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No More Gaming = The Silent Treatment

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Question: Do You Think Playing Video Games Affects Adolescent Behavior?




Only if its Obsessive

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Total Votes: 37

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So last week I discovered my normally brainy son, who is still coping with the transition to middle school, failed to turn in three final projects. In December, he got a statewide academic achievement award and was on the honor roll. Suddenly, he's playing video games in class on the class computers and complaining about turning in assignments.

I was incensed! So out with the video games. Every single last one; the systems, too. The Wii in his bedroom? Gone. The XBox downstairs? Gone. The Nintendo 3DS, and the old gameboy. Gone. The gaming app and YouTube access on that brand new iPhone for Xmas, the one without Internet access? Gone. The Minecraft account? Gone. The new twitter account? Deleted? It's been a week and this boy, who swears he has no friends and was so completely absorbed and enthralled by gaming, is now sullen, withdrawn, and mired in depression. This is the most drastic punishment I've given him. (He gets the games back in June). 

I guess, I'm going crazy because he won't talk to me or smile or ... well behave the way he used to. I am not giving him the games back though. I want my only child to form real friendships, with real people, something he has trouble doing - I think - because he was so immersed in gaming - he wouldn't really talk about anything else. He also is painfully, shy. I also don't want him to grow up into a person who sits on his rear and plays games all day rather than living his life. I'm hoping he gets over this. Soon. 

I'd like some input. He's only been 13 for a few weeks and if this is what the next five years is like, I'm going to go crazy.


by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 6:00 PM
Replies (11-20):
by Barbara on Feb. 5, 2013 at 11:49 AM

I agree with taking away the games. We've done that to my 13 year old son too. But we don't take it away for ever. If he's caught up in school, we just limit the amount of games he can play on school nights, and he can only play video games after homework is done. My son does play sports during the school year, and so between practice and games and homework, there are many nights that he doesn't have time to get to gaming anyhow right now--like last night and probably tonight and tomorrow night. After a busy week, I don't have an issue if he plays an hour of games on Thursday night after doing homework since that might be his little bit of downtime all this work/school week. He knows if he gets behind in school that he loses the privilege to play games.

Personally, I think by giving him no way to "earn" the gaming back and not making sure he has other interests to fill his time, I think you're taking it a little far.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:07 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't know if I would have taken everything away - I would have limited them.  You may have taken away his outlet.  Both of my sons are gamers, but they are also very active in other things - sports, band, key club, etc.

Maybe try to get him involved in other activites at school?  Ask his guidance counselor to talk with him?

by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Look into a Robotics program in your area.  My daughter absolutely loves it and it's full of socially awkward teenage boys that have developed good bonds through the building of robots.

Her's a link to the National Site:

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Nope to be honest I rather have them play video games then running the street

by Gold Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:04 PM

if a child goes through such a drastic change: honor roll to not caring enough to turn in a project, honor roll to playing games IN class, and then to not talking, smiling, and "mired in depression".... there is more going on.

I dont disagree with your punishment, we once punished our son for an entire term, but it seems there could be more to his problem than just not turning in a couple of assignments.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I think a punishment for 6mo's is WAY over the top.  A month tops would be appropriate.

by Barbara on Feb. 5, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Quoting fullxbusymom:

I think a punishment for 6mo's is WAY over the top.  A month tops would be appropriate.

I agree.

by Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:16 PM

I agree that taking them away is a good thing, but taking them away until the end of the school year is excessive.  How about limiting the gaming to just weekends?  I am also concerned that he was able to play games on the school computers.  Are the teachers not monitoring the students?  My sons (ages 16 and 10) both play video games (age appropriate for our 10-year-old), but they both get excellent grades and home work comes first.  They are both involved in extra-curricular activites and sports and have friends over frequently.  I too would be concerned if either one of them only had "online" friends to game with.  Is there any activity he has been interested in before video games took over?  Any friends he used to hang out with?  Maybe he can re-connect with a buddy or activity.  I hope he smiles at you again soon, but stand your ground with homework and school.

by New Member on Feb. 8, 2013 at 3:03 PM
Hi I know the feeling my son has the same consequences if his grades slip. He is going to be 13 in march. He has always been into video games, computer etc. It hurts me to have to resort to this kind of punishment when I know that's all he enjoys. He has friends at school but mostly he hangs at home in his room gaming xbox live is his favorite way to talk to other kids. I would say he is alittle obsessed with it all. I don't get the silent treatment persay , but attitude does change. We came to an understanding that now he is to keep his grades up and I won't bother him about his gaming. But if he slips up the games are gone until next reportcard. We only had to do it once over this past holiday for 6 weeks. It was torture for him and me. Hope I never have to do it again. Good luck.
by on Feb. 9, 2013 at 1:04 PM

When it happened with my son (now 15) I took his games and told him to improve his grades and he could have them back. His report card improved and all homework was turned in and he got them back. I set a time limit on his xbox and things are ok now

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