Controlling use of gameboy & stopping snacks after dinner/brushing

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MICHL, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. MICHL

    MICHL New Member

    I limit the use of computer and tv to when my difficult child (13) earns it. He can buy time with allowance or he can shower, read or do homework for time. He just got his handheld play station (PSP) to work. How do I control his time on this? He will need to earn time on it, however, he will not give it back at the set time. Yesterday I took the charger cord when he refused to give it back, and he had a total tantrum. He is grounded from it for a while, but he is away at camp for a week, so when he gets back I'll need a plan. It's easy to limit the easy child & tv, because they have time controls that i can set, but this hand-held PSP has me stumped. I supposed as a consequence of not giving it back, I could keep it locked up for a day or two. Any advice is appreciated.

    Also, often after he has a good dinner and brushes his teeth, he will snack, and then refuse to brush his teeth again before bed. I wish I had a door to lock up the kitchen after a certain time, but do not. He often does not brush his teeth well, or at all, morning or night. TIA for advice.

    difficult child (13) Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/ADD/ODD (Abilify/Tenex)
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That is a tough one. I use the getting everything done- brushing teeth, shower, ready for tomorrow, etc., ON TIME, then he can have more free time. He gets a little free time when we first come home and can snack a little (we have long days and our dinners are around 7:30). If he does what he should on time, he'll have his own free time for games or tv for a little while before "lights off" time. If he bucks that once, it will be tougher the next day. If he can't get that message, it gets locked up in the car for a certain period of time. If that doesn't work- it gets locked up in the car until I think he's earned it back and has shown the responsibility to get it again. This isn't full-proof- but it has seemed to work fairly well, so far. Then again, my difficult child doesn't have a hand held game at this point. His is too big to sneak or hide.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think taking the charger was good. Also taking it for longer and locking it up if he doesn't give it to you at the set time is something I think would work.

    The brushing teeth thing is hard, we have the same problem here (except for the last few days-he's been on a brushing frenzy). For the most part it has been a battle we don't fight but my difficult child can get violent so usually it's not worth the battle here.

    Wish I had some more advice but you sound like you have some good ideas already. Hugs.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I've given up on the teeth, especially if he snacks after dinner.

    The Gameboy ... we don't allow our difficult child to have one. But he does have video games on his computer. And he will even get addicted to boring TV shows, just to be around something electronic. I wish I had ideas for you!

    My son will be home from camp, too, and we have to have a plan.
  5. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    Keep in mind he can access internet on that PSP, my difficult child I used it all the time, when I took the computer away, he could even get on his myspace.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Charge him double for the minutes he uses past the hand in time. It took you 15 minutes to return this, that will be 30 minutes off your earned time for tv and electronics.

    Grounding for the next day can also be an option.

    I always tell my kids that if they are unable to stop doing something when I tell them to, then they are not able to do it. "You are unable to stop playing when time is up so you do not get to play this for X days. If it is days, write it on a calender so difficult child sees what day it will be allowed back.
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Consequences at this age are much tougher in my humble opinion. Just taking away the handheld until he earns it back would be my tack.

    The teeth ~ heck that's become a natural consequence. You don't brush, you have cavities. I've given up on that battle for kt (& wm before he went into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) then group home). Simply was not worth the level of chaos.

    kt has learned, albeit very slowly, that I mean business if she uses her cell phone when it's not allowed. She know the consequence for this & hasn't pushed it for a very long time. With the cell, it was more teaching her to be responsible with that time; building a level of trust & in turn, showing my disappointment by "grounding" her from her phone (i.e. it's locked up for a period of time or she has to do enough chores to make up for it).

    Your difficult child is of the age, but can you work with him to come up with a contract of sorts regarding these things? A contract that is signed by both of you & displayed as a reminder for him. Just a thought.

  8. ML

    ML Guest

    I gave up on the teeth. Having said that, the natural consequences have been huge and cost me a bundle in work. Half difficult child's mouth is in medal. Now of course I worry about the toxins from that making things worse. At least they're mostly baby teeth.

    Taking the handheld away is all I can think of.

    Good luck. My son has similar diagnosis as yours, and is also on Tenex.


  9. Calgon_Take_Me_Away

    Calgon_Take_Me_Away New Member

    We have tried taking priveledges away and it doesn't seem to work at all. When difficult child does get to play a GameBoy, we give a 5 min warning for transitional time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We don't reward bad behavior. If any of the kids haven't been good, and then ask to play the GameBoy, computer or GameCube, no go.

    I feel I could use those as a crutch because difficult child would play it all day long if allowed and not get into trouble .... but I don't see that as helping the situation.

    Good luck controlling the games when he gets back from camp!
  10. Christy

    Christy New Member

    difficult child's therapist recently suggested the concept of earning computer time, game time, etc.. and here's the problem we have with it. When difficult child does not earn something, he feels as if that item is taken away from him, backwards thinking but that's the way of a difficult child!

    I have found it much more helpful to schedule the day, building in free time blocks. These are the times when difficult child can choose to watch tv, play his games, play with toys, go outside etc.. There are three blocks of time in the day but inorder to get there, the items on the schedule need to be completed, the longer it takes, the shorter the freetime block becomes.

    For examle, in the morning, difficult child is expected to come downstairs eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, tidy up his room. Afterwards that he gets to watch morning tv until 10:00 AM (in the summer). If he's fast on everything else, he has about an hour if he's dragging his feet, he may end up with only a few minutes. At 10:00 on most days, we do some reading and math practice, one chore (put away laundry, unload dishwasher, etc), and eat lunch. Afterwards he has about 2 hours most days to do what he wants. Then it is either time for tae kwon do or we will do an activity together. Next is dinner. More free time and then get ready for bed.

    I remind him before bedtime that if he wants a snack, now is the time. If he has gone upstairs and brushed his teeth, it's too late. We are firm on this and it has caused meltdowns but it's not negotaible for us at this point.

    It requires a lot of monitoring on our part but if difficult child is playing with a gameboy or something when he is not supposed to, it get confiscated for a week.
  11. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Why not move brushing the teeth up to actual bedtime? This way if he snacks or not, he's still going to bed with brushed teeth and you're only fighting the battle once.

    At night it's a ritual, straighten up toys, bathroom break, wash hands & face, brush teeth, into pajamas and bed. We slaughtered the arguing about brushing teeth when they came out with that kids mouthwash that shows them what they left on their teeth AFTER brushing.

    Good luck!

  12. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Brushing teeth is the hardest. If I'm prepared for a meltdown, I tell him he can't play his video games until he brushes his teeth. Usually, it will end in a temper tantrum, then he will sit and stew (sometimes for over an hour), then he will finally brush his teeth. Who knows if he uses toothpaste.

    If the earning time thing works for you, I'd continue it. If he doesn't hand you the PSP, take time away at double the rate. (I usually give my difficult child 5 minutes to get to a spot to save or quit.) Even so, with my difficult child, that may cause things to escalate. I think taking away the charger was a good move and if he still continued to play, the charger wouldn't be returned for a week.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    We gave up on toothbrushing a L-O-N-G LONG lont time ago. IT jsut coult NOT be accomplished with-o physical violence to me or 1 of the youngers. So I have NO advice on that one - other than that we refused to pay for braces, period. He wouldn't care for them so we wouldn't. He had no real structural mouth problems, so it was not considered medical neglect in our state. BUT if he had NEEDED them we were advised we could not refuse to provide them for any reason.

    As for the game thingy, make it available in main rooms, under CLOSE supervision for limited times. If found in his room, it is gone for a week or long enough to make an impression but NOT make him not want it. We found if we removed anything for longer than a week our difficult child would no longer be motivated by it. So, pray that doesn't happen and then watch him closely so he can't hide it. Best advice I can give is that they are wonderful motivators when used as carrots, so don't be too free with that game time, because they do lose motivational power over time.
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Another thought on the gameboy: Keep it as an activity for the car, waiting rooms, and visiting your friends/family who have not much to keep difficult child busy.

    It will keep difficult child busy while you are doing errands, driving any length of time or waiting for an appointment or oil change, ect.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You might already be doing this, but just in case, it helped here to make sure it was clear ahead of time how much time difficult child was going to have playing games before being expected to stop. It helped- for some reason- to say "at 3:00, which is 1/2 hour from now" instead of "you have 30 mins". Then I tried to give him a "time is almost up warning-start winding down" 10 mins ahead of time, then another a few mins ahead of time. I don't know if that helped because maybe he needed longer to switch gears, or maybe it just takes that long to get to a good stopping point in some of these games. anyway- this has helped us. I've also heard some people say that ssetting a timer and keeping it near them where they can see it helps.