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video games...

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
do you allow your kids to play them? if so, how do you moderate that?

my kids are too young to play them now. however, i honestly think they are too expensive and a waste of time and i definitely don't enjoy them. i don't necessarily want them in my house. (although we do have a ps2 that we use as a dvd player ) a lot of people criticize us that we don't want to let our children play them as they get older. should we just give in?
post #2 of 107
disclaimer: I'm still pg with #1, so I have no children running around.

There is absolutely NO reason that you HAVE to let them play video games. Read through some of the threads on this and other parenting forums and you see a lot of "How do I get my kids/DH/whoever to cut down on video games/TV/internet? It's sucking up family time"

Video games are addictive and potentially harmful--depending on your family values, they could bring elements into your home that you do not want there, as well as the much increased potential for chronic couch potato syndrome. I saw a LOT of childhood friends (grew up in the 90's) who went from being happy and active and imaginative to overweight, unhappy people who didn't know what to do with themselves without a controller in hand.
DH plays video games during down time, but he's usually pretty good about self-regulation and he'll listen to me when I tell him he's been on for too long or whatever. He'll tell me the same thing about being on the computer for too long.

Buy books instead! Or puzzles! Or paint! Or crayons! Or matchbox cars! And if anyone asks you how your kids will learn anything without some educational video game, I would honestly just laugh and laugh and ask if they were serious.
post #3 of 107
I go back and forth on this. My brother is severely addicted to video games, to the point where I honestly wonder if he'll be able to function as a normal human once he leaves my parents house - if he leaves. It's honestly scary, and to me it's just sick. I don't understand how my mom and dad could let him get That Bad.

I like playing the Wii, and Rock Band is fun. But I don't think we'll ever have a game where it's a 1 person thing. If we do video games at all, it's going to be a rule that you have to be playing with another person, and only for a limited amount of time. None of this come home from school, immediately turn on the game and be up till 4 in the morning every night like my brother.

Oh, and no war/shoot 'em up games will be another rule. I hate those types of games and think it's awful that wars and violence are glorified in them. Those Call of Duty games are horrible. And don't get me started on the "rated M for mature" games. Ugh. I really have a hard time with taking violence or sex and turning it into a "game."
post #4 of 107
Thread Starter 
i just don't want my kids' brains turning into mush.

i mean, if we went out somewhere or went to someone elses' house i would allow them to play for a time. i just don't want it in my house. at all. i don't see the necessity. however, a lot of people want us to cave in...(not that it's any of their business )
post #5 of 107
I let my kids play video games & I don't really moderate them. There's a few daddy plays that the kids aren't allowed to, but that's it. We're a gaming family, though. DH & I both play & so do the kids.
post #6 of 107
I have 8 and 6 yo boys and an infant daughter. We own video game systems because my husband likes to play VG and bought them for himself. My sons are allowed to play games like Zelda on Saturday mornings and after dinner on Saturday nights. No other time during the week are they allowed to play.

If it had been up to me, we never would have had the things in the house. I would urge any parents out there not to buy them just because "everybody else" has them or because somebody says you're depriving your kids. You are not depriving your kids and you are not going to make them social outcasts simply because they do not own VGs.

We have the games because of my husband, as I said before. He doesn't think they're harmful to the kids, or he isn't willing to part with them for the kids' sake. However, I believe they have been a negative influence in our family. Having the "Saturdays only" rule helps a lot, because then they are not thinking about it the rest of the week, but they really can be addictive and it is HARD to stay firm on time limits.

Save yourself a lot of headaches and forget the VG, is my advice.
post #7 of 107
My oldest has video games. My ex was hooked on them, and he had them in the house, so ds1 started playing them. DS1 has never let them push out all his other activities - except for a couple days when he gets a new game - so I don't let it stress me very much. If he's playing a video game, and a friend wants him to come out and toss a frisbee or practice gymnastics, he does that. He'll drop the game controller to hang out with a friend outside or even to play with his younger siblings. He's still at least as likely to pick up a pencil and sketch, or pick up his juggling gear, as he is to play a video game. So...not a huge deal here. We do have to kick him off the games to do chores or homework sometimes...but we also have to tell him to put down his guitar, get off the phone, stop his living room workout, put away his juggling clubs, etc. etc.

We haven't really enforced any time limits for a long time, because he self-regulates pretty well. His consoles are also hooked up to the only tv, so he can't play if the family is watching a movie, or if I'm practicing for choir (I run my practice CD through the DVD player). So, there are a lot of built-in controls.

That said...they're certainly not necessary, in any way. I can't imagine why anyone would criticize someone for not having them. I've seen a lot of ds1's friends get seriously sucked into the games (like come home and play them until bedtime, with a short break for dinner), and they do make me a little nervous. I'm sure we'd change things if they became a problem for ds1.

I don't get why people are so invested in what other people have in place in the way of rules.

One thing that makes me sad is thinking back to when ds1 was little. I can remember coming home from work on a really nice day, and ds1, my nephew (my sister was his babysitter), and 3 of their friends were in my nephew's room. DS1 and my nephew were playing a game, and the other 3 were just watching. I asked ds1 if he and his friends wanted to go to the park, and all 5 of them jumped up and practically cheered. They didn't even really want to play the video game...they'd been chased off into the bedroom and didn't really have anything else to do. We walked to the park, and they spent about an hour and a half playing physically and showing off their skills for me. When I got back, my sister and the other moms told me they really appreciated me taking the kids, and that I was "crazy" to do it. *sigh*
post #8 of 107
Both my husband and I consider ourselves gamers. The kids see us play so naturally they want to play too. My oldest (5) plays on my Nintendo SP (It's a small handheld, like Gameboy). I have good kid games like Kirby and Sypro. He really likes Kirby and has gotten quite good at it. We're talking about buying games for my old N64 that has been sitting in the garage for the kids to play on.

I want them to self regulate, showing by example, but I think that's a few years off. Right now we have a system where they earn tv/computer/game time through simple chores and just general good behavior. I've been a bit more lax the last few weeks but should be back on board after our move at the end of the month.


We know a couple TV free families so video game free families aren't too strange. I don't think you can 100% keep them from it but I don't think they are necessary to have in the house. I don't get why anyone really cares what you do in regards to time wasters like video games.
post #9 of 107
My family has a Wii and an XBox. We all game together sometimes after dinner for a little bit or on Saturdays. We play Wii Sport games like tennis and the LEGO games and "Are you Smarter than a 5th grader?" on the XBox. I really love that we spend time together like this! We have a great time and the boys (7 and 5 years old) actually learn things and foster interests in other things. For example, the 5 year old started playing Wii tennis and now is fascinated by the game and wants to play himself - I wouldn't have thought to introduce him to this game at this age but he really enjoys it. In our house, we simply set time limits but I have friends who give their kids a certain amount of "Family Dollars" when they complete their chores and then the kids can trade in their money for VG time - just an idea. With all that being said, I think VGs are just an individual thing for each family. Good Luck!
post #10 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post
If it had been up to me, we never would have had the things in the house. I would urge any parents out there not to buy them just because "everybody else" has them or because somebody says you're depriving your kids. You are not depriving your kids and you are not going to make them social outcasts simply because they do not own VGs.
i don't think that they are "harmful." i would just rather have my kids doing different things. and i know how kids get with games, they are very addictive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CheapPearls View Post
We know a couple TV free families so video game free families aren't too strange. I don't think you can 100% keep them from it but I don't think they are necessary to have in the house. I don't get why anyone really cares what you do in regards to time wasters like video games.
we don't mind the tv too much. we will let my son watch a few select shows and let him watch movies. i don't have anything against watching tv, just that i don't want them asking for the toys on commercials...like my niece and nephews do, it's irritating.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
That said...they're certainly not necessary, in any way. I can't imagine why anyone would criticize someone for not having them. I've seen a lot of ds1's friends get seriously sucked into the games (like come home and play them until bedtime, with a short break for dinner), and they do make me a little nervous. I'm sure we'd change things if they became a problem for ds1.
they will say things like what happens when they can't go outside and they are really bored...and make up all these wild scenarios that try to make games the solution that would never happen. i also don't want to invest in an electronic baby-sitter.
post #11 of 107
were a gamer family here too.

i love it, its a way we bond. my oldest is pretty good at mariokart and she has been bonding with her stepdad by watching him play his old favourites. i think its really adorable when she comes and tells me what happened in the game and how she and dp enjoyed thier time together. he reads the dialogue to her and explains stuff and she tells him where to go and he lets her try to figure out puzzles herself. it really is heartwarming to watch(especially when she falls asleep on his lap)
my youngest likes to get an unplugged controller and pretend to play. which is also AFREAKINGDORABLE
despite having constant access to gaming they play very little... other things are just alot more exciting to a 5 and 3 year old. like wood blocks and dolls and chasing the cats.
post #12 of 107
I think it's a very personal choice, and you will find many different opinions here. I think you just need to find the right balance for your family. Everything in moderation.

We enjoy video games on occasion. We have an xbox 360 and a wii. Dh is more into the xbox (although he only plays maybe once a week) because he can play ncaa football. Ds and I really like the wii - and the wii is also more of a family game, like we will all bowl together on friday nights or play a board game on there. It's fun, active and I don't see a thing wrong with it.

During the week it's more limited. Sure, ds can play the systems if he wants to - but to be honest, most days he's too busy playing outside with friends to bother. And now that it's summer he's doing science camp then most days we swim - there isn't really time for video games once we get back home. So I don't find limiting them to be a problem for us, at all.
post #13 of 107

off topic kind of

Quote:
Originally Posted by benj View Post
i don't want them asking for the toys on commercials...like my niece and nephews do, it's irritating.
my oldest used to do that alot until i started telling her the commercials were designed to sell her something and i know it looks really fun but sometimes toys arent made well and break or become boring. i asked her to think about it and if later, long after the commercial was off, if she still thought she would like whatever it was we could try to find it used or on ebay or something.

it only took a few weeks if that of repeating and i rarely if ever hear asking for toys when watching tv. and her sister seems to have realized the drill because i usually hear toy requests when the tv is off or were just hanging out together.

actually i think it worked too much because when i ask her what she wants for her birthday she cant think of anything and once i took her to a huge toy store because i had extra money and wanted to get her something fun. she played with everything then decided she didnt want anything, but she did want to go home. :

she is a strangely logical girl though so ymmv
post #14 of 107
I let my son (he is 4) play video games. My husband and I both play video games. As long as we're not just sitting all day playing, I have no problem with it. I don't really restrict the amount of time he plays. I make sure we get outside to play several times a day and we read books together and do activities.
post #15 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
I let my kids play video games & I don't really moderate them. There's a few daddy plays that the kids aren't allowed to, but that's it. We're a gaming family, though. DH & I both play & so do the kids.
Us too more or less. I don't let DS1 play all day every day but I don't stress over it too much either. He was 2 when he started "for real", one day I realized that he wasn't just pressing buttons to watch what happened but had actually completed some objectives. : DS2 doesn't seem to care as much but he is getting more interested these days and pulls up a spare controller to pretend he is playing too.

The kids don't get to play everything we do (nor do we play everything with them around) but excluding them from the computer or console would be strange for us. Were we not gamers already I would probably not invest in them just for the kids, not at this age anyway.
post #16 of 107
I have a gaming dh so we have a wii and a PS3. The wii is downstairs in the living/family room, and the PS3 is up in our bedroom.

Ds who is 5, is allowed to play on the weekend. He plays lego games: lego batman and lego starwars and indiana jones. The gaming is not really moderated, but if i feel he is playing non stop all day, i'll ask him to turn it off.
When he gets in trouble, video games is the first thing that gets taken away.

I hate video games, do not ever play them. I don't think they are necessary, but since DH plays, i have allowed them into our house. We discussed the rules before ds was even old enough to play. It has helped us a lot.

I think if you don't want to have them in your home, then don't. Your kids will not be outcasts. They are expensive, and a waste of money! Don't give in just because other people are pressuring you.
post #17 of 107
Haven't read replies, but here's how we handle it.

We are tvfree, and we don't do video games for the Littles. At the same time, my 15yo son LOVES computer games. Now, he was raised without video games, he knows the issues about too much screen time etc.

For a kid that hasn't grown up 'hooked' on them though, he does a fantastic job with self management. He plays his games (MMORPGs) for a few hours, then he hops off and goes to play with his sisters for a bit, helps me with chores, whatever.

We've discussed with him the idea of imposing a cut off time at night, and he said if he feels like he's getting too into the game he'll let me know and we can do that. But so far, no problems. The computer is in his room, and we're not micromanaging it. I do trust him to let me know if its becoming a problem.

At the same time, I know people with 6 year olds who play video games for hours a day and scream bloody murder when they try and turn it off. I'm glad we waited until he had the maturity to handle it without any need for us to micromanage.

I think it's a smidge unfair to give a child a toy they can't self regulate, then put ourselves (as parents) in the position of 'taking it away' or whatever.

So, I guess I really think it's important to wait until they are mature enough to manage it themselves.

HTH
post #18 of 107
Ds1 started playing video games with dh when he was about five, if I remember correctly. It's something they enjoy doing together, so I try not to give them a hard time about it.

Dd isn't really into them. Ds2 (3yo) like playing skateboarding on the PS2 when ds1 and his friends are playing.

As far as time, ds1 gets about half an hour a day, sometimes more if he's playing with dh.
post #19 of 107
We are a gaming family too. We are intelligent people who have been playing video games since we were kids. By no means are our brains mushy . I don't think you should "give in" to video games just cause everybody else around you does, because if you feel strongly against them it is your call. Now back to WoW...
post #20 of 107
My 7 year old plays video games and he self-moderates extremely well. I do watch his behavior and how much he plays and I will sometimes put a limit on how much time he spends playing. But right now, he spends much much more time playing outside so I don't mind a little video game time.
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