February 27, 2007,
G.J. asks from Orange, CA on February 21, 2007
Should I 86 My 12 Year Old Son's X-box 360 - Orange,CA
My son got an X-Box 360 for Christmas and joined the gaming community that came with the unit, so he can play with other players on line. He wears the headset and hosts games and plays on teams. I've noticed when he plays it his language gets pretty foul. His attitude changes a little and he has received homework notices since he received this gift last Christmas. My question is how much time should he be allotted per day for gaming? Should he be gaming at all? For the most part my son is an awesome 12 year old. He does enjoy skateboarding too and does play outside as much as he's online. I'd say his time is well divided after school between outdoor activities, XBox, and Studies. But is this still too much time for him to be playing online?
E.W. answers from San Francisco on February 22, 2007
I have two sons that are 11 and 12. I limit their gaming to 1 hour on weekdays and 3 on weekends if we are home for most of the day. However, I take away the controllers and do not give them back until they have done all their homework, chores and whatever else. I make sure they realize it is a privilage and other things in life, such as school and familiy are priority.
K.K. answers from Jacksonville on February 22, 2007
My step-sons is the same way. When he got his xbox his grades bean to slip. The only difference is that he didn't play outside. I took the opportunity away from him to play as much as he wanted to keep his grades from slipping. He was only allowed 1 hour a day on it and when he started doing better in school and could keep his temper down while playing he was allowed another hour.
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S.R. answers from Los Angeles on February 26, 2007
I have read the advice you have received and it all sounds like wonderful advice. Here is what I do with my 11 year old and his XBox. NO online gaming at all. Unless you can monitor it G. at 100% it is just too risky. They are still little guys! An 11 or 12 year old should not be hearing of saying the foul language. 30 minutes of technology (xbox, computer games, gameboy, etc.) per day only after homework and reading is done. Of course this doesnt include using the internet to research for school reasons. On weekends I allow him to play 2 hours a day. This may seem like alot but it is a time I can get some stuff done around the house and then after his 2 hours we go do outside stuff. Of course there is always the if your grades slip.... then no technology. I actually implemented this rule within the last 3 months because gaming was getting out of hand. At first he wasn't thrilled. Now he is used to it and I find us doing more things together such as playing chess or checkers, he even has learned how to sew! He even interacts with his yournger siblings more.
I hope my "2 cents" has helped a little. Remember, boys are AWSOME! I have 3 of them and they are such good hearted individuals but they still need a little "butt kickin" (just a saying of course) every once in a while. A little boy loves his mommy in such a special way. Nothing is sweeter than seeing a grown man give his Mom a hug and kiss and telling her he loves her. So even though he is 12- sill give him lots of lovin!
J.L. answers from San Diego on February 22, 2007
We had similar issues with my 10 year old, slipping in school when allowed to much freedom with video games, friends etc.
We also have to sign off on all assignments each night to be sure nothing is missed, and there are no "given" priveledges on school nights. We have made it clear that t.v., video games, computer, and friends are weekend activities to be enjoyed after a complete week at school with no missed assignments. Now we do still allow some fun on school nights once his work is done, but we parents decide when and what he is allowed to do based on attitude and such, that way he does'nt feel entitled to play games or whatever, but is instead rewarded with it by responsible behavior.
It is easier to let him know that he has no "rights" to an activity, and then give it to him as reward, rather than to take the activity away due to bad behavior or unfinished work, which can cause anger and resentment on his part and therefore a bad attitude. He should earn his video games, and if he is playing online, ofcourse you have to monitor that like crazy because there all all sorts of negative influences out there.
For the time being I would not allow him to use the xbox until he has a complete week at school, than he may have it back with some new rules attached.
Allowing our kids to earn thier favorite things is really rewarding for both parent and child. Good Luck !!!
A.D. answers from Los Angeles on February 22, 2007
My son is 11, and he loves his game systems as well as playing online. I however, don't allow him to play until his homework is done and checked. If his grades slip, he knows the first thing to go is his gaming time. Which means no games until his grades come up. He often has changes in his attitude due to the games, but when this happens I turn his game off and he takes a break. I figure if he's getting that upset over a game, he doesn't need to be playing it! I hope this helps you in some way.
L.C. answers from Los Angeles on February 22, 2007
I personally think that the in home game systems are right up there with TV. If you can't get your things done then you going get to use them. If you can't get your attitude in check then you don't get to have them.
My son does not get to have his in his room. This way I can keep and eye on what he is doing. I got with my son's teacher and told her that I have to sign all homework so that he can't hide anything.
So far this has worked. And because he has all these other things that have to be done first, it only gives him about 20 minutes to play at night.
Teach him how to use it. They are fun but they are not life.
Hope this helps and good luck
S.C. answers from San Francisco on February 27, 2007
The XBox communities have a lot of older people playing and they usually dont take well to a 12 year old joining it. They prefer older gamers. So as a reaction he may be using foul language to keep up with the elders. My husband plays xbox actually and I asked him if our daughter were old enough would he ever allow her to play. He said he would never let her play anything not age appropriate. Including Mature games nor would he want he apart of the community that much. Its always what you feel is best but the time spent gaming online isnt the best thing. Limitations are best.
S.L. answers from Los Angeles on February 25, 2007
Hello G.! I must say that XBox live is NOT FOR KIDS... my son is 14 years old and I do not allow him to utulize that service. My husband plays games on it, so i have heard the language, inferences, and just garbage people speak. Consider that option.
Also, my son is ONLY allowed to play his vid/computer games Friday after school to Sunday afternoon... NO WEEKDAY PLAY - Period..... I would always hear every excuse in the book of why he can't wrap it up, he would not listen to me, homework, chores, etc.
I am one of the only moms I know who has this policy..but I can say that my son just received his report card and is a 3.29... DURING THE WEEK...READ READ READ..PUZZLES, BRAIN TEASERS..ETC.. !!!!