My feed

to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


Need guidance on after school, computer games & homework.

18 replies

grants1000 · 16/09/2013 16:54

DS1 has just started secondary school, so more homework.

I do not want him to get into the habit of going straight on his X-Box as soon as he gets home. I want him to start to do some homework just for half an hour after he's eaten and drunk something. Because it is so much harder to get him off the X Box once on it. All I want him to do is make a start on his homework and not leave it all piling up. He sort of gets this but is finding it hard, I want to give him some tough love!

He says that I am being SO UNFAIR and that ALL HIS FRIENDS ARE ON BLAH BLAH BLAH.

I've banned all the shoot em up games to the weekend only.

He does sport and Scouts three evenings a week, so is active.

What do you do in your house with a boy who loves to game after school?

OP posts:
StaticSockMonster · 16/09/2013 16:59

Watching with interest.
I have one of these only it's a PC rather than Xbox.
Mine appears to think that having a tantrum and an argument before hand is actually part of his homework Hmm

I am currently a different approach of playing on PC until tea, eating and then some work followed by reading before snuggling down.

MillyMoo1113 · 16/09/2013 18:24

I have a similar approach to sock monster tho it has just been declared unfair by ds.

he is 11 and gets home from secondary up to two hours before I get in from work. He goes on x box/ laptop til tea, we eat together then homework and he can go back to laptop or what ever if time til 8 o'clock then shower, sort bag out and read til 9.
However tonight's homework was only to practise the French alphabet and he argued longer over doing it when supposed to than we actually spent practising it.....

soontobeslendergirl · 16/09/2013 19:02

Yes, we do similar (2 boys who love PC or PS3 age 12 and 13).

We get home from school about 10 to 4, they get changed and then they have free time until dinner - usually about 5/5.30. then after dinner, any homework issued that day needs to be done regardless of when it is due. Then they have free time again until their activity needs to be gotten ready for/gone to or if nothing is on that night, then they have to go out for a bit of fresh air and exercise before going back on screen. All screens off by 8.30 if they are at home and then supper and ready for bed - lay out clothes for next day, reading and lights out about 10ish. Sometimes this is later as they don't get home from Scouts and Swimming until about quarter to 10.

Once you get into the routine of it, it makes life less painful. Also when they are putting their homework away they sort out their bag ready for the next day.

Lottie4 · 17/09/2013 11:11

My daughter started Year 7 last year and I found it so frustrating that she didn't start her homework until about 5 mins before tea was ready. She would mess about, play games on her ipod & DS and phone one or two friends. I'd then make it clear she'd had some switch off time and homework needed to be done, but she would then insist on a drink & snack (which she didn't want when offered on her return earlier) and say she was having her shower. Although, I would still prefer she did some before teatime, she seems to like this routine and it means she has a clear 2/3 hours if needed to do her homework before bedtime. In all fairness to her when she gets down to it, she will work until 9pm (I insist she stops working then) and still manages to switch off and go to sleep.

It may be your son needs some chill out before he starts again. Try not to make it a battle ground - it might be worth talking to him, saying you realize he wants to have a bit of fun and to relax, but obviously needs to allow 60/90 mins or whatever for homework. Perhaps on days when he has no other arrangements, he can have his screen time as long as he does homework later. Obviously when he has something else on, he needs to reduce screen time to allow time for some homework.

NoComet · 17/09/2013 11:27

My DDs(12&15) have a long bus ride, they like to chill when they get in.
DH doesn't get in until 7 and we often eat together, so at some point I will mutter HW.

It's totally up to them if they go and do it, I've never checked planners. I don't actually like HW, I think 7.30-4.30 is a long enough day.

I'm perfectly happy for them to do as much or as little as they like as long as they keep out of trouble and get good grades.

I'm lucky they are mostly a good deal more conscientious than me.

However, you have reminded me DD2 mentioned a science model that I must nag her about, She needs to raid DH's workshop.

lljkk · 17/09/2013 11:32

only allowed after school, not allowed on weekends (his preference). Homework is a whole 'nother battle; I'm failing on that front so offer no advice.

curlew · 17/09/2013 11:40

Does he play online? If so I do think you have to negotiate a bit. My year 8 isn't allowed shootemups, but he does play Fifa online, and obviously has to play when his friends are playing. I negotiate when game time is on a daily basis, based on how much homework he has to do. I don't think blanket rules work at this age.

soontobeslendergirl · 17/09/2013 12:00

I agree with curlew to a point as well. If they are playing on-line with friends then I do give a bit of leeway, but to be honest they don't get that much homework and No1 son has got into habit (where possible) of doing his at the end of class if he has finished his other work therefore rarely having any to do at home. No2 son hasn't clicked this yet and is actually ending up with more to do as he is getting home things he hasn't finished in class. However, he is the only person from his primary at the school so part of me is happy that he is getting on well with the other kids and so I have cut him a bit of slack....I'll start winding that in after October/Christmas :)

The reason we specify that it's to be done after dinner is that they are already at the table and away from their screen games so it doesn't require the same ripping away. That also gives them free time when they come home - they can do what they like then, so theoretically, they can do their homework then if they want and save themselves from doing it again.

foolonthehill · 17/09/2013 14:36

I also let them play after school (although have 4 DC so they have to take turns on the PC 35 mins each!), have earlyish tea then focussed HW/music practice etc.
I wouldn't be able to get down to my tax return straight after work, I think some down time is good for them too.

sicily1921 · 17/09/2013 19:41

Hi, I feel for you, my DS is in year 10 now so just starting GCSE and has never done homework willingly and likes to either play on WII or kick ball outside after school.

If poss, I would give him some 'wind down' time from his school lessons, I really think it does the brain good to have a break from it and 'recharge', so let him have a mess about. Just make sure there is a clear agenda, state a specific time he stops or set a timing device even!
Good luck, I curse the day any form of electronic game console was invented!

lisylisylou · 20/09/2013 19:10

Your kids all sound a lot older than mine but I get mine up earlier and get them to do homework in the morning after they've finished getting ready for school. Just means they're upto date and they can veg out at night. Not sure though if it works for secondary school kids! Have that battle to come in the future!!!!

NoComet · 20/09/2013 19:14

DD2 would occasionally do HW in the morning of Y7 and did a lot in Y6, because she left an hour after her sister.

Teen stay up at night and lie in in the morning is beginning to kick in in Y8

123Jump · 25/09/2013 05:15

We don't allow electricals during the week. After school on a Friday and for an hour or so on sat/sun.
They don't even look for them anymore. They usually do their homework when they get in after a snack, as I like it out of the way. They are still in primary though, P 4 & 5.

clearsommespace · 25/09/2013 06:11

DS has just started secondary and he's not allowed screen (other than the news which we watch as a family after dinner) on school nights. There just isnt time. We're in France and they have long days and lots of homework plus they have both chosen to do muscial instruments.

(Actually there would be time for just DS to play for 30 mins but then DD would want to and they don't like the same games and we don't have an hour of free time). DS finishes at 2pm on Fridays so he gets to play then.

But I agree you need wind down time before homework. Kids usually get in at 5 and start homework about 5.45.

As to it being difficult to turn off the console, things have been much better since DH told me that I was unlikely to damage the console by pulling out the plug. I thought they were like computers and that you could do serious damage. I did it a couple of times when it didn't get turned off when I asked and now they are much better at turning it off Grin. I always give a warning so they can finish the bit they're on and save and if they start playing in the 30 mins before a deadline eg when a meal is coming up I warn them not to do the sorts of games where it takes forever to come to a suitable saving point.

clearsommespace · 25/09/2013 06:15

OP, it sounds like you do have time to fit in some gaming after school. In which case, could you get your DS to come up with a timetable/plan for the evenings?

clearsommespace · 25/09/2013 07:16

What I mean is hand it over to him to organise his time. If he isn't leaving enough time for his homework, he can rework the schedule.

I personally couldn't relax until my work was done but DH as a student would be more productive leaving it until later. If your DS is one of those kinds of people, he needs to learn the difference between doing it later and leaving it too late. You might have to let him let it pile and realise that's it's too much to manage a couple of times as a learning experience.

dobedobedo · 26/09/2013 11:55

I'm the same as 123jump - No computers or games at all during the week, and I limit it at weekends. My ds is a different child when he's allowed free reign on computers - he's a moody, grumpy, emotional nightmare! I have a much more pleasant child without them.

OvertiredandConfused · 03/10/2013 15:47

My DS is 10 and we've activated the family timer on his xbox He's limited to 2 hours a night, which I still think is too long, but it at least allows enough time for food and homework and he can also talk to his friends on xbox for a while.

If you did this, he could perhaps ave some control over what he does when.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.