Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gaming and Netflix and Bears, Oh My!

Have any of you dealt with computer-game overuse/addiction? I have an 11 year-old son (my oldest) who only wants to play computer games. We have rules and limits, but he busts those limits and can't self-monitor his time. He's brilliant at LEGO and Bionicle designs, but when video games are an option, he'll drop them. We have him in boy scouts and horseback riding to help him expand his interests. We spend time together as a family, especially Mondays. Anyway, we are taking away video games for a month for all of us. It's not as a punishment but as an un-plugging type of thing. I'm worried for him. We'll ease back in with active games like Wii. He'll have to earn it, though, by showing us he can be reliable for self-care, chores, responsibilities, and having other interests.

I've never been a mom of an 11 year old before. I feel like I'm doing the right thing -- there's always that doubt, though. I daydream about getting rid of video games forever. Bad mom? Unrealistic?

We've also suspended Netflix (aka Crackflix) on Danny's and my behalf. I used to hardly watch television, but Netflix makes it too easy. It's like getting a Krispy Kreme doughnut with a click of a button at a moment of weakness. We watch at the end of the day after getting the kids to bed. Ahhh. Peace. Quiet. *click* Then it's 1 a.m. Then I'm practically useless the next day.

Awareness. Change.


  1. I applaud you for taking action now. My boys both played way too much video and computer games. Our deal was that they would not have limits if they kept their grades up. Wish we'd done it some other way. Now they are old enough that the games are a social thing - there were about 10 teen boys in our basement last night playing.

  2. I think this is a so common since it is the things these days & has been for a while... 5 years olds are better on the computer than me! :-)

    I have grandkids that love the games & the parents have to limit the time & like you, put them in other activities.

    As for TV, we record a lot of stuff & watch it as we can but I don't stay up like you! ;-)

  3. We greatly monitor the television and Wii time here. We only watch television on Friday nights and the kids play Wii for one hour, twice a week. It can easily get out of control can't it?

  4. You are absolutely doing the right thing. Don't feel bad and don't second-guess yourself. You're the mom - you will ALWAYS know better! ;)

  5. I agree with your plan of action. We have limits on video games and movie watching. Not having a t.v. it's not as tempting, but we do allow movies once in a while to be watched via portable dvd player and monitor or computer.

    You are a good mom, because you care enough to make these changes. :)

  6. I like the idea of his earning the right to play video games by doing chores. Seems like the right way to handle it. (Yeah, like I know anything about it.)