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Gaming or internet time restrictions at night for 17yr old DS

(30 Posts)
jellyfish2121 Sun 03-May-20 00:35:04

My 17 year old son had one of his tantrums tonight over this issue.

The WiFi goes off his laptop & Xbox , which he uses both for gaming, at 11.30pm. I've always used time restrictions & he's always complained about them.

He has been seeing a therapist for depression for 4 months now & agreed with her that gaming is the one thing he needs to do that distracts him enough to feel better. I attended a review and understood that but don't think he needs unlimited access because of it.

He already can't sleep until 4am, sometimes later or not at all. I think all this screen time isn't helping his body regulate a normal sleep pattern.

He said tonight no other 17yr old or even any teenager has timing restrictions on their internet so why does he? Everyone else isup all night on games having fun & he's miserable in his room. I'm making his depression worse etc etc ETC!

In the end as I keep saying, I told him if he doesn't like the rules here he can move out. He said he would if he could & how. I told him to get a job or join the army or Google it.

I don't mean to get into it all in this post, we've been having problems the last few years, but am I being so unreasonable with night time internet restrictions? What do you do with your older teens on this issue?

Also he still has unlimited.internet 24/7 on his phone, so he can still be up on that watching YouTube, phone games, gaming forums whatever if he can't sleep, but of course that's not good enough.

OP’s posts: |
amber763 Sun 03-May-20 00:42:39

He's 17 and its Saturday night. I think you're being far too strict. Especially suggesting he move out given his mental health.

Qgardens Sun 03-May-20 00:46:41

Most of the teens I know have gone into nocturnal mode. He IS missing out and if he's not sleeping till 4am anyway, then he's just suffering unnecessarily.
Lockdown is hard enough without parents making it harder.

NuffSaidSam Sun 03-May-20 00:51:29

I think it is too restrictive at 17 (unless there is a specific reason, like the games are noisy etc). Also, it makes no sense if he can be up on his phone anyway.

Luzina Sun 03-May-20 00:52:17

I can't comment on what you SHOULD do, you have to make that decision but i would leave the wifi on for him. If he can use his phone to go online what difference does it make anyway? Better playing an online game possibly with a friend on xbox than mindlessly scrolling through social media.

HopeClearwater Sun 03-May-20 00:54:35

I think you’re doing the right thing by him OP. I have a DS same age. It’s not good for them to be on the console for hours and hours and personally I can’t stand the incessant char and noise, banging of tables when the games go wrong etc, while I and the other members of the house are trying to sleep. Your house, your rules.

HopeClearwater Sun 03-May-20 00:56:16

Chat. Not char

Cheeeeislifenow Sun 03-May-20 00:59:00

People on here think teenager s should be up all night gaming and asleep all day. I don't agree the screens won't benefit his MH in the long run. Maybe extend til midnight on week as a compromise

BananaPop2020 Sun 03-May-20 00:59:19

When I was 17 I was told to “move out” every single time there was even a minor issue. Please be more reasonable towards your son. These are extremely difficult times at the moment and I don’t understand the point of creating additional conflict.

Chillipeanuts Sun 03-May-20 01:06:45

Sorry but you need to let up a bit.

Our very level headed 17 year old spends much of the day with the family and is independently conscientious with respect to college work. He and his friends catch up at night and that’s when they have their own time.
Cut him a bit of slack. .

Cheeeeislifenow Sun 03-May-20 01:08:10

*on weekends sorry

MrMeSeeks Sun 03-May-20 01:09:15

I think yabu, massively. He’s 17.
Telling him to move out because you disagree, hardly going to help his mental health either confused
If it’s helping him ( not unusual some people use tv or a book to distract them) then what’s the harm? You don’t have a problem with him being on his phone or tv.

NaomiFromMilkShake Sun 03-May-20 01:10:29

Get a grip and roll with the punches, the young man is in lock down.angry

SD1978 Sun 03-May-20 01:18:21

If he still has access to everything except gaming, I do t understand turning off the game to be ho eat- it's not stopping him accessing technology all night. Can you compromise and give unlimited Friday and Saturday night? Given that he still has 24 hr access to everything else, it does seem a slightly daft rule to o my say he can't play an o line game but can talke about it all night.

Ilovecats14 Sun 03-May-20 01:34:10

So hard isn't it. I would probably be the same as you and would have to remind myself at 17 I had moved out and was working full time. In my head I was an adult and would have gone mental if my mum told me what to do.

Thepigeonsarecoming Sun 03-May-20 01:39:03

He’s 17, I was out at that age until the early hours drinking and dancing in nightclubs! It’s far too old to have restrictions like that in place

On the other hand he’s living at home so you can compromise. Say he can stay up as late as he wants but has to do certain daily chores starting at 11am, such as dishes/mowing the lawn. If he doesn’t he loses internet for a night

Hedgehog44 Sun 03-May-20 01:41:42

He's practically an adult!! I think you are being unreasonable. I don't do this to my 15 year old

JKScot4 Sun 03-May-20 01:42:43

He’s 17 not 10!
Telling him to move out is nasty, you need to calm down, you’re hardly behaving with any consideration to his MH are you?

user3274826 Sun 03-May-20 01:49:16

I'd agree with you, I think most parents are far too naive to the effects of internet addiction in teenagers, the affects on mental health, suicide ideation etc. Particularly from certain gaming forums. It makes zero sense to cut off his WiFi I'd he still has access to the internet on his phone though. He is up until 4am because he is addicted to the internet and on his forums. So it makes absolutely zero sense. You might as well unblock the wifi in that case.

Tolleshunt Sun 03-May-20 01:49:48

I’m surprised you think it’s reasonable to put a 17 year old on a curfew. He’s too old for that. You may think his habits aren’t healthy, and I would agree, but he’s of an age now where he needs to make his own decisions and mistakes. He’s practically an adult and could leave home very soon. If you’re not planning to let him run his own life now, then when are you? And how do you expect him to make good decisions when he’s fully independent if you don’t let him have a dry run now? You’re not doing him any favours by being so controlling when he’s 17, even if you feel your regime is in his best interests right now.

I also agree with pps that it’s not kind to tell him you want him to move out every time he wants to negotiate with you. How do you think this will make him feel towards you? Even if you just look at it in terms of how it will affect you, do you really want him to feel so unwelcome that he leaves home and hardly bothers to see you afterwards? How appealing will it be to him to visit a parent who was overly controlling and harsh to him?

Think very carefully.

TheMagiciansMewTwo Sun 03-May-20 02:05:15

Have you had discussions with his therapist? It just seems odd that you say they said gaming was helpful but you're clashing about limits. I'd have thought you'd have discussed it.
FWIW I agree with other posters that the distinction between his phone and gaming is a moot one that you have created. These aren't usual times. I wouldn't be turning it into a battle.

JacobReesMogadishu Sun 03-May-20 07:34:40

I think you’re too strict. Dd is up to the small hours gaming with friends. As long as I can’t hear her I don’t care.
I think it probably is making his depression worse.

I also,don’t think telling a 17yo he can leave home and telling him to google how to leave home, join the army will be helping his mental health. It will make him feel pushed out and unloved.

Givemethestrength Sun 03-May-20 07:48:44

He's 17, almost an adult and it's a weekend blush if you know he's depressed (and that gaming is a relief for him) why would you add more to his plate? I think you need to rethink your priorities here OP

jellyfish2121 Sun 03-May-20 11:31:10

Thank you all for replying. I understand the differing opinions. I probably should have given more information in my first post but didn't want to make it too long. A few things I need to mention.

Regarding his mental health I have been very supportive so far. I got him counselling sessions in secondary school, been to A & E to see the paediatric crisis team, I got him weekly youth services counselling sessions over a year ago, weekly therapy sessions with a qualified child therapist more recently, stopped all pressure about his future education & jobs, don't ask him to do any chores at home again taking any pressure off him. I get involved with his therapist when he allows it at reviews. I've supported him to think about medication anti depressants if he thinks it's worth trying there's no shame in it. I'm honestly really understanding & supportive which even some relatives have said I do too much.

The counselling he quit after 2 sessions, so far he's attended therapy since January but this week cancelled the session & denied it until I found out. He lies a lot, but so do a lot of teens.

The lock down has not affected his life one bit day to day, so that's no reason to extend his gaming times.

I wouldn't say he's mentally 17 in some ways younger. He can't take responsibility for making sure he goes to bed at a reasonable hour, he will stay up all night or not sleep at all just stay on games. He says I can trust him with that but he's proven over & over that I can't. Doesn't follow through to get things done unless I push him etc.

He sneaks the microphone back on with the headset waking me & younger sibling up in the early hours of the morning, again promising he won't. It's unfair to have him affecting our own sleep.

He has anger & respect issues towards me because I make a rule or 2 like WiFi restrictions. He gets very nasty verbally abusive on a regular basis towards me over anything. I get called a cow, bitch, whore etc weekly/daily shouted & sworn at. He makes death threats, has got a knife out before, he stood in the doorway so I couldn't leave the room etc. Police have been round a few times. He went missing for several days & thought it was no big deal! Again police spoke to him.

It's a nightmare to live with, I'm walking on egg shells worried whatever I say might set him off. His younger sibling gets upset too I try so hard to prevent any outbursts happening around them.

He isolates himself, refuses to see any relatives when they visit, won't go out with us. Stays in his bedroom 24/7 apart from to get food, a shower or very occasional walk outside. Letting him have unlimited WiFi for gaming just encourages this behaviour even more, so how is that right to do? He's on it already 12-8 hours every day already without it being on throughout the night also.

I know most other teens are gaming a lot too but they spend a bit of time with their families or friends, doing a few chores, are attending college, have a part time job. My son does none of that, he's in his bedroom gaming instead & this started months before lock down, that has nothing to do with it.

He refuses to do any chores around the house, he used to wash up & take the rubbish out but for at least 6 months it's been a no go. His therapist advised not pressuring him because he can't seem to handle it. So I haven't, he's barely lifted a finger for 4 months now. The only thing I've asked recently is he change his bed sheets but I end up doing it as he won't.

Regarding him moving out, he says I'm the main problem in his life, not unusual for teens to go through a stage of acting like they hate you, but I don't know what else to say or do after 2+ years of this so I say "move out then" he would if he could & asked me how last night, so I said by getting a job & saving money or join the Army as those are ways of doing it. If he googled it he might find other ideas, I don't know but you can Google anything. I'm not being nasty, if he doesn't want to be here then go. I've tried everything I can to improve our relationship, he isn't interested & it's making us all miserable living like this. I've wondered if he has narcissistic personality disorder honestly, but I think his therapist would have said.

I allow unlimited WiFi on his phone at night so he's not left with nothing tech wise, he can also access the mental health apps on it. At least on his phone he will be in bed where he's more likely to fall asleep, also has a blue light filter on his phone which can help with sleeping.

All I can hope for at this stage is that eventually he will get through this stage & hopefully then we can rebuild a relationship. It's heartbreaking for the whole family.

OP’s posts: |
Pomegranatemolasses Sun 03-May-20 11:36:44

Is he talking with his friends via headset as he games? That may be a real point of connection for him. I would allow him to game later, but take his phone at night time, that bit makes no sense to me.

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