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"Electronic Battles"

Posted by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:17 PM
  • 6 Replies

Hi. As you all can see from my ealier post, we have only child who is 9 1/2. I feel he is way too dependant on electronics for entertainment. Whose fault is that you say? Of course, it would be mine, the mother's! However, I have tried many, MANY times to engage him with a multitude of other activities day in and day out to keep him busy, active, distracted, etc. from electronics, but he always seems to want to immediately "fall back" to his DS, XBOX< computer games, movies, Leapster, MP3 Player, etc. I am ready to literally throw them ALL in the trash. When will he realize he needs to STOP with so many electronics when there is "down" time? I really have tried to spend a LOT of quality time with him because he is an extrovert and loves to socialize, and because of the only child thing, I really feel for him and his lonliness. We do swimming on Mon, Tae Kwon Do on Tues, Piano lessons on Wed, a science and nature class on Thursdays and have playdates in between times, or other outtings such as baseball,  our local playground, bookstore, church, library, etc. but I am a little weary of trying to get the point across about too many electronics he's wanting. It's like there's two modes with him- people and relationships, or electronics, not much else to motivate him, but he HAS to realize how important things are like school work and chores, quiet time, etc. I know I probably sound like a broken record, but tell me anything I need to hear from your experiences, thanks!

by on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:17 PM
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Replies (1-6):
by Silver Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:32 PM
Set a daily limit and stick with it it. An hour maybe on weekdays and two hours a day on weekends. If he doesn't want to do anything else then he can be bored.
by Silver Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:38 PM

1) You're the mom, he didn't go out and buy all those electronics himself, did he?

2) He's in school and has after-school activities 4 days a week, plus all the extras you do with him.  He does NEED some down time.

3)  I wouldn't restrict listening to music unless his grades are suffering.  Of course, he'd have to turn it off/down to have conversations with you, etc.  But I do think music is important in life.  Have you considered putting his music on speakers so you can both listen (also share some of "your" music with him, it's a great way to start a conversation).

4) Watch movies together, so it's not a solo activity every time.  Share your childhood favorites with him, too.

5) Kids do need to be tech savvy.  The kids who are too restricted from electronics really are at a disadvantage with their peers, especially once they hit high school/college.

6) Give him a certain number of hours a week he can play games alone.  Help him to budget his usage.  Don't be the awful mom (in his eyes) that makes him turn off a game just when he's about to finish a level, or whatever.  If he needs 10 more minutes, let him use them - as long as he doesn't go over for the week.

7) Insist he spend a certain number of hours a week doing things you'd rather have him doing:  reading for pleasure, helping out around the house, riding his bike or something outside, etc.  

8) Make sure he has a kindle (or similar, or kindle app on his computer), so he can read e-books.  It's a great sort of compromise between the desire for "electronics" and your desire for him to read books.  Many libraries are now set up so you can borrow e-books right onto your device.  It saves you from having to go to the library, and the books "return" themselves so there's never a late fee.  

by Platinum Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 9:45 PM
Why don't you take them away and give them to him at an allotted time?
by Member on Sep. 19, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Thank you SO much for taking so much time to send me a long reply. I really appreciate it when people like yourself give me great advice- it was VERY helpful.

by on Sep. 19, 2013 at 7:59 AM

My boys love their electronics, too. A LOT, lol.

We do an electronics free day once a month or so. It gives them a break from being over loaded. It does help.

We also limit the amount of time they're allowed to play their electronics. They know before they can turn anything on, they must do their homework-including a mandatory 20 minutes of reading/night and any chores that they've been assigned. Then they can have their electronics.

Good luck

by on Sep. 19, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Congrats, you now have an excellent motivator, video games. I'm not against them the way that you are. I think they can be great learning tools and fun. Since you are, make him earn the privilege by doing his homework, helping around the house or whatever.

A word of caution. Do not take them away for X number of days, instead let him make the choice to earn it back each day or however often you are willing to let him play. When you take things away for a long time, it demotivates and it punishes YOU more than him.

Alternatively, give him X amount of time and enforce every time.

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