15 answers

How Much Video Games Should a Child Be About to Play?

Dear moms,

How much video games, like the X-Box, that my son should play, always seems to be a sore point of contention between my son and me and my husband and me. My son loves to play, my husband is pretty lenient with him and I basically cannot stand it. I feel that playing games may have possible side effects in the long run. For example, when beating the game consumes you, then it is hard to develop the zeal to want to excell in other activities that require patience and hard work. I even worry sometimes that when he grows up and has a job, he may get bored too easily. That's because these games seem to wire the player with constant quick action.

During the summers, my son was playing for almost 4 hours a day. During school days, we have negotiated to 4 hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I still think this is too much. However, if we are going to be busy on the weekend, he makes sure to make up his lost playing time on the weekdays.

I was wondering what limits other parents set and how they deal with this. Also, are my worries real or imaginary? Thanks in advance to those who reply.

1 mom found this helpful

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More Answers

My boys get to do those things AFTER everything else is done. That stuff includes chores, homework, bath, supper, and anything else I choose to add to the list. I never have too many times where I have to monitor the time they spend on it because there is never much time after all those other things are finished. I would suggest limiting it to 1 hour a day, after everything else is finished, and then offering MANY more other things that he might be interested in too so that he may actually choose to do those things instead of gaming all the time.

1 mom found this helpful

The advice given to me by my sons therapists was to never allow more screen time a day than 1 hour. The brain has many skills to develop, and time is required for them to develop it. He needs to have other interests that are not led by a game, but one he can create and do. J

1 mom found this helpful

Four hours is too long, what your child needs is ano5her outlet - helping someone that is less fortunate (an elderly neighbor) for free, not charging. Cutting grass, washing windows. For doing stuff like that, negotate (?) for him to play video games.

1 mom found this helpful

4 hours a week would be a lot better than 16 hrs a week!! My daughter is 9 and has the nintendo DS and just got an Ipod. We also have a PS3 and a Wii. Plus you toss the TV watching in there and you can have a child that is plugged in 24/7 if you let them!! My daughter is limited to about 1hr a day if that and maybe a few extra hours on the weekends depending on what is going on. But you've got your son playing 16 hrs on the weekends!! That is way to much for even an adult to be playing at any given time. Tell you hubby, it's time for your family to get unplugged from the video games!!

S.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow, 4 hours seems quite a bit to me, especially if he gets TV and computer time on top of it. I'd also be concerned that the xbox is so important to him he is making up lost playing time. If it were my house it would probably "disappear" for a few months and then come back with a new, much more limited amount of playing time. Children need to spend most of their time up doing something, playing sports or something. Check out www.atlasquest.com maybe you can get him interested in letterboxing which involves hiking. Good luck with this one. I know it is hard to come between a boy and his games!

1 mom found this helpful

My boys are 10 and 11yo (well, my two oldest boys). Anyway, they have a Wii and of course the computer. I would definitely set that time in half. What I used to do was allow 1 and a half hours a day, but now I allow 2 hours, but that is only after their chores are done. They do their own laundry, mop, vaccum, clean bathroom, etc., etc. You get the point. But still because I do limit their computer time, they don't always use that 2 hours. They'd rather play with friends, etc. I remember long ago when they just played whenever they wanted to...they were couch potatoes and the games became more addicting because they spent too much time with it. That will happen.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow 4 hours a day! Yes it is excessive. Think about any other activity ...if you devoted 4 hours a day.
Is it possible to get him interested in sports at this point?
There are many complications that can arise from such excessive use of this...like obesity, diabetes, ADD, learning disabilities etc.
Your concerns are real and you need to trust your motherly intuition.
The person your son will become is directly affected by the stories, thoughts, images he is being exposed to during any given day. He will also have limited relational ability.
What kind of person does he/you want him to be? What kind of spouse would he like to meet and marry in the future?
His childhood is a preparation for his life.
Continue to seek good perhaps professional counsel in this area if it remains a problem as well as advice from older parents of college age children.
Limiting his hours will not be easy but you are the parent and in the long run the sacrifice will be well worth it!

my stepson (13 yr.) is allowed to play as much as he wants. during the summer it was not unusual for him to wake up at 11am and play until 2am the following morning. now as the stepmom what can I do if his dad allows it? during school he is a star athlete and an "A" student.

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