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Anyone else's teen spend ALL their time gaming?

(73 Posts)
Trulygrumptious Sun 27-Mar-16 10:58:20

DS (14) spends all his spare time at home plugged in to his xbox.
During term time he plays sport 3/4 times a week and gets all his homework done on time.
However in the holidays when he has no reason/need to do other things he will spend whole days gaming.
Is everyone else's teen doing this too? My attempts to tempt him out of his room are increasingly unsuccessful!

rogueantimatter Sun 27-Mar-16 11:48:43

It's so addictive. I'm sure your DS is not alone.

Mine was similar at that age. I used to insist he go outside or do something else for at least some of the time. It must be so unhealthy having all that stress with no physical outlet and the frequent dopamine hits de-sensitises the brain to other healthier things that would normally give pleasure. When you switch it off and do anything at all in the 'real world' it must seem pretty crap until you've re-adjusted; nothing is instant and everything involves you thinking about it. It's the work of the devil IMO.

The thing that has got my slightly older DS' off it at least for a while is playing musical instruments. Obviously that's not a solution for everyone. Could you get him to help with making meals - teach him some skills and ask him what he'd like to eat?

Family game of poker perhaps?

Trulygrumptious Sun 27-Mar-16 12:29:32

Thanks rogue. I'm hoping its an age/peer thing as all his mates seem to do the same. We do family games occasionally so maybe a bit more of that. I'll try the cooking thing.
I'm just unsure if him and his mates are as the norm or if his use is excessive in comparison to others.

plantlady Sun 27-Mar-16 17:06:20

Mine are 16 & 19 and the older one will spend 14 hours a day gaming if he could, the younger one might go and do something else. It's definitely addictive as he won't eat or drink unless made to. We try getting them doing something else like helping outside. Ours aren't interested in food so cooking has never worked. For my sons it's also escaping from the world as they both are rather shy and struggle socially. I'm also told that nothing is as exciting or interesting as gaming so don't try and get them interested in anything else. can't win really. Good luck.

lljkk Sun 27-Mar-16 19:18:37

Mine too, sigh. Mine doesn't even do sport or homework.
Also went for a run today & popped out to chat or moan a few times (at me).

Trulygrumptious Sun 27-Mar-16 20:46:34

Glad it's not just mine! I can see how addictive it must be from my Tetris loving days. Especially if it's their main way of socialising.
I can't help feeling he's missing out on all the things I was doing at that age. Although maybe I should be grateful I know where he is At least he's not out smoking and drinking grin

CalicoBlue Sun 27-Mar-16 20:53:12

My DSS does all day if he can. He came home from school on Thursday afternoon and did not leave his room till this afternoon (I imagine he did visit the bathroom). So 72 hours of either playing games or sleeping. If his father did not take his food up to him he would not eat.

I do not think it is ok and constantly tell DH that it is not healthy.

Sprinkles86 Sun 27-Mar-16 21:12:12

I have a similar situation. Although he does alternate between iPad, phone and lap top!!!!!!!!

My ds is also 13.

May I ask what times your teens switch off their gadgets and actually go to bed to actually sleep?

nooka Mon 28-Mar-16 07:31:28

My ds (16) spends all his spare time gaming, but he gets his school work done without any parental input, and (given enough warning!) helps around the house, cooks meals etc so I'm not particularly concerned. All his social life is online and he does a fair bit of admin and planning in his strategy communities so it's not all mindless destruction type stuff. Next term he is looking to get a job/do voluntary work so will have less time to play games then.

We have all consoles/computers in one of our family rooms, so we see (and hear!) plenty of him. Today apart from an hour or so for supper I think he pretty much gamed from when he got up to when he went to bed. He goes to bed at around 10ish.

CalicoBlue Mon 28-Mar-16 10:46:36

No idea what time DSS turns his computer/PS off. I hear DH tell him to be quiet and to go to bed soon, when we go to bed at about 11. Though I have heard him still playing in the early hours.

This really winds me up, so I try and step away and not let it bother me.

Trulygrumptious Mon 28-Mar-16 11:43:25

During term time screens go off at 9.30 for a 10pm bedtime. (In theory...) The hols are a bit of a free for all although I make him come off before I go to bed as he is so loud. He will play from the time he gets up until then though. I do get him to come down for meals to give him an enforced break but he can polish that off in about 3 mins!

girlandboy Mon 28-Mar-16 14:13:26

Yes, DS (15) is heavily into gaming.

Next plan of his is to go to college in September after his GCSE's and do a BTEC on Games Development!

Not sure if I can consider that all is lost with him, or that it's something he's really good at and it could be the making of him confused I am trying to think the latter

Trulygrumptious Mon 28-Mar-16 16:32:07

Girlandboy At least he can justify it as contributing to his future. smile
Stop press here though...DS has actually left his room and gone to the park with a friend! Maybe he's reading this thread

Katedotness1963 Mon 28-Mar-16 17:22:18

My youngest is 14 and the same way. He does well with his school work, homework is always done on time but his free time he is there on the Xbox.

HormonalHeap Mon 28-Mar-16 19:50:16

The single most important thing you can do is to make sure he keeps up his sport. If he's doing that and working hard at school/homework, the problem is manageable.

Girlandboy at least your ds knows he wants to go into game development. Mine just wants to game!

girlandboy Mon 28-Mar-16 20:13:14

True, true! He's got to get the right GCSE results though! Hopefully this will happen, although how that will happen when he won't revise is beyond me!

He's been obnoxious today, so I'm actually wishing that he'd go back to his room and crank that Xbox up confused

Trulygrumptious Mon 28-Mar-16 20:22:17

Luckily DS's sport has been a big part of his life since a young age so hopefully he'll stick with it. Homework less so....wink
However he seems ok. Except the new line of.....well that's not one of my options so I don't need to bother...
Am kinda dreading the GCSE run up though maybe the xbox controllers will get 'lost'

Travelledtheworld Mon 28-Mar-16 22:27:30

Mine has been pretty much addicted to computer games since 14 but since Feb half term he has weaned himself off online games and is revising hard for his GCSE's !
Still rarely leaves the house and doesn't socialise though.

HormonalHeap Mon 28-Mar-16 22:38:12

Travelledtheworld that's incredible, I hope you realise how lucky you are. Was there any bribary involved?

Mine completely addicted with no other hobbies or interests. Will only work with tutors so costing me a killing. Booked into an Easter crammer course. Dh insists we do this but I know it's just a short term fix and probably doing more damage as not teaching him to be self reliant.

Cleebope Tue 29-Mar-16 00:22:46

Mine has been addicted all through teens- now 17 and still at it. Doing A levels but not really inspired by his studies. At times I am at my wits end worrying about his health and happiness. He does scouts but no sports unless DH drags him out to squash. I keep hoping he will eventually mature out of it, but it,s 6 years now and not diminishing. It has caused much friction over the years. He says the world outside of gaming feels flat and dull. I totally hate how our teenagers lead their lives these days. Maybe I have rose tinted specs but surely our lives were richer and fuller even though we had no money in those days.

SuperMumNot Tue 29-Mar-16 16:28:51

Another one here too (DS, age 13) sad.

He's not gaming all the time, but is in his room on his computer. He is recording YT videos, making channel art, chatting to friends on skype, drawing logos, editing videos, on Twitter promoting his videos.

No interest in meeting friends outside, or going out with us. We insist he eats meals with us and occasionally comes out for a walk or something.

I also find it very sad, but to be honest, I also spent A LOT of my time at this age in my room - reading, writing a diary, listening to the radio, writing letters to friends so it was kind of similar.
I'm hoping it is just a phase which will pass.

He is doing some DofE stuff and outdoor volunteering soon, so that will get him out of the house....

BabyGanoush Tue 29-Mar-16 17:49:20

I make them walk the dog with me to break it up a bit.

I also periodically call out:" boys, that is enough now. Time to have a break from gaming."

Also no screens/games in their rooms.

But yeah, on a rainy holiday after a wet dog walk, that is pretty much what they do.

GraysAnalogy Tue 29-Mar-16 17:52:20

I was like this at his age. I now like to think I'm a good rounded individual grin

weegiemum Tue 29-Mar-16 17:59:53

my ds (14) spends a lot of time gaming (internet goes off at 10).

he also does a fair bit of football training and piano practice (sounds crazy for a 14yo boy but he plays around for an hour or so) and football for a local team.

he also has recently acquired a - what do you call it - yes - a GIRLFRIEND - so there are walks out, going "into town" and watching movies (in the lounge).

he still covers his homework and remains well clear at the top of his class in everything.. i really thing the girlfriend has boosted him!

Thebookswereherfriends Tue 29-Mar-16 18:01:16

Can I ask why no-one just turns the gadgets off/confiscated them for periods of each day? I've been a nanny for teens and although parents were fairly relaxed about the gadget/computer use I used to just turn everything off for Several hours, usually between 11 and 3. The kids were a lot more pleasant to be around when they had been out or just done something different.
Also, why would you actually take food up to a child who is refusing to come away?

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