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How much time is too much on the computer for a six year old?

My sister's son gets up in the morning and plays computer games ( not educational ones either ) every day, whether its a school day or not. The second he gets home from school he either plugs right back in to the computer or plays nintendo or wii until dinner, eats, then goes right back on until bedtime. The only time he isn't playing games is when he has been bad and they have been taken away. Weekends he doesn't even stop to eat, he plays while eating. My sister supports him doing this, does his homework for him, and brings him his meals whenever he wants them. She has two other kids that she spends just as little time with. He is doing TERRIBLE in school. My sister blames her recent divorce and her ex husband for how he is doing in school, even though they were separated for two years before the divorce and he only sees his dad once a week. And when he goes over there, he plays computer games with his dad all day. The computer was busted last week because the six year old installed a game that was too big for the computer, and it was like the end of the world to him. He sat on the couch all day with a huge frown, refused to do anything, and was nasty to everyone he saw. The only reason he wasn't playing nintendo or wii was because he broke them the week before by stomping on them. This kid has no manners, is rude, and is a bully to every kid that is smaller than him. His attitude is horrible, and I won't allow my kids to be near him. You can't have a conversation around the kid because as soon as he sees company he starts talking very loud, butts in on what you are saying, and is just generally the most annoying, pain in the ass kid I've ever seen. So how much is too much? I know he plays too much, but its such a great way for his mom to get rid of him ( she's actually said this to me) that she won't limit his time. Do you think the games are contributing to his attitude? Or could it just be the "parenting" style of my sister that makes him such a pain?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:11 AM on Mar. 18, 2011 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • My 6yr old is never on the comp and only on game consoles during the weekend. He also has other activities such as golf lessons that keep him active.

    Answer by Orionsgirl at 11:16 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • My children have limited time on the computer when they aren't using it for school work. Otherwise, they are outside.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 11:18 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • I think that parenting is what needs to be done. My DD isn't allowed to play but 15 min a week and she is 2 1/2. She plays WII with us. As she gets older and can play without us it will be limited and HAVE to be earned. I think 30-60 min a day is sufficient as well as that same limit for t.v.
    I have a friends who have 3 children. They aren't allowed to watch t.v. during the week unless they are watching with Mom and Dad and they are limited on computer use well--only homework during the week and weekends they have 60 min of play time each--each day. I think your sister needs to step up to the plate and actually parent and discipline her kid and maybe spending more time with them will make them feel more loved and want to behave better.

    Answer by coala at 11:18 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • i think his issues are deeper than the computer. she needs to be the adult in this situation and set up rules for him, or his unruly-ness is going to get worse. the divorce i'm sure was rough on everyone. maybe she's depressed and doesn't know how to handle it now, so she lets the kids do whatever they want because she can't deal with anything else? she definitely should not do his homework for him, and he should eat at the table. my 4 year old spends a total of half an hour to an hour on the computer everyday, playing educational games, but i would never allow her to eat at the computer desk.

    Answer by tnm786 at 11:22 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • What a mess and poor parenting!! She is being lazy and letting the computer entertain him. Our son gets about an hour a day of screen time, wii, tv, computer. Weekends it is more, no set amount of time but it is monitored and we decide once we know how our day is going. Our son is 7.

    Answer by choco_mom at 12:19 PM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Our rule is one hour of screen time (TV and/or computer) on school nights; two hours on non-school days.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:20 PM on Mar. 18, 2011