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  1. #1
    sweetsue98 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default How to balance gaming

    My stepson is a few months shy of 16 years old and REALLY into gaming. For Christmas he got a new gaming monitor. I know it's new and he's really excited about it but where do you draw the line on over use?
    For example:
    during the regular school year, he games from 8pm-9:30pm
    during the weekends probably longer and later into the evening (DH and I are usually asleep),
    during the holiday break, 7pm until ???

    Last night was the tipping point for DH, his friend came over around 5:30pm and they started gaming, took 30 break to eat, and back to gaming until ??? DH finally woke them up around 11am this morning and told them to get outside to enjoy the fresh snow.

    My step son works hard during the school year so he has earned free time and deserves it but does free time = endless hours of gaming?

    DH and I are at a loss of what is reasonable to expect from a 15/16 yo. Is this today's youth?

  2. #2
    dogmom is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    What game are they playing matters to me. And no, I don't mean if it's violent or not. Some games area very involved with lots of ways of playing with lots of people. (MMRPG like World of Warcraft). They can be very social. In fact they almost have to be social because you can't possible do the higher level tasks/quests without a group working together. Some of the console games can be that way also. My son plays online with some of his school friends. Also, some games are fairly absorbing and complex and sort of designed for your to loose yourself in for a a few months. (Something like the new Fallout 4). So if my son just got a new game like that, which he did, I would give him a lot of extra time over the break to play.

    Having said that you can/should out limits on. I tend to have convesations that trade off extra video game time for time with physical activity/outside/family time/chores.

    "can I play?" Is met with "Is your laundry done, and yes I mean put away."

    Also, OK, you can play extra today, but what are we going to do tomorrow that doesn't involved a screen.

  3. #3
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    hillview is offline Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
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    I feel like few days after Christmas as likely to be more relaxed. Sleeping til 11 am as a teenager also seems normal. For general rules I'd think free time is after homework and chores are done. I think unless they are fakes you don't approve of ID have a limit and be ok with it. Good luck
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  4. #4
    sweetsue98 is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogmom View Post
    What game are they playing matters to me. And no, I don't mean if it's violent or not. Some games area very involved with lots of ways of playing with lots of people. (MMRPG like World of Warcraft). They can be very social. In fact they almost have to be social because you can't possible do the higher level tasks/quests without a group working together. Some of the console games can be that way also. My son plays online with some of his school friends. Also, some games are fairly absorbing and complex and sort of designed for your to loose yourself in for a a few months. (Something like the new Fallout 4). So if my son just got a new game like that, which he did, I would give him a lot of extra time over the break to play.

    Having said that you can/should out limits on. I tend to have convesations that trade off extra video game time for time with physical activity/outside/family time/chores.

    "can I play?" Is met with "Is your laundry done, and yes I mean put away."

    Also, OK, you can play extra today, but what are we going to do tomorrow that doesn't involved a screen.
    Thank you for the ideas! it's exactly what DH and I are looking for. DSS plays the same type of games where it's very social and involved. Either way, every minute of free time doesn't need to be in front of a computer screen.

  5. #5
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    DS has been playing his new games much more the last couple of days. I let it go, it's winter break and it's a new game. It won't always be this much.

  6. #6
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by niccig View Post
    DS has been playing his new games much more the last couple of days. I let it go, it's winter break and it's a new game. It won't always be this much.
    That's my theory. We have all been sloths. And it's quite nice. Real life can wait. We have gotten out most days though or done things at home all together like board games. But, we ease up on rules over the break. And lots of sleeping in.


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  7. #7
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    Honestly if it is his free time and he has all other chores/expectations/school work requirements met I would let him do what he wants. During the school year I would make sure he is not staying up too late that it would interfere with his being able to fully function at school, however.

  8. #8
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    I have to agree that I'd be lenient over the break. If there's something you want to do as a family, let him know ahead of time that he needs to be up at a certain hour or suspend gaming for a few hours to do an activity. Otherwise, I would think playing for an hour or several hours in the evening during a school break is fine, especially with a new game. I sometimes watch tv at night from 9 or 10pm until 12am. DH joins me when he's done working, and we enjoy shows together. Sometimes I even do that when I haven't finished my "chores," but I just feel like I need to veg out and do nothing. This is his break, and he's not being rude or shirking responsibilities. A week of enjoying a new game during free time would be fine with me.

  9. #9
    mom2binsd is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    I have friends with kids that age, it's not unheard of for those boys to be in their rooms/the basement for 6-7 hours, especially in the summer. My best friends is at her wits end, her almost 16 year old and his friends are complete gamers and they rarely see each other. She makes him come out for meals and to get some fresh air, go outside and he has to have all his chores done. He recently got a job at McD's (so he can buy more expensive computer stuff lol), so he'll have less time online.

    They have a 10 pm curfew on gaming.

  10. #10
    Tondi G is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    My 14 year old gets wrapped up in his computer gaming or Xbox and can play for HOURS! It is sometimes a little annoying but as long as he's doing well in school, it's his free time.

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