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Handheld video games and kids, need advice...

Posted by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM
  • 13 Replies

My son is 3 1/2. Last year we got DD (5) a leapster explorer, DS had a mobigo that he was smart enough to understand but got so frustrated he would throw it and it ulitmately lead to it not working. DD isnt all too interested in her leapster explorer, but will play it on occasion and I dont mind because all the games are educational and teach how to count, read and even write with the stylus! My son is very smart and understands how to play most of the games, the problem is he wants to play the system all the time and when I try to tell him its time to put the game down, he flips out, gets angry and upset and its a battle for me to get him to calm down and forget about the game. If DD is playing the game, he is constantly telling her its his turn, wont leave him alone, yells at her when she isnt doing something he wants her to do on the game. I dont like what he turns in to when he has this game, but he loves it so much and it IS educational. I have tried setting timers, but it usually comes down to me hiding the system from him or the batteries die and I let it take days to charge, or at least I keep telling him the batteries are still charging, just to try to keep him from wanting to play the game. I really dont know what to do. If he could keep it to an hour a day, split up into 2 30 min sessions, I wouldnt mind it, but once he has the game system, he does not want to put it down or turn it off, and its almost always a battle to get it away from him or let his sister play HER game system. Any advice? I know I could just take it away from them altogether, but is that really fair to my daughter who plays it responisibly? Every once in a while she gets the chance to play it alone if DS decides to actually take a nap during the day, but most days lately he refuses to sleep, which leads to an even bigger attitude in the evening. :/ Thanks in advance!

by on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM
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Replies (1-10):
babyspots17
by Bronze Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM
Use a game timer(kitchen timer) they have a set time allowed when timer goes off game goes away. If he throws a fit he loses the privalige the next time. Be strict with it and don't give in to the tantrums.
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calsmom62
by Silver Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 1:04 PM
It's hard but he has to learn that his turn is his turn and her turn is hers.. set a firm time for him, and that its over when its over. Send him to his room if he fusses. And send him to his room when he bothers dd if its over the game. Let her play in a room he can't access if he is truly determined. What about engaging him in a game of chutes and ladders or candyland while she plays or letting him explore nick Jr on the pc. I don't think little kids need a lot of screen time but he might be entertained by it.
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1boy1girlmama
by *Sarcasm Speaks* on Feb. 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Honestly? I would not let my son play it all until he got a little older and could handle it, like a couple years from now. Video game addiction is a real thing if he has that much trouble letting it go now I wouldn't want to see how he is later! I would just put it away for a (long) while. Let your DD play it when he isn't around, when he is napping or put her to bed a few minutes early and let her play it w/out him knowing.  It is educational but there are other things you can do that are educational besides video games. 

My son started hand helds at age 4 and he is now 16 and could sit and play games for hours, he loves them. My daughter is 3.5 and has a leappad she can play it for quite a bit too but after 30 min. or so she moves on. My DS just got his first DS and he is almost 8 and again he won't play them forever, different kids, different personalities. Some can handle it and some cannot. 
 

tairakittie
by Platinum Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 1:11 PM

The reason I made this post is because he got so worked up over me telling him to put the game down for about the tenth time, because it was time to eat breakfast, and this is after I had to threaten over and over to take the game away from him if he didnt eat his breakfast, and he would yell at me everytime not to take it away and sulk in his chair, maybe nibble on his breakfast, then try to pick the game back up again... if I took the game away, he started crying and screaming... its just a never ending cycle once he has the game. Anyway, he got so worked up that he held his breath, put his hands over his eyes and started shaking his head back and forth so he couldnt hear me trying to talk, which leads to me having to raise my voice or physically grab his hands and his response is "WHAT MOMMY? I HAVE TO! I HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME!!!" I hate the way he reacts when he doesnt get his way and im working on that, but it seems tenfold when it comes to this video game system. I guess im mainly trying to figure out a way to help my son not flip out so much and cope or not be obsessed with this game system, because that is exactly what it seems like to me, an obsession. :/

Quoting babyspots17:

Use a game timer(kitchen timer) they have a set time allowed when timer goes off game goes away. If he throws a fit he loses the privalige the next time. Be strict with it and don't give in to the tantrums.


tairakittie
by Platinum Member on Feb. 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

That's what scares me, I know video game addiction is real and he is showing signs of having it. The way he reacts to wanting the game or having to put it down isnt exactly healthy. I try to engage him in other things, but all he ever wants to do is watch tv, play on the computer, play the video game or I can get him outside for a little while, but half the time he ends up running back inside and trying to turn something on before I can stop him. Im constantly telling my kids to play with their toys and they will for a couple mins, but they always want to be entertained, either by us or some kind of electronic... I myself have a problem with wanting to be on the computer a lot, either on CM or FB or just looking around on google. I try really hard to spend lots of time with the kids and not a lot of time online, I usually just pop on for a couple mins at a time between playing with the kids and cleaning, but I see what technology in general has done to my family, and how "normal" it is for it to be everywhere and for a kid to have some kind of handheld electronic attached to their hands. :/ On one hand, its amazing and educational, on the other hand... its a problem, a major problem.

Quoting 1boy1girlmama:

Honestly? I would not let my son play it all until he got a little older and could handle it, like a couple years from now. Video game addiction is a real thing if he has that much trouble letting it go now I wouldn't want to see how he is later! I would just put it away for a (long) while. Let your DD play it when he isn't around, when he is napping or put her to bed a few minutes early and let her play it w/out him knowing.  It is educational but there are other things you can do that are educational besides video games. 

My son started hand helds at age 4 and he is now 16 and could sit and play games for hours, he loves them. My daughter is 3.5 and has a leappad she can play it for quite a bit too but after 30 min. or so she moves on. My DS just got his first DS and he is almost 8 and again he won't play them forever, different kids, different personalities. Some can handle it and some cannot. 
 


1boy1girlmama
by *Sarcasm Speaks* on Feb. 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Oh HELL, that is an intense reaction.  Put it up hon, put it up for a good long LONG time, he is only 3 he doesn't need it anyway. Sounds like he has enough to do toys, tv, computer and the video game is something that could go. Wait until he is more mature and see if that helps. 

Quoting tairakittie:

The reason I made this post is because he got so worked up over me telling him to put the game down for about the tenth time, because it was time to eat breakfast, and this is after I had to threaten over and over to take the game away from him if he didnt eat his breakfast, and he would yell at me everytime not to take it away and sulk in his chair, maybe nibble on his breakfast, then try to pick the game back up again... if I took the game away, he started crying and screaming... its just a never ending cycle once he has the game. Anyway, he got so worked up that he held his breath, put his hands over his eyes and started shaking his head back and forth so he couldnt hear me trying to talk, which leads to me having to raise my voice or physically grab his hands and his response is "WHAT MOMMY? I HAVE TO! I HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME!!!" I hate the way he reacts when he doesnt get his way and im working on that, but it seems tenfold when it comes to this video game system. I guess im mainly trying to figure out a way to help my son not flip out so much and cope or not be obsessed with this game system, because that is exactly what it seems like to me, an obsession. :/

Quoting babyspots17:

Use a game timer(kitchen timer) they have a set time allowed when timer goes off game goes away. If he throws a fit he loses the privalige the next time. Be strict with it and don't give in to the tantrums.



**Formerly Keegansmama05** Loving Mama to Keegz & Nikki**bouncing mom


ninipanini
by Ruby Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 7:48 AM

 i would put it up...from both of them, your dd doesn't care and i would just tell him, "you're not quite able to handle your emotions when the game is on so we're going to put it up for a few months.  If you ask me about it before it's time(set a date) then we'll tack on a few more weeks".

 

ninipanini
by Ruby Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 7:50 AM
1 mom liked this

 I agree with you.

Cold Turkey is best.

Kids do not require electronics. It's not like food and water, you're not abusing him by not letting him do something, whether it's that game or play outside. 

And after thinking about it, i would not say anything, when he asks about it, tell him it's put away until you're 4.  Or 5 or whatever age.

stick to the "if you ask me about it before it's time(ie. nagging me) you'll have to wait until you're 6," on and on

Quoting 1boy1girlmama:

Oh HELL, that is an intense reaction.  Put it up hon, put it up for a good long LONG time, he is only 3 he doesn't need it anyway. Sounds like he has enough to do toys, tv, computer and the video game is something that could go. Wait until he is more mature and see if that helps. 

Quoting tairakittie:

The reason I made this post is because he got so worked up over me telling him to put the game down for about the tenth time, because it was time to eat breakfast, and this is after I had to threaten over and over to take the game away from him if he didnt eat his breakfast, and he would yell at me everytime not to take it away and sulk in his chair, maybe nibble on his breakfast, then try to pick the game back up again... if I took the game away, he started crying and screaming... its just a never ending cycle once he has the game. Anyway, he got so worked up that he held his breath, put his hands over his eyes and started shaking his head back and forth so he couldnt hear me trying to talk, which leads to me having to raise my voice or physically grab his hands and his response is "WHAT MOMMY? I HAVE TO! I HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME!!!" I hate the way he reacts when he doesnt get his way and im working on that, but it seems tenfold when it comes to this video game system. I guess im mainly trying to figure out a way to help my son not flip out so much and cope or not be obsessed with this game system, because that is exactly what it seems like to me, an obsession. :/

Quoting babyspots17:

Use a game timer(kitchen timer) they have a set time allowed when timer goes off game goes away. If he throws a fit he loses the privalige the next time. Be strict with it and don't give in to the tantrums.



 

coolmommy2x
by Ruby Member on Feb. 24, 2013 at 8:07 AM
He's manipulating you and you're letting it happen. After the first threat, you should've taken it. He knows you won't...hence the 10th warning from you. If you say you're going to do X, you have to follow through...all the time. If he gets upset, walk away, don't give him an audience.

Quoting tairakittie:

The reason I made this post is because he got so worked up over me telling him to put the game down for about the tenth time, because it was time to eat breakfast, and this is after I had to threaten over and over to take the game away from him if he didnt eat his breakfast, and he would yell at me everytime not to take it away and sulk in his chair, maybe nibble on his breakfast, then try to pick the game back up again... if I took the game away, he started crying and screaming... its just a never ending cycle once he has the game. Anyway, he got so worked up that he held his breath, put his hands over his eyes and started shaking his head back and forth so he couldnt hear me trying to talk, which leads to me having to raise my voice or physically grab his hands and his response is "WHAT MOMMY? I HAVE TO! I HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME!!!" I hate the way he reacts when he doesnt get his way and im working on that, but it seems tenfold when it comes to this video game system. I guess im mainly trying to figure out a way to help my son not flip out so much and cope or not be obsessed with this game system, because that is exactly what it seems like to me, an obsession. :/

Quoting babyspots17:

Use a game timer(kitchen timer) they have a set time allowed when timer goes off game goes away. If he throws a fit he loses the privalige the next time. Be strict with it and don't give in to the tantrums.


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doulala
by on Feb. 24, 2013 at 8:09 AM

It would be healthiest not to expose the children to that at all- I'd say quit asap for good.


GL!

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