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Moody 12 year old son

22 replies

Colacube28 · 15/05/2012 23:13

Our 12 year old son was spending 5 hours each day after school and longer at weekends playing computer games in his cave (bedroom with curtains closed). He was constantly tired and at times very grumpy and had lost interest in everything not connected to his computer games. He has electric guitar lessons once a week but he has had to be badgered into practicing because this meant coming off the computer.

My husband and decided yesterday that enough was enough as he was becoming addicted to the computer and it was starting to take over his life and even preventing him from spending time with us or even having a conversation with us. We decided we would restrict his computer time to 3 hours a day on school days and 4 hours a day at the weekend. We explained our concerns to him and told him the restrictions would be put on his computer with the time limits on the parental controls. Needless to say he wasnt happy and tried to argue that he wasn't addicted.

OP posts:
JesusWept · 15/05/2012 23:15

Welcome to the world of teens... Grin

YourFanjoIsNotAHandbag · 15/05/2012 23:16

3 hours a day on school days???

My ds1&2 love ps3, Xbox, pc but aren't allowed on at all during the week.

My ds1 is 13 and has homework to do every day, chores at home and football practice, I can't imagine where he would get 3 hours to play ps3 on a weekday.

Maybe you need to encourage outdoor activities, or find out why he doesn't have any homework during the week?

Colacube28 · 15/05/2012 23:19


Today he is very moody, didn't have breakfast this morning, shouted bye from the front door and left. No hugs as per normal. Came home and didn't say hello, went straight to his room and stayed there. Ate dinner without speaking despite me telling him he was wasting his time being moody as the computer rules will be staying in place.

Has anyone else had this problem with computers or their child being so moody. He says I don't get him and that I don't understand. I try but they don't come with a manual...pre teens sigh

OP posts:
Colacube28 · 15/05/2012 23:22

He says he does his homework at school at breaks and at lunch, we never see it. He doesn't do anything outdoors, he hates sport and has just one friend he hangs with and he just plays computers too.

OP posts:
AtAmber · 15/05/2012 23:31

I've just had the same conversation with my 12 yo ds. He's started playing minecraft, all his friends are on it. He used to sit downstairs with us, he's up in his room all the time now. I've told him that if he doesn't cut it right down I'll start taking his laptop downstairs. He's normally lovely but has started being a bit moody recently. He's growing a moustache and hairy legs so I'm putting it down to hormones.

YourFanjoIsNotAHandbag · 15/05/2012 23:35

Do you check his homework colacube?

My DS is around the same age and theres no way he could do all his homework at break and lunch.
Does he have jobs to do in the house, like cooking, dishwasher, hovering?

YourFanjoIsNotAHandbag · 15/05/2012 23:36

Hoovering, bloody autocorrect.

JesusWept · 16/05/2012 06:22

Ah... The dreaded minecraft...

DS2 will be 13 in Nov. he has started to hole himself up in his room. Not to go on games as such but to talk to girls on FaceTime or messenger. (He does however like to play out still, this is when he comes in), but he has started getting moody and if things bother him, he says we wouldn't understand when we ask him. With regards to homework he says he does his at school although he does sometimes sit down and do it at home. We always go through his planner and books and pull him up on work or comments from teachers that we seem unacceptable.

DS1 however... He discovered minecraft at Christmas time. He is constantly on it. He is in Yr10 and so far, has done ok in the exams he has taken and he received a stunning school report last week. However last night we spoke to him and have said he will be limited to minecraft and can use it from between 8.00 and 10.00pm on an evening. He was not happy at all. We have said he now needs to start drawing up a revision timetable and to buckle down. We will be on his case... He told me last week when I asked him to do something (maybe go post a letter) that I should know he is allergic to sunlight

We also put internet restrictions on.

Both boys do jobs at home. Bring the washing down on a morning. Load and reload the dishwasher, DS2 is always happy to hoover and wash the cars for extra pocket money.

Sparklingbrook · 16/05/2012 06:28

Have you ever looked at Minecraft? It has appalling graphics and looks like the dullest game ever. But DSs (12 and 10) think it's brilliant. Confused

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar · 16/05/2012 08:58

I'll realise the folly of this post in a year or so's time so feel free to tell me where to go (ds is still in Y6!) but...

You need to check his homework. He needs to do it at home in a quiet, 'public' space where you can monitor from a distance (ie your dining room, say) and not in his room, if you doubt he's doing it at school.

No gaming till it's done.

I unplugged the Xbox in a rage t'other day as it turns my generally articulate, pleasant, pre-pubescent ds into an objectionable little gobshite.

Anyway watching this thread as I'm sure I have all this to come...

YourFanjoIsNotAHandbag · 16/05/2012 09:07

Yes, I agree, if he really is doing homework in break and lunch it's going to be rushed.

I have all 3 of mine at the dining table. They come home from school, change, have a snack and do their homework.
They are so into the routine that they do it automatically so by the time my DH or I get in from work, they are almost finished.
Then they do their chores, pack their school bags for the next day and have dinner. That's why I can't see where he is getting even 3 hours a day to play.

Mine use bbm a lot but only after everything is done, no bbm or texting during homework.

ATC1412 · 19/05/2012 10:49

I've read these msgs and I too have the same problem. He played on his PS3 so much its overheated and broken. He's nagging me to get it fixed but I'm refusing. I want to get my lovely little boy back, but is he lost forever?

He had a sleepover last night and I took him and his friend to the cinemas, his friend was polite and thoughtful and all I seem to get from him is grunts or 'tude'. I just feel he's ungrateful for what he has and just wants more all the time.

Any suggestions on how to make him realise what he has is pretty good

YourFanjoIsNotAHandbag · 19/05/2012 11:21

Limit ps3 to weekends only?

Ive found if you give them no restrictions they will be on it for hours and hours.

kid · 19/05/2012 11:32

My DS is 10 and is addicted to his Xbox.
He is also moody and I swear he acts more like a teenager than his 13 yr old sister. He suffers from migraines but the hospital do not believe its linked to the xbox.

We have restricted his xbox use to 2 hours on a school night which he can choose how to use (a 2 hour block, 4 x 1/2 blocks). I also insist he reads for a minimum of 15 minutes per night and that he practises his spellings each night. He doesn't get any homework from school but that will change once he starts secondary school.
At weekends he has a bit more freedom with the time allowed on but if he starts getting too noisy or angry (xbox live), he has to come straight off so he is learning to keep his cool.

I do think children need to given some restriction to playing computers as they would play it all day given half the chance.

Adversecamber · 21/05/2012 11:39

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bubby64 · 21/06/2012 21:30

Ah -minecraft! this is what has started my 2 becoming games addicts! They used to be on xbox for maybe and hour at a time, now they would play that dreadful game all day if they could! I have banned it until they have done all homework and a maximum of an hour on school night, and 3 hrs a day at weekends. I know it requires a lot of imagination and inventiveness, but it drives me mad! Mind you, banning them playing on xbox is, at the moment, the best punishment we have!

AdventuresWithVoles · 30/06/2012 10:01

Ah, I see Minecraft as a blessing, superior to Star Wars Commandos & other shoot 'em games.
Yes moody, especially if they overdo computer games.
DS12 is first to admit that he's a moody cow. Confused Part of him can detach & think about it later, why did he get so het up so suddenly? Etc.

Shazza17 · 04/08/2012 19:06

My son is 13 next month and is obsessed with PS3! I have allowed 2 hours per day in the week on the PS3 and 3 hours on wkends! Am I unreasonable? Obviously, yes! Wanted him to come shopping today for new school stuff with his 2 younger brothers but moans and groans about that. Selfish teenagers are! its all about them! All he was worried about was getting home to play his PS3 even after he called me an Evil!! 5 times! when I wanted him to come shopping! His 9 year old brother has more interest in clothes than him! WHAT CAN I DO!! I'm at the point of getting him adopted!!!

emmmmmmmm · 05/08/2012 14:30

my son will be 12 in a couple of weeks. he's pretty similar. he oftens tells me i have ruined his life if i ask him to clean his teeth / tidy his room etc! i don't allow any computer games during the week (only in term time) and limit his time at weekends. if he misbehaves he gets a warning that if he carries on he will not be able to play computer / watch netflix for x amount of days. if he then carries on he gets the ban. further bad behaviour results in extra days being added on. it's important to stick to the ban. it seems to work most of the time, although believe me he still has his moments.

now it's the summer holidays he would happily spend all day in the house watching tv and playing computer if i let him, so i arrange for him to call his friends and go to the park or even just take him for a walk to get some fresh air.

shazza i would suggest you try banning ps3 when he misbehaves. make sure he knows how long the ban will be for though, and like i said i find giving a warning that if the bad behaviour carries on then he'll get the ban.

it's exhausting isn't it?!

Redbookworm · 18/08/2012 14:44

I feel your pain! My son is 12 and would happily spend the day on his laptop, ps3 or watching tv. He gets very moody if I ask him to turn them off and getting him to help with anything is impossible... I've just been food shopping and asked him to help unpack the shopping! He helped for 2 mins with lots of moaning then had to sit down!
I do restrict his game playing but he is so stroppy all the time... What happened to my lovely little boy? I also have two younger sons so will have this joy for many years to come.

timetosmile · 21/08/2012 19:50

DS's also loves minecraft - in its favour, he group skypes all his friends and they play a very interactive game which sounds good fun (though the graphics make me vertiginous) and the xbox has been on a fair bit this holiday as they have some new games.

I really don't want to come across as preachy/smug because I've far from got it taped with my DCs, but re read this thread...

......who is calling the shots in your homes and relationsips? You adult/parent/authority figure or a developmentally immature preteen who still needs to learn boundaries and delayed gratification?

What exactly will happen if you give these lazy boys fair warning of regime change and say that they can have 30mins/1hr of gaming a day as long as some basic requirements are met.

Ours have to have beds made, laundry in washing basket, any plates etc out of bedroom and all homework for that evening done (or a sensible plan eg "I will play Xbox before tea and then do my maths while you take DD to swimming lesson" and follow through on it) I also expect them to do ad hoc chores eg emptying dishwasher if we are having a busy evening.

Please don't shrug and sigh, 'its just boys, what a pain in the bum'.
Yes, preteens/teens can be a pain in the bum but don't settle for that as your default position.

Wordsmith · 23/08/2012 11:49

OP, you could be me. I came on here because I was about to post something identical, so you've saved me the job of starting a new thread.

My 12 year old seems to have lost interest in everything. He spends all his time on his XBox/Minecraft/his Blackberry (although we do have restrictions on the amount of time he's allowed on these). When I kick him off these screen-based wastes of time, and try and get hi to do something, he mopes around or gets very angry. He tries to meet up with friends but I think he's at the stage where his friendship groups have changed and because he has made very little effort last year to get involved in groups like football or volleyball, he's automatically shut out from those who do. He's not in any particular cliques and seems to be outside everything. I think he's using the screen-based stuff as a way of escaping this. But as I keep pointing out to him, unless he tries joining in, he won't know whether he enjoys it or not. All I'm getting at the moment is 'I don't like tennis/football/volleyball/drama/chess/ so I'm not going to try."

I KNOW it's a phase he's going through but it's causing so much stress and he's so unhappy, it breaks my heart. There is only so much I can organise for him, he's got to get his own act together.

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