Games and behaviour??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovelyboy, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Me and my husband is so stressed out and frustrated with our situation at the moment!
    My son has been going through a rough time emotionally the last week or so! His anxiety is through the roof again....aggressive outbursts....crying....acting out.....temper tantrums......exct.
    My son has this obsession with guns, violence, blood...and we are CONSTANTLY fighting with him and each other about him wanting to play and watch dvds, easy child games...Ps3 games exct that has shooting and violence in it! Like Avatar, project 8... exct. My son is turning 10 next month.
    So after he didnt get his way on Sunday and shouting that he will kill his :censored2: father, we decided to take away ALL games with shooting or killing.
    My husband feels most of the power struggles is about above mentioned and he is wondering if him playing this is really contributing to his behaviour or will it make any difference to just let him play and watch it and have plenty less power struggles! My husband feels that my son is being exposed to this by talking to friends and visiting them and is wondering if its not the underlying pathology that cause the behaviour...bipolar? aspergers? And not the games exct?
    I feel that he has a predisposition to being influenced by this so want to keep him away from it as much as possible....
    Hubby says by keeping him away from it he has less in common with his friends and he is already struggling with socializing so if he can play and watch it at least he has something to keep himself occupied with and to talk about to his friends...
    Can any of you maybe share your experience or knowledge regarding this matter?
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Well, because of difficult child 1's aggression and not being able to tell reality from the game we have censored what he is exposed to and how much time he can play the games we do let him play. He loves minecraft and has found a friends that also play minecraft. difficult child 1 would rather be playing halo and there are kids at school that he would like to be friends with that play halo. But, the games affect his behavior to much. He starts acting out the games. So, he gets to play with the minecraft friends. He still sneaks halo when ever he can at x's house and I can tell when he has been playing it.

  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have never seen a correlation but then my kids didnt play video games much at all. The oldest one was my video player and he is the most docile thing on earth. He has said that playing those games gave him an outlet for his frustrations but I doubt most young kids could verbalize it that well.
  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This question arises in many forms on the site - violent games, a particular medication, a consequence method, etc. I firmly believe that each difficult child processes external stimuli differently.

    Some of our difficult children cannot separate reality from fantasy. Some of our difficult children who have aggression issues cannot reconcile the violence they see from the violence of their behavior. And others, even though playing games perceived as violent, use it as an escape that brings a heavy sigh of relief from the difficult realities of their lives.

    As with all things difficult child and typical kid, you have to know your child to make the decision about what is best for him. Parenthood in general is a lot of trial and error. You won't know if it makes a positive difference for your son unless you try.

    For us, gaming was a journey. At the beginning, the xbox gave my difficult child a social experience he didn't have at school (he actually made "friends" he played with on the weekends and even attended a gaming birthday party one time). I was very careful at the beginning about the type of games he played - which of course, at your son's age, is easy because you have to approve or pay for the games. As he began to mature, the games became more military strategy based which allowed him focus on something he really liked. Having time limits is an important piece to keeping a healthy outlook at gaming for anyone, especially our difficult children.

    Your son is approaching the age where you can sit down and reason with him. Perhaps putting some limits and consequences in place would be valuable. Talking to him about your concerns that the violent gaming leads to his harsh words and behaviors can be done calmly. Letting him know that you want him to be able to play some of the games he enjoys is the goal. He needs to earn the right by positive behavior. Put a time limit on the gaming and stay consistent on consequences for aggressive behavior. Taking everything away cold turkey may cause more resistant aggression than going through his games with him as a partner and weeding out a few for the time being.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It's a good idea, just as one parent to another and just in my opinion, for difficult children to be restricted as to what they watch and what games they can play. Remember that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids tend to copy things that they watch on television.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    in my humble opinion - an obsession with guns, violence, and blood is a problem...and one I would be careful NOT to feed into or support in any way.

    Video games? OK.
    Video games involving shooting living creatures, violence and blood? NO WAY!

    There are plenty of games that are not violent.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That is a very common belief. Some professionals even tried to tell us that because we didn't let difficult child do these things, that THAT was the cause of his social problems. It isn't.

    We found that you cannot just "take away". You have to "replace". And with a kid on the spectrum (or anywhere near it...), they really get stuck on whatever they had. It's HARD to get them out of the rut. We avoided part of it, because we never allowed violent games to start with, so I can't tell you how to switch now. But I can tell you that when there is a predisposition to violence or an Aspie/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)-type obsession with it (whether they act it out or not)... you do not want to feed it.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree with InsaneCnd -

    Your household rules are not the cause of socialization issues.

    Believe it or not - we once had to ban our kids from playing Harry Potter video games. Yep. Harry Potter. Which, if I am not mistaken, was rated "E" for everyone. Problem was, difficult child and her brother would just get in horrible fights during the game. The screaming! The crying! It was unreal! So that was it - no more Harry Potter.

    Any game can be a problem if your child is not handling it well.

    These days, my son is allowed to play rated "M" video games - including Grand Theft Auto 4 (which most of his friends are not allowed to play). The reason is that he is a easy child and his behavior does not give me one split second of concern. His friends and/or his friends' parents do not get to dictate what is allowed in my home and vice-versa.

    And those friends that are not allowed to play violent video games? They get along just fine playing such games as Minecraft, Skylanders, and Forza Horizon.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Excellent post and good point, IC.
  10. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    in my opinion, difficult child's and violent video games don't mix. I made the mistake and allowed them at first and then found myself in the situation IC described. So, I agreed to "buy" the violent games from him for way more than he could get trading them at a game shop so he could buy a new (non violent) game he wanted. I made another mistake and didn't get them out of my house fast enough and younger brother found one and brought it all up again. I need to make it disappear again.
  11. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    My difficult child seems to get most of her ideas from the media she watches. She can't watch Cartoon Network and we have to go through the Disney channel and point out and talk about the way the children are snarky and over the top and it's funny because its fiction but shouldn't translate. Because she very much was acting out the verbal behavior with adults and in conversation with other kids. I don't think the games necessarily make them violent but it makes them think more about violence.
    You know the truth is they are wired differently all the alphabet kids and we don't know enough about how they think to discount the notion that it effects their behavior.
  12. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Thanx all for the support and input!
    We ended up with reevaluating and putting some boundaries!
    So time limit on how long he can play and nothing above age 12 yrs and no realistic violence!
  13. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    Dixies fire, my difficult child did the EXACT same thing, and it was sooooooooo annoying... We all liked the show Wizards of Waverly Place, but my difficult child would turn on the snark and sarcasm of Selena Gomez's character and take it to the disrespectful level. Not cool. I think they also start up the boyfriend/girlfriend stuff too soon for tweens - that became another obsession, one that we're still dealing with.
  14. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Greenrene- I'm lucky my difficult child has only recently developed a crush on a boy, he's famous and he covers pop songs his name is mattyb on YouTube she turns 4 shades of scarlet when I asked her if we could listen to someone else besides her "boyfriend" it was cute. But I totally know what you mean tk, liked the main character in ant farm and the Zara girl on Jesse and we had to talk about it. Over an over again, it got better but it really illustrates the way she's wired.
  15. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    My difficult child is absolutely OBSESSED with celebrities, to a point where it's unhealthy. My mother in law fed into it by buying her a subscription to Tiger Beat magazine. I wasn't thrilled about that.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have had a LOT of people who did not agree with my stance on tv, video and video games. My difficult child would get to a point where he would lie, cheat and steal to get his video 'fix'. This was usually with specific shows and with him it meant pokemon and then other manga type things. I have a huge problem with anything that got my kids to lie, cheat and steal. He wasn't stealing time to watch the tv or whatever, he would steal money or items to try to buy time to do these things. He was also much, MUCH more violent in every way with the family at this point.

    I had a husband who tried the 'he won't know how to get along or have anything to talk about iwth the other kids" koi. It is pure BS and is not anything close to the cause of the social issues. Much of the time his peers did not do those things anyway, so they couldn't have talked about them with him anyway, and talking about these things only (which was his mindset for a long time, literally years at a time) was a real problem.

    I would take away all electronic media from the kids. Not just my difficult child, because that isn't really possible. They would ALL go tv, computer game, and electronic anything free. The first few days were absolutely awful and hideous. Wiz was off the chart violent, sometimes distraught, and downright nasty all the time. The nasty wasn't a big change because that is how he was and part of the reason for going screen free for a while. The other kids didn't really fuss over the screen loss. They didn't have much problem changing to screen-free life. By the end of day 7-10, somewhere in there, Wiz was becoming calm, happy, cheerful, and fun to have around. It was a delight and he seemed to enjoy life a lot more. he didn't seem driven to secure more and more screen time, pokemon for his player in the game, etc... That was part of the problem that would eventually happen when he was allowed to have screens - he would get to a point where he wasn't really even enjoying the time doing these things, he was always focused on the fact that he would be without it for x min, hours, etc... while he had to do other things like go to school, play iwth others, eat dinner, etc.... We usually stayed screen free for about a month and it was almost always a delight once the initial withdrawal period was over. Often the other kids would ask to go screen free or to not have screens back yet. They realized that difficult child would play with them a lot more when he didn't have screens.

    I think that screens are taking away the ability to interact from some of our kids. Esp the ones with pddnos/aspergers/whatever you call it. i hear about more and more kids with that diagnosis who refuse to interact with people instead of using the computer to communicate. A lot of peopel in my area are singing the praises of the ipad/tablet computer because their spectrum kids use ti to communicate. Then between eight mos and a year into that they realize that the child isn't responding to them unless they are on his ipad. Several moms in my area are upset because their child on the spectrum will only communicate with them via email, IM over the tablet, or skype. Even if they are in the same room, the kids are ignoring them unless they get on skype from another computer. It baffles me because they want to know how to stop it. Um, take the ipad away and all screens until you get to the point where he is communicating with the real world and not just the online world. It would take a bit of time, probably many tantrums/rages, but it is crippling these kids and their relationships with the entire world.

    My difficult child is now a mostly easy child adult and he has told me that he is grateful that I did not follow the advice of the tdocs, psychiatrists, teachers, friends and let him slip away into the world of the electronic screen. He hated being pulled out of it, but it kept him in touch with reality and with people as things he needed to learn to get along with. He says that with-o those times when I took away all screens, he might have gotten lost in that world of electronic reality taht really is not anything like reality. It shocked the dickens out of me because I always figured he would hate me forever for it the way he promised me he would up until his mid teens.

    That is my take on this, and my experience with it. If your instincts tell you that it needs to stop, then it NEEDS to stop. Period. Ignore other people's opinions and follow your own instincts. You have them for a reason, and survival of the species is one of the big reasons for instinct. I have found that it is a giant mistake to ignore them and almost universally a very good idea to follow them. Especially if my instincts are screaming and hollering over something.
  17. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    Susie- we aren't electronic free totally but it's pretty limited and I agree with what your saying. Tk wouldn't talk while she was on her game on the computer or her and boyo would rage at each other over the tv. It just wasn't worth it.

    I found that short screen time like 30 minutes is okay for both of them but if it exceeds one hour it gets out of hand. Lying, smarting off, not doing what she's told, sneaking downstairs after bath, etc etc. I respect other people's views as far as you can't just cut it off and I'm happy that something works for them but that doesn't work for us when she gets carried away it has to go.

    Her dad since she has been there has said the same thing it has to be very limited or she starts acting out. And he is the biggest video game difficult child on the planet.
  18. ducky8888

    ducky8888 New Member

    Most of my experience comes from dealing with my easy child, but i also have a bit of limited experience with my Girlfriend's difficult child.

    With my son, I allowed him to play, very monitored, some games with guns. He became obsessed with guns, listing names, how many rounds they hold, rate of fire, etc. This disturbed me, so I removed the violent video games, and I, being a "gamer" even committed to not playing the violent video games when the kids were awake/around. We were able to replace the games with racing, and we ended up finding a love for the "Lego" branded games. i.e. lego star wars, lego harry potter, lego indiana jones, etc. While these do contain some violence, for example, in star wars you use guns and "the force" to blast your way through the death star and tatooine (yes I am a nerd), the "killing" of the characters reduces them to lego blocks.

    When I moved in with my girlfriend, they had no gaming systems, but our difficult child had experience playing Call of Duty and Halo at friends' houses. When I brought my PS3s into the house it was a huge struggle that he was not allowed to play these games. I keep all content password protected, so it cannot be turned on without entering a pin. We also struggle with him sneaking inappropriate movies. This is harder to control because his father has no sense of appropriate/inappropriate movies for children. He allows his 5 year old watch R rated movies (violent like Expendables, obscene like Paul, sexual like Magic Mike) so when the children come home and are told by us that theymay not watch anything pg-13 or above, they always say "but dad lets us... we have seen it 100 times..." to which we respond "well, we dont allow that in our home". The other issue with us, was that this excuse worked for their mother, if they had seen it before, then she let them watch it, and she never pre-screened movies.

    I definitely have seen the effects of violence in my easy child, and this led me to really pay more attention to the material all of the children are exposed to. I pay close attention to ratings. In games, I have only allowed games that do not involve realistic violence or shooting other beings. Definitely no blood (red, green, blue, doesnt matter) or slo-mo effects I do allow the children to play games like Cabela's (hunting) but this is closely monitored with guidance about proper gun usage and safety, although the game does a pretty good job, for example, you can only shoot animals for which you have a permit or you have to restart the level.