too long, too often - negotiations have all but broken down.
Very strict, however, about the kinds of games he plays and have posted here for thoughts about some of them.

I agree - a ban after school is worth thinking about. My DS claims that it's vital for communication as he doesn't use FB or the phone. That wares thin when in fact he's playing games much of the time. A further worry is the constant use of headphones - his mates and he talk to each other - loudly. Big worry re implications for future hearing.

So, look carefully at the games - not only age ratings. Post here if uncertain - I've found it very useful.
Limit the time he's in front of the x-box (45 minutes followed by a decent break).
Make sure he's not hunched up in front of it and sitting too close. DS optician concerned about that.
And think about Fridays - Sundays only - it doesn't tire them out naturally so not brilliant for school nights.

Maryz Tue 21-Jun-11 10:27:45

We have Xbox, but not live - I think they spend enough time on it as it is. By not having it live, it restricts the "I have to stay on because I'm in a team with someone, so I can't pause it". The trouble with live games is that they are just that - live. It is impossible to have a time limit, because they are playing with other people who won't have a break at the same time, so they either leave the game, or forfeit (which they hate doing).

At least the way it is at the moment I can tell them to pause or save a game, and there isn't a row.

feckwit Tue 21-Jun-11 10:29:42

we have it and my 9 and 11 year old go through phases but they are certainly never on it for hours - surely most families go out and do things so it just isn't possible?

Some nights they may play on it for an hour or so, others not at all.

Maryz Tue 21-Jun-11 10:36:13

I think it gets worse as they get older fuckwit, my boys are now 13 and 17 and would be on it for 6, 7, 8 hours at a time, given a chance. We have it on our main tv - if it was in bedrooms, with xbox live, I suspect I would never see them.

<<ponders whether that would be so bad, actually grin>>

alexsdad Tue 21-Jun-11 11:56:46

Thanks for the responses so far.

Good point on the child behaviour being more important than the game, Amaretti

feckwit - we are at that sort of stage now, but that is without hte live option. I've read many horror stories on here (and other places) about them becoming 'addicted' and having age inappropriate conversations/incidents. However I am very aware that people often only post when they have a problem. I was wondering if there are folks out there with live who have not experienced problems, and/or had developed mechanisms to ensure such problems didn't arise - rather than looking for a cure!

We've been playing a little with the settings - it seems pretty easy to restrict the time and the age games they play using the dashboard.

I am just about happy for him to play with his friends for a few hours a week, but am not sure if you can just restrict to certain people. Has anyone any experience of this aspect?

generalhaig Tue 21-Jun-11 11:57:37

we have xbox live - it's only ds1 who uses it (ds2 would spend every waking hour on lego universe if he could, but that's another story ...)

it's quite good for him as he lives a fair way away from some of his friends and it's an easy way for him to 'socialise' with them

he is only allowed xbox from Friday to Sunday during termtime (and most weekends he's pretty busy with sport, so the time he actually spends on it is limited)

it's in our living room (we deliberately only have one TV) and there's three children and parents all wanting to use it at different times, so again that provides a limiting factor

tempting as it is to get him one for his room (as then we'd never have to hear the frequent howls of 'omigod, omigod, that was never a kill') if I did that, I'd lose all control ...

alexsdad Tue 21-Jun-11 12:32:25

Ours is on a 2nd TV in the dining room, rather than on the main TV so he does have seperate access - though not in their rooms, which we're not allowing.

However, it does mean he could be doing whatever he wanted, without us knowing for some onf the time.

Has anyone tried playing with the game settings/parental controls?

Maryz Tue 21-Jun-11 12:46:22

I think the problem with the time settings/parental controls is that they only work with younger children (say up to about 14), because after that age, in my experience, the children are much more up to speed in how they work than the parents grin.

My teenagers can run rings around me with things like recording tv, xbox and computer games, downloading music etc (though strangely enough when the home pc has a problem they become instantly ignorant and let me sort it out hmm).

In my experience, there is no problem with xbox/ps2/pc until the children get to a certain age, because generaly up to a certain age most children are fairly compliant, and also because up to that age they are generally "punishable", for example you can physically put a young child in a room, or take away a controller. Once they get to the age at which they are unwilling to compromise or to obey, control can be lost very quickly.

We have decided not to go the live route, simply because at 17, 15 and 13, I can't physically stop them doing anything any more, and I don't want to open up more possible rows. I suspect soon ds1 will pay for his own live, at which point ds2 will use it hmm and the shit will hit the fan.

circular Tue 21-Jun-11 13:17:25

I think it also depends on how many other interests / commitments they have. And if they have an addictive personality.

DD1 (13) has had X-box live for about a year. On our main living room TV (although we only have this and one in kitchen, never had TVs in bedrooms).
She plays on line mainly with boys from her class, or friends brothers.

Never been a problem, she would never want to play before school as is quite disorganised and there is always homework to finish other stuff to sort out.
No set times, except not after 9pm as parents have TV priority from then.

If she is playing early evening, and there are other things we find she should be doing, we give her 10 minutes to complete what she is doing and get off. Otherwise I threaten to just pull the plug out mid-game.
Likewise if we think she has been playing too long.

webwiz Tue 21-Jun-11 14:07:37

DS(14) has xbox live and we haven't had any problems. We have a playroom/extra sitting room and its in there. Some times he goes on it a lot sometimes he doesn't. He has massive interest in film making so often he will be writing a script, making a film or editing it instead of going on the xbox. He has to stop everything at 9pm and doesn't have a problem with that.

To be honest we have more problems with DD2 constantly texting than the xbox so I think it depends on personalities. I haven't yet had the urge to throw the xbox controller through the patio doors but DD2's phone nearly went that way last nighthmm

alexsdad Tue 21-Jun-11 14:14:22

OK - so the concensus is that there is no specific coping mechanism - just kids who can cope! I can live with that, I think. I rather think we will have a happy DS.

alexsdad Tue 21-Jun-11 14:14:58

Ooops - and meant to add in that last post, many thanks to all for your time in reading and posting.

IloveJudgeJudy Tue 21-Jun-11 18:14:46

Ime they either have an addictive personality or not. DS1 will play on Xbox for a few hours on one day and then won't play for weeks/months. DS2 otoh has to be told when to get off his PS3 (we have all bases covered, paid for by the DSs themselves).

This seems to be the case with all their friends, too.

inthesticks Tue 21-Jun-11 19:26:46

We had limits set on consoles before xbox.
Going back to the old Gameboys both boys were only allowed a set amount of time. So when they pooled their Christmas and Birthday money to get an x box they were already used to restrictions. The parental time limiter didn't work because two of them share it.
I drew up a rota of who was allowed on and when.
The gist of it is -
Never before school
2 hours a day before 8pm
Never on a Monday (so one day free)

It's on the main tv so not in their bedrooms.
They seldom watch TV.
As others have said they enjoy the social side. All their friends live in small villages, as do we, so it's a good way for them to play "together".
It's true there is bad language but partly because of that they avoid playing with "randomers" which is the way they refer to strangers.

Having said that it's clear that many of their friends have unrestricted access.

qwertysue Thu 23-Jun-11 15:33:01

my ds 14 has had xbox live for about 2-3 years?? ish. he has plenty of afterschool activities that keep him occupied, so simply doesnt have the time to spend hours at a time on it. sundays is a nono until permission has been granted ( as this is my only full day with the kids due to work) i have it set up in his bedroom, but a shared pc is also in there, so some supervision can be maintained (unknowingly) my son has made some great friends on live, it has opened up a whole new world as he has limited friends who live close by. he also has these same friends on face book, which is good to try and identify who he is actually talking to! another thing to be aware of is the endless "map packs" that some games bring out, as this bumps up the cost tremendesly! as "the team/clan etc" All have them! however as other parents have stated there is no pause, and as soon as you need them to get off "they need to find a safe point"! which can be soooo infuriating as this sometimes takes upto 20mins+. I have found that as he is in high school, it has given him the oportunity to have friends in different classes and be more popular, as his real school friends are in different classes for everything, so it helps him to deal with peer pressure as he is seen in a positive light by kids who wouldnt necesarily get on with him. it is a good social tool for kids, however it does have its pit-falls, and you must try and discuss with them who are they talking to, where do they come from etc.

PR43 Thu 30-Jun-11 08:45:03

My 11 year old son wants to get Call of Duty as "ALL" his friends have it but he seems far to young or am I out of touch ?

alexsdad Thu 30-Jun-11 11:41:36

We've not allowed CoD for our 11yr old DS. The only 18 game he has had are the red dead redemption ones, where (IMHO) the story is actually pretty good and the violence only as bad as half the programs on TV which we would let him watch (albeit rather more frequent!).

The 'ALL my friends ' line is a killer though, isn't it. I've talked with the parents of friends before now, (a) to verify the story, and (b) to see what they thought of the games, assuming they had them.

qwertysue Fri 01-Jul-11 21:52:07

i have just asked ds 14 how many 11 year olds does he come accross when playing CoD black ops, and his reply was none, they seem to be 14-18 +. PR43- my son has just added that it depends on which CoD games, in his words "there are some shit scary zombies in black ops, however it depends whether you get scared over things like that i play it as a thriller. a good stress free game but it is quite scary." he just came and typed that reply for you and he is 15 nxt wk

qwertysue Sat 02-Jul-11 10:06:22

just another quick positive note to add. we have a local freebies site that runs in our area that covers approximatley 25 miles where people donate things for free and offer it on the site via facebook. last night it came up that there was a 13yr old boy who had been missing 7hours, i mentioned it to my son who asked his mates on xbox live did anybody know his name or where abouts, and a lad replied "yes he is at my house!" so the message then got conveyed back through face book and he was returned home safley within about 30 mins to his parents. so in this case the technology came in Really useful

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