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video gaming limits??

Posted by on Sep. 22, 2013 at 7:46 AM
  • 21 Replies

just taking a poll. I am a step mom of a 14 yr old boy. He gets great grades in school, excels in Tae Kwon Do, is polite most of the time, and is learning how to cook basic things with his dad. He lives with us full time, so I can always see what he does in his spare time. He has 1 hour of tae kwon do every day except thurs eve. He spends all his free time at home in front of his computer screen playing interactive, mostly violent video games with other boys online that he may or may not even have met.  He sits there from 6:30 pm till he goes to bed at 10:30 every week day. On weekends, except for an hour each day of  tae kwon do, he is back online...even longer spans of time because there is no school, and can easily be sitting for14 hours straight each day. I  am his step mom, and our relationship is strained, to say the least. It's tough when you meet a child at age 9 right when he has been  moved to a different state than his mom and grandparents( who were in favor of the move-in with dad for the childs sake). I get alot of the fall-out, and my attitude about that was sympathetic in the beginning, but has changed over time to not having much of a relationship at all. We co exist, but with some tesnion and difficulty.  He never comes out of his room, for one thing. His dad will ask him to come with us and do somethig he might like, but his answer is usually "no", and forcing him is worse in the end. When he does come, he will only speak to is dad about things, I try to chime in but he does not recognize it for long. So building a relationship isn't easy, esp at this age. His dad thinks that the video gaming is ok, since his grades are fine, and says it's what boys do. I think , and his dad and I have talked about it, that he needs to make friends and get off that chair! We, as a step family,  might even have a chance at having a decent relationship if we do things as a group, too. I know our relationsip is strained and that he may not want to be around me, that coupled with the fact that he is now a teenager, makes this situation tough. He and his dad have shared a bond over the years, and dad is very involved in the tae kwon do thing, so they are fine. I do go to watch on occasion and do make it a point to go to all the big tournaments, and give him positive feedback there. But i think that his time spent gaming is getting in the way of socializing with us and friends. my SO says that's just how boys are. I do not agree. Sometimes I get angry and frustrated about this and it shows in my attitude. I also see my SO running back to the computer instead of doing his chores, which are not many, and when he does do them, they are not done correctly or thoroughy, I think, because of his gaming fixation.  If I call him on it, he clams up and re does it, but it does not help our relationship. His dad rarely calls him on these issues, but when he does, there are no consequences given,  and so I look like the bad guy. If these chores did not affect the entire family, I would not say much. But they do...Taking out the trash, picking up the mail...cleaning up after himself in the shared space ( we all share a bathroom, need I say more??) this affects all of us, so i do intervene, but nothing sticks.  His dad  recently said that he will charge his son 5 dollars( he gets money from family members) when he forgets to take in the mail. yay, dad!! lets see how that goes... so, back to my original questionsof  which the issue causes lots of ramificatons...how long should he be allowed to play these games, given our situaton?? by the way this has been going on since I moved here..3 years!

by on Sep. 22, 2013 at 7:46 AM
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by Platinum Member on Sep. 22, 2013 at 8:26 AM
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I think you need to let go.  Yes, this is how boys are. DS114 would spend every free waking moment on his computer and xbox if we allowed it. We do set limits during the school year he gets one hour of gaming a day on school days, but honestly we are usually so busy he doesn't even use it. However, this only works because one we are both the parents in our home and two we are on the same page about it.

It does not sound like your dh nor your ss sees you as a parenting figure for the kid. I would continue to talk to your dh about your concerns, but stop trying to force a relationship with this kid. Pushing will only make it worse. He is at an age where even parental relationships that have been there his whole life can become difficult trying to push yourself and your idea of whats correct, etc will only backfire.

by Platinum Member on Sep. 22, 2013 at 8:51 AM

It sounds like he's doing fairly well.  I think your DH is right.  I met some of my closest friends through my online games.  Plus that's where I met DH.  Just quit asking for things that your DH won't enforce.

by on Sep. 22, 2013 at 8:53 AM
1 mom liked this

It doesnt' seem that you accept your SS for who he is, but want  him to be someone different, someone who fits your expectations. This may be why he doesnt' like you and doesnt' want to be around you.

by Gold Member on Sep. 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM
I have so much to say on this topic, but I'm mobile. I'll just start by saying ...

He's a fourteenth year old boy. I think if your goal is to have a better relationship with him, you should stop trying to limit his time with his hobby. Instead of taking him out of his comfort zone and making him do something with you, how about reaching out to him. Ask him about his game. Ask to play it with him. Get a console and some games that the whole family can play together.
by Ruby Member on Sep. 22, 2013 at 2:06 PM
1 mom liked this

My ss7 is the same way-if DH allowed him-ss would be on there from the minute he woke until whenever he finally crashed.

Sorry I find it unacceptable and gave my ss time limits on the computer (1h in the morning and 1 at night) but in your house-dad thinks it is acceptable for him to live like that-that's on dad.

let it go.

by on Sep. 22, 2013 at 3:50 PM
1 mom liked this
You are fighting a losing battle with out your dh support. Let it go- your original question what is acceptable video game time? If I noticed my kids playing video games more than an hour a day I would pull them. My dh and I both agree on it though. You will give him reason to resent you if you push the issue. It wouldn't be the hill I chose to die on .
by on Sep. 22, 2013 at 8:41 PM

how can I want someone to be something he is not, when I don't really even know what hi IS about? we do not have much opportunity to talk since he is fixated on his video games, thats the point. so I do not agree with you. I just want to be able to live in peace while we share our living space. part of that involves talking about things and working on a relationship. that opportunity is replaced by a computer screen and gaming. It's sad.

by on Sep. 22, 2013 at 8:47 PM

no way, thanks. his games are violent and I don't want anything to do with them. He talks to people online and plays with them, and he doesn't even know who they are. i am not good at playing video games, and I would only frustrate him. His dad doesn't play either. when we ask him to go places with us, he has choices, we dont' tell him what to do., butr he says no ...he seems addicted to these games, and I won't have any part of them.

by on Sep. 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM

ya know, i think if we can find some games that  arent all about violence, we could enjoy them as a family. I thinkk we will start looking for some. so thank you!

by Bronze Member on Sep. 22, 2013 at 9:32 PM
1 mom liked this

While my son is not going to be allowed such heavy video game use due to specific issues that he has, this is faily common in teen boys.  If he's being successful in his academic career and successful in his chosen extra-curricular activity, then there really isn't any major concern about the video games.  The chore thing is NOT because of the video game fixation, it's because he's a teen boy and his father doesn't enforce better compliance.  (BTW, Dad does need to be the one to enforce this because the child clearly doesn't care much about what you think.  If the chore isn't done, tell Dad to do it.  If Dad gets tired of doing it for the child, he'll get better about enforcing ith with the child.)  

Yes, it would be nice if he participated more with the family, but your DH doesn't really see this as a problem, so it isn't your call.  This kid is pretty much leaving you alone.  You really don't have alot to complain about.  

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