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13 year old DS and X-box

(14 Posts)
coffeescoffee Thu 26-Oct-17 18:22:29

DS spends EVERY spare minute on this - it's causing lots of arguments. If it was up to him, he would have spent every day on it over half term. I always try and organise friend get-togethers and trips out etc. but as soon as we are back in the house, he's back on it.

He has his own "sitting room" across the hall - (he isn't allowed any devices, tv or gaming in his bedroom) so we hardly see him. Getting him off it is difficult. I don't want to go in there and just switch it off - I tell him to finish the game he is playing, then come off. Sometimes I can go into his room 3 or 4 times to ask "are you finished?".
I want to try and keep things civil, although I do sometimes end up shouting and just losing it - occasionally it's been taken off him for a few days if he's been cheeky or rushing his homework to go on it.

Mid week isn't too bad as he isn't back from school until 4.30 and has a couple of mid-week activities. But once he's finished his homework, he goes straight on it, will be on it for an hour before dinner then again an hour after. Weekends are holidays are the worst though, he can spend hours on it - I do think he's addicted.

I sway between wanting to come down hard, smashing up the box to trying to talk and reason with him. All his friends seem to be on it constantly too. There is one lad who is always on it, no matter what the time... I don't like him being on it later than 9.30-10pm in hols and 8.30pm week days. App his friends all think this is hilarious as it's so "early"hmm

We have tried restricting times when he can go on it but he literally is not interested in anything else. He will watch tv, or go on his phone or ipad. We have tried and tried to get him to read but he has never liked books, although loves fact books. I despair sometimes. We are quite rural, he is an only child with no other kids nearby so he just flops around saying he is bored if he's not gaming.

Not sure what to do anymore - or am I just being too soft?

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Thu 26-Oct-17 18:37:00

DS is 14 and when we got him an X-Box last Christmas, I worried about this too - he is also an only child. However, we have been lucky as he has only shown sporadic interest in it. When he plays, he plays for a couple of hours, but this is about twice a month, if that.

We didn’t get X-Box Live, so there are no headsets or playing with others or anything like that, which may have helped. He is also very busy in the week, with CCF, sport and Scouts, not to mention homework. Also he reads a LOT. The other thing we do is watch “family TV” together - so the DC and Marvel series (Arrow and so on) as well as things like Bake Off, etc. That way, at least we’re staring at a screen together and chatting about what we watch.

He does love his ipad and I do nag him about that. At weekends, I’ll make him play games with me - we have a small air hockey table, or we’ll play cards or something like that.

We are lucky because he’s biddable, but continuing to do things with him that he likes (like the TV choices) has been the way forward for us. Also we don’t have a separate room, so any gaming happens in our living room. This means he is actually quite considerate about how long he plays for when he’s on there.

coffeescoffee Thu 26-Oct-17 19:00:09

Thanks theonly

Perhaps it was nuts of us to let him have his own room, although it was just a "playroom" when he was little sad.

We do film nights and have always played cards and board games too. Although DH works long hours and it's often just DS and me (who is not as interesting as his precious x box).

Interesting about the Xbox Live, I think that's the key to it, he is playing with his mates and it's his way of being with them as they don't all live near each other.

No easy solution....perhaps making him pay for his own Xbox Live or going back to a timetable again <sigh>

coffeescoffee Fri 27-Oct-17 18:42:51

Surely it can't be only me with this problem? wink

crunched Fri 27-Oct-17 19:00:21

My DS was similar to yours regarding his PS4. (In fact, I think I may have posted a very similar thread a few years back) All he seemed to do was play games in his room, albeit using headphones so I could hear his half of the conversation.
This state of affairs coincided with him losing interest in his extra-circular activities, rugby, tennis, music etc.
I tried various strategies over the years; one hour per day when homework finished, moved PS4 to playroom, all electronic activity finishes att 9pm etc. I am a bit of a wuss so these conditions tended to peter out after a week or so.
Anyway, long story short, he has now just completed his first month at Uni. He got pretty good A-levels, got a part time job, learnt to drive and even had a social life during upper sixth and is seemingly enjoying his new life at uni. (He has taken his PS4 with him of course!)
In conclusion, I think I worried too much. Sure he loves gaming and always will,and I was sad that seemed to take over from his love of books but it really doesn't seem to have caused huge issues in the long run. I am slightly cross I wasted energy getting stressed about it and felt such a crap parent compared to his mates' parents who were still ferrying to sports practice, drama rehearsals etc.

coffeescoffee Fri 27-Oct-17 22:55:46

Thanks crunched! A friend has said something very similar to me.

I don't want him to lose interest in other activities and sometimes he seems happy to just sit and play on his own talking to online mates rather than actually meeting up in RL. I guess it's something we are just going to try and keep an eye on.

I am going to start restricting it a bit though. I have already said on weekend/holiday mornings that he must have breakfast and get dressed first. If we haven't had anything on that day, he still been in his pjs at 12-1pm bloody playing on it. <hangs head in shame>

ShebaQueen Fri 27-Oct-17 23:10:20

My son is similar although a couple of years older. He literally would play all day every day if he could. I tried really hard to manage it and restrict his time on XBox but it's replaced every interest and hobby he ever had. I hoped it was a phase, and still have my fingers crossed in that respect, but it's a very long phase! In the end I decided to lay down some rules - for example he has to sit at the table with us for dinner, he must do his homework first etc., but other than that I stopped letting it get to me.
He did his GCSEs in the summer and got excellent grades though so it hasn't affected his school work.

Squeegle Sat 28-Oct-17 08:41:13

My DS was a bit like this- when he was 11 and 12. He played a lot and with his friends. I did used to restrict him a bit - not after 9 during the week, although later at weekends. He still plays it but not so much now, he has got a bit bored of it. I tend to think that if they are the sort of boy who likes it it can become a bit of an obsession, but hopefully not forever. My DS does no homework btw and doesn’t like reading, he is a bit of an obsessive - so at the moment his current obsession is his bike! I find it difficult, but I suppose we have to let them work through till they find their level. I find this age quite a challenge with my DS , am hoping he matures quite soon, he is incredibly strong willed and so will only do things on his terms

Ilovetolurk Sat 28-Oct-17 10:36:41

My DS is 13 and loves his xbox esp xbox live. I don't have a problem with xbox live as he is interacting with his friends.

My suggestion would be to limit his time and if you say finish your game he gets 20 mins then you switch off wifi

And plenty of activities outside of gaming. My DS plays bball and then nba on xbox with his bball friends so I can see why he wants to and it's downtime from the sport

Reading your post it does sound like he needs more activities even if you have to insist at first. Will be easier now as they do get more intransigent as they get older

coffeescoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 10:37:12

Thanks Squeegle and Sheba.

We have similar rules too - he always has to come through and sit at the table for dinner and not after 8.30pm on school nights. They need time to switch off before bed.

I can't believe the amount of kids that are on it till 10-11 at night. I get notifications coming through on the laptop saying "so-and-so has invited you to play"....also the amount of 12-13 year olds playing 18 games. It seems to be the rule rather than the exception now. DS has stopped asking for these games now as he knows what the answer is.

It is a problem - mainly with boys - we're all just doing the best we can with itsad

coffeescoffee Sat 28-Oct-17 10:43:25

Thanks ilove...I have thought about more activities. He has 2 during the week and then plays football on a Sunday morning which he loves.

I might have a look at more.

I do go through and say "ok, you've had enough now" (I'll set a kitchen timer) "when that goes off, you have 2 mins to finish what you're doing. But even after that, he will be "oh, I just need to finish this". Sometimes I will just switch it off, sometimes I'll give him time to finish. But he will get really angry and aggressive if I switch it off. I don't like doing it but it just pushes all my buttons when I've given him so many warnings.

Chewbecca Sat 28-Oct-17 18:10:52

I have the same problem, though it is pc games not an X box.

I have no advice for you at all though as I very much have not solved the problem. DS barely reads books anymore (he did used to be a bookworm) & has given up one out of school activity and I am forcing him to continue the other at the moment. He still happily does his in school extra curricular and has a relatively long school day so it is not so bad during the school week.

Like you, DS is an only making it worse or easier depending how you look at it.

Am heartened by the PP whose sin has just gone off to uni!

DS's saving grace is that he is doing well at school. This is the one thing that keeps me from massively restricting its use. I've always said if he's done his homework & is working hard, his free time is his. He is sociable with other teens on holidays and has good friends in school so I know he is capable of interaction!

I do not always enforce a getting dressed rule blush

I do ensure he's off by 8:30/9 on weekdays. On weekends it can be later.

So no advice but sympathies!

coffeescoffee Wed 01-Nov-17 12:50:24

Chewbecca At least I know I'm not alone!

Seems to be a problem with everyone I speak to that has a DSsad

hmmwhatatodo Sat 04-Nov-17 19:51:03

Yes I have the exact same problem. It’s really frustrating. No need to go into what I do and then what he does as you already know how it goes but it’s been driving me mad for a long time now and I’m sick of sitting in the living room by myself. I’m tired of hearing “i need to finish this.... what time are we eating , I’ve got a game at x o clock, I’ve got trials for a team at y o clock.....”

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