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!