For those who allow electronics

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by ML, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    What limits do you set? I am concernd with manster's increasing gaming habit. His anxiety prevents him from wanting to leave the house and I have to go with him just to get him to ride his bike. But the past couple of days I've been sick and have no energy myself. Luckily his dad picked him up and he is actually okay with going to the mall.

    We have got to tackle the weight issues in 09 and getting more active is huge part. Perhaps we will start hourly jumping jacks or something. I just don't feel like I'm doing a good job in this area.

    So I guess I have 2 questions.

    How much game time a day and how do you enourge your "indoor kids" to get exercise?


  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi. ML!! Before difficult child got depressed and unstable in general, I was requiring him to do what HAD to be done that day before he could start on games on school nights. So, the sooner chores and homework were done, the more time he had on games. Of course, he'd have to stop to eat, take shower, etc, and be in bed on time. I don't have a problem with my son choosing to stay in and play instead of going outside to move around- I'm typically trying to get mine "reeled" in LOL! But, you could probably say he has to do something outside for 45 mins first or something like that.

    On weekends, it's a little tougher. But the main thing I learned with my son is that things go smoother when the general rule is to do what is necessary before play time. If it's a weekend and I let him play 30 mins before chores but he pushes the limit on that, then I reduce or eliminate time he could have had on it later.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I struggle with too much game time for all three kids. difficult child 2 has a weight issue because of medications, but he doesn't have anxiety like your manster, so getting him out to do things is not too hard in that regard. But given the choice between video games and playing outside, the games win hands down every time.

    During the school week, they don't play any games until homework is done. And then I don't really care how much they do (because homework usually takes several hours anyway).

    During the winter break, difficult child 1 has to have chores and 1 hour of homework (he has assignments he has to do) before he can play, and I'm limiting him to 2 hours of game time. This is in part due to his failing grades in a couple of classes. If he were doing better, I'd probably not limit him during this break.

    difficult child 2, I'm not sure I'm going to limit him as long as he gets some chores done. Same for easy child.

    I'm going to try to schedule some physical activities over the next two weeks. We may go walking or bike riding down at the regional park (no snow here). Or perhaps go for a hike in our hills. The weather may be wet next week, so we may not be able to do that.
  4. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    We don't own a gaming system for this very reason.

    NL would sit in front of any screen 24/7 if permitted. TV, computer, games, does't matter. So he has a one hour limit TOTAL during the week (still enforced even though he's 17) two hour on the weekend. That means if he wants to watch a movie, no computer. He has a kitchen timer he sets to remind himself to stop.

    If he needs the computer for homework, he must tell me, and if I see anything OTHER than homework on the screen, the time gets deducted.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son is obsessed with gaming systems and computers. He has every single system there is and he is allowed to play as much as he wants as long as:
    1/He exercises at least 45 minutes a day either at the Y or, in good weather, by riding his bike for many miles
    2/Keeps his grades up (he is right now getting all A's and B's)
    3/Is involved in some outside activity such as Special Olympics or yearbook or anything that requires socialization at school.
    He is so obsessed with his games that he thinks about them even when he is not doing them, so we allow it, as long as he meets the other criteria. I know this is probably not a popular way to handle it, but we feel it's best for HIM (not everyone) as long as he is doing well in all areas of his life.
    I have one 31 year old who still loves his games, and he's doing fine in life, has a good job, a baby (my grandson!!!!) and lots of friends, so maybe that's why it doesn't worry me so much.
  6. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks everyone. These are great ideas. It does provide leverage to get other things done, that's for sure. No games until xyandz are done. It works. I will adopt this for the exercise I think.

    MWM I think he's meeting the basic exposure to social activities with school and aftercare. He does have interaction there. His grades are Cs and need some work but my main concern is the physical activity.

    I did sign him up for swimming in January. Wish me luck with it. I know it will be hard at first and he is a little shy about his weight and wants to wear a t-shirt at the pool. But I am hoping he adapts and that it benefits him.

    Thanks for being here.


    Thanks everyone. Love, ML
  7. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    We are struggling with the same things. For years I have been anti- video game. We have currently a Super Nintendo, a Play station 1 and a sega (OLD) that are packed away. I hate to see kids on their butts playing games all the time. We broke down this year and bought a Wii and Nintendo DS Lites for all 3 of the little kids. I've gotten some great ideas here on how to limit their time on them! Thanks!!!!

  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I really like MWM mom's approach. My son was also obsessed with games, and over the years it got worse and worse. I did not do a good job enforcing the rules like MWM, although I tried.

    Then, a year ago, difficult child literally got addicted to WOW (world of warcraft). He would not leave his room for hours and hours. That was the beginning of the end for him, as you see on my posts, he is now in Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    He thought about WOW 24/7 - even when he went to wilderness camp - he would write to me about it. The whole game is designed to be addictive. I have employees at work, who will come in and say, man I didn't sleep a wink last night I was up all night playing WOW.

    I think I would use MWMs advice, and also make sure he does not get into the role playing games like WOW. They actually stimulate the same chemical in the brain that cocaine does. They are dangerous, and as addictive as drugs.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    ML the swimming thing sounds great. It's great exercise, and I think its good for tone and muscle. Not a huge one for losing weight. I know i tried this past summer lol.

    Games are difficult, I just had an incident with difficult child last night over poptropica? she almost tossed computer at me....... ahh good times, lol.

    I use it as a reward, like if she does her hw she can have 20 min. that works well it gets hard when i have to end her time with it. I have to do countdowns, 5 min. left, etc.

    Swimming sounds great though. I am now struggling with the weight issues due to the medication. Besides her normal jumping around the house lol, i need to start figuring out how to burn those calories
  10. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    We have introduced family walks and tours to the nearest public swimming pool. As rolemodels we have to take the first step. I cannot tell my children to be active and remain in the sofa myself. They will soon see it as a kind of double standard.

    While I back in my youth was both a marathon runner and an Ironman, we have none of our children in competitive sports. We only do it for fun and in order to be together about something.
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    Yikes Steely he does play WOW, that's his current thing. Thanks for the tip, I'll be extra careful.
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Wow - you guys are all so good.

    difficult child is on the computer or XBOX360 most of the time.
    We did get him (he asked for it) the Wii Fit for his birthday two weeks ago. Soon as the holidays settle down I promised him I would do it with him every day.

    He is also a "master" at DDR. He told me there isn't anyone (at the mall or movie theatre) that even comes close to him. I watch kids watch him. Amazing. I can't even see the silly arrows. Surely could never move my feet and body like that.
    He does play that at home too. So there IS some excersize games.

    He sometimes would sit for 5 or 6 hours straight at the computer.

    New carpet = no eating in the living room.