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How to get rid of tv and video games

My 9 year old seems seriously addicted to video games. It's all he talks about or thinks about. I've noticed what an effect it has on him and have allowed him an hour of play/per day for about two years now. It's getting harder and harder though. He's constantly asking if he was "good", when he can play his hour, and always searching for his games so he knows where they are. I'm fed up and ready to take them away completely. When I try to explain to him how bad they are for him and how I think it's best he doesn't play at all, he gets really upset and says he should live with another family because I don't love him and I want to take away his favorite thing :/
Other issue is that my husband plays and he won't allow me to take away his Xbox. He has agreed to hide it and only take it out when he wants to play. He only plays after the kids are in bed, so I guess that's fine.
Is there any easy way to take them away? Has anyone else had to do this? I'm going to try to get him involved in outside activities more too. So he's more occupied


Asked by CJM_SHM at 3:05 PM on Jun. 29, 2013 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 15 (2,208 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • Also, the more you can shift into seeing his desire as ultimately representing something good (rather than being "a problem"), even as you wish for it to change or to be more balanced, the better, because this will help it not be a struggle (with the focus on external control/force, you forbidding or rationing it, him focused on getting as much as he can, essentially struggling against your controls.) His desire to play is ultimately a wish for fun, which is a valid need (and video games are his strategy for meeting that need.) If, instead of responding immediately on the level of WHAT he's wanting/requesting and WHAT he's enthusing about (fixating on), you can respond positively to the underlying goal (to have fun) and need (for fun, challenge, a sense of mastery, etc.), it will help overall.
    I can remember shifting to a place where I "heard" my 2yo twins' incessant requests for a show as their wish to have FUN.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:38 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • so...why are you so adamant against your son playing video games? are they violent games? is he gaining weight? or do you just not like them (as your posts suggests seeing how you feel about your adult husband playing them)?

    when you take away or severely limit something a child loves, they will only love it more and view you as the bad guy. maybe try pinning down exactly what it is about the video games that worries you...not the games or the system itself. video games are not evil, loving gaming is not bad. so long as he isnt sitting in front of it, mindless, for hours on end everyday, i dont see what the problem is. you put a reasonable time limit on it, but as a kid he's going to try to get more (like kids do with anything they like).

    Answer by okmanders at 3:17 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • i regards to the kid- you just do it.
    although the fact that he talks about it so much makes me wonder if he has other "addictions". Does he hyper focus on anything else?

    and games arent necessarily bad. some of them actually have been shown to increase cognitive skills because of the coordination of the hand controls and memorization of maps etc.


    Answer by feralxat at 3:15 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • Is he involved with any sports? Groups? Hobbies? If you already have it limited to an hour a day, I think you're doing pretty good. For boys this age, (& older) they are very popular. Have you seen the graphics? They've come a long way since Pong, that's for sure. As long as it's not effecting his school-work / grades & he gets face time & physical activity w/ his friends, I see no reason to completely take them away.


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 3:20 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • I don't think an hour a day is bad, if he whines when it is time to get off, then he doesn't get to play the next day. He will catch on soon enough, get him some good books to read, send him outside on his bike, have friends for play dates.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 3:25 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • No advice for you. My gamer gets straight A's in school and knows she must do homework first. Everything in moderation. He'll just end up playing with dad when the X-box comes out. I just can't get behind paying for the games and the system and not allowing him to utilize them. If you must you can sell used games and systems at GameStop. You'll get a little money back that way.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 3:55 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • For the record I agree gaming should be limited to an extent, but cannot back you in wanting to get rid of them completely. I forsee major rebelling in your future.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 3:57 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • I would inform the son that games are a perk/want. Not a need. food, certain cloths, a bed is a need. So if he gets to play the game only 1 hour a day. He should be happy. Because it can go away permantly. Keep on reminding him of that. If he gets moody about it. Just say well it is goes for a day then. He keeps freaking out 2 days gone.

    Answer by louise2 at 5:38 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • It sounds like you are noticing the moodiness WITH the playing he's doing, not that it's so much that he's moody about not getting to play enough, but that you think his relationship to playing video games affects him negatively. Is that it?
    Reading your post, it sounded like what's bothering you is his fixation on it (on when his hour will start, on asking if he "was good"--presumably so he can have his hour of playing?--and that he's thinking about it so much & seemingly to the exclusion of other things.)
    I can understand feeling uncomfortable with a child's relationship TO something like video games. I have experienced that regarding TV when my youngest two first were exposed to it.
    The feelings make sense. My goal is to try to respond to my discomfort & reservations in a constructive way. Instead of trying to regulate things through external control, I try to keep in mind the underlying causes driving it & address THOSE.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:18 PM on Jun. 29, 2013

  • link



    the above are a few sites supporting the info provided in my first response


    Answer by feralxat at 3:18 PM on Jun. 29, 2013