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<p><span style="color:#3F4549;">My 14 year old got his xbox and computer games taken away from him at the end of the last school year because he didn't turn in some school assignments and was failing a class. I felt that the games were getting in the way. He started out doing the same thing again this school year. I talked to him in a calm and concerned voice, about how important it is for him to turn in his work and tried to get him to explain to me why he's not doing his work. I told him that I was sorry, but that I was going to have to take away the games for the rest of the semester. He seemed to take the punishment well. I guess he realized how he brought it on to himself, but he wasn't happy about it of course.   I do see how he's miserable everyday after school for not being able to play his games. After reading articles about not punishing your kids, it's made me wonder if i'm doing the right thing here.</span></p>
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<p>Yes, I agree with your approach, but I might have picked a shorter window than a semester to start with, say, a week or two and then re-evaluate. For one, video games and TV are addictive and made to be that way, so I have no problem with helping my kids moderate their use. We have certain times for TV during the week - it's generally not on until after dinner,  both during the school year and the summer. (I'm using that example because we don't play games much.) Don't get me wrong, we are not super-restrictive in that regard: we all watch TV, movies, use the computer for fun (and I use it for work), DD1 uses her phone for Instagram and texting. Our rule of thumb is that if it's not interfering with getting outside, exercising, seeing friends & family, being creative, reading, etc. then we're OK with the level of use. We do homework first, but my kids do well with that approach, whereas maybe your son needs some downtime before starting homework? Maybe you can agree on some other short activity, then homework, then games to the extent you think is OK?</p>
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<p>Also, although I know consistency is good, if I had imposed a semester ban and then thought it was too harsh/long, I would find it perfectly OK to tell my child that I thought I made a mistake, make it shorter & strategize about making the homework situation better (is it the place, the time, the atmosphere, difficulty, etc. that is making it hard to get the work done?) & then see how it goes/re-evaluate again if need be.</p>
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<p>Good luck with this! DD1 is just 13, so I am fairly newly the parent of a teen & it's crazy sometimes.</p>
 

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<p>I use a similar approach but its more of a day to day thing.  The rule in our house is "no electronics until homework is finished" (excepting the computer when needed to do homework, which is getting more and more frequent for both by 10 YO and 14 YO).  If that rule is broken, then there is no electronics for the next 24 hours and/or until all the work is caught up.  Even for teachers who don't take late work I require the assignment completed before they are allowed electronics again. </p>
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<p>For me, the electronics are a distraction and a temptation -- learning to ignore the fun until the work is done is an important skill, IMHO.  So if they can't ignore the electronics, then I will remove the temptation for a short time to make it easier.</p>
 

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<p>Yep, I agree. We had to take electronics away from my eldest when she was 14. It turned her around pretty quick. We haven't had any issues since.</p>
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<p>I do think a whole semester might work against you though. Sometimes it's better to go week by week. OK, everything was in this week... you get your games back over the weekends. A few weeks with everything in, great, let's give the stuff back full-time and see if you've gotten better at self-regulating. If he get's his stuff back and the homework drops again, well, take it away and start the process again. He needs the opportunity to learn how to balance his life and he can't do that if you strip everything away for months.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>whatsnextmom</strong> <a href="/community/t/1390508/do-you-agree-with-taking-away-video-games-and-computer-for-not-turning-in-homework-assignments-for-14-year-old-boy#post_17470457"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>
 
<p>Yep, I agree. We had to take electronics away from my eldest when she was 14. It turned her around pretty quick. We haven't had any issues since.</p>
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<p>I do think a whole semester might work against you though. Sometimes it's better to go week by week. OK, everything was in this week... you get your games back over the weekends. A few weeks with everything in, great, let's give the stuff back full-time and see if you've gotten better at self-regulating. If he get's his stuff back and the homework drops again, well, take it away and start the process again. He needs the opportunity to learn how to balance his life and he can't do that if you strip everything away for months.</p>
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<p>I agree with this. You said it very well.</p>
 

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<p>I am going to disagree with the majority here. I would not have taken away the computer games. I expect my teens to take responsibility for their actions. Not handing in assignments has consequences with the school and they need to accept that. Learning to manage their time and meeting commitments is important, they won't always have a parent around to police them, they need to learn this discipline themselves. </p>
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<p>My 13 DS, does, on occasion, have missing assignments, for which I am always notified by the school via email. When I receive a notice, I mention it to him, and generally he tells me either he knows and will do it, or the has already turned in the homework (there is often a delay in reporting missed assignments). For the most part the reason a piece of homework hasn't been done is because he didn't have time - he is an elite soccer player and practices five times a week, not getting home until almost 9 at night. He gets home from school at 4 and we have to leave for practice at 5. He does spend more time than I would like on his ipod though.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mirzam</strong> <a href="/community/t/1390508/do-you-agree-with-taking-away-video-games-and-computer-for-not-turning-in-homework-assignments-for-14-year-old-boy#post_17470512"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>
 
<p>I am going to disagree with the majority here. I would not have taken away the computer games. I expect my teens to take responsibility for their actions. Not handing in assignments has consequences with the school and they need to accept that. Learning to manage their time and meeting commitments is important, they won't always have a parent around to police them, they need to learn this discipline themselves. </p>
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<p>My 13 DS, does, on occasion, have missing assignments, for which I am always notified by the school via email. When I receive a notice, I mention it to him, and generally he tells me either he knows and will do it, or the has already turned in the homework (there is often a delay in reporting missed assignments). For the most part the reason a piece of homework hasn't been done is because he didn't have time - he is an elite soccer player and practices five times a week, not getting home until almost 9 at night. He gets home from school at 4 and we have to leave for practice at 5. He does spend more time than I would like on his ipod though.</p>
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<p>Well, if your son is in school and elite soccer 5 times a week until 9.... then really, there is no self-management happening. His schedule is being dictated by teachers and coaches, not by himself. If he's not getting his assignments in, then the few moments he has to manage, aren't being managed. If he truly doesn't have time for the work, well, then sports are being prioritized over school and that is a choice that the family has made. That's not what I'd consider self-regulating at all. This isn't an attack on your lifestyle. I've got busy kids too. I just know from experience that busy kids may not be getting in trouble, but they aren't necessarily learning self-management. They don't have TIME for self-management. When my eldest was in middle school, she was working in theatre an average of 20 hours a week outside of a hefty honors school schedule, Girl Scouts and Orchestra. There were no time for distractions. She got to high school, pulled out of non-theatre activities to focus on school, found that she really didn't know how to self-regulate when actual FREE time was an option (and gosh, free time is delicious when you haven't had enough for a couple years.) This is a real common problem with high-achievers when they head out to college.</p>
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<p>I actually think my DS 12 has a better handle on it. He has several activities but they require lots of self-study and practice time and little scheduled, adult-supervised time. His self-control and ability to CHOOSE to do homework or practice his instruments or do his karate work-out when the option to play video games or futz around on the computer is what I find impressive. It's something he had to learn... 6th grade was when he needed some guidance but now in 8th, he seems to have it down. I suspect, like most teens in this age, he'll get a little older and make his mistakes so I'm no stamping him with "DONE" yet lol.</p>
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<p>The real tech problems tend to hit from 14-15. Before then, you are dealing with video games and TV, maybe an i-pod. Come high school, you start dealing more with other kids texting yours at 2am every morning. Most of their work requires a computer but they all think they are better at multi-tasking than they are and so they facebook and twitter and watch youtube while they are supposedly working in the evenings. The school consequences vary from being not enough to change behavior to being so high that there is no recovery and kids give up (like getting a "C" in a class one semester because of missed assignments when they had the dream of an Ivy league education.) </p>
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<p>I share your belief that kids need to learn self-management. I don't agree that a child whose schedule is packed is learning it. I don't agree that there isn't a time when a parent needs to step in and say "OK, this is how you do it. Feels good when you are doing it right doesn't it? Let's give you another whirl at this."</p>
 

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<p>I think you have a good and reasonable approach.</p>
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<p>If you're beginning to feel sorry for him, why not have a game time and pull out some board games. You could go outside and shoot hoops with him or bake some cookies together or ... lots of other fun things that he's been missing out on while playing video games in the past. <img alt=":)" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif" style=""></p>
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<p>What about taking him to a pinball parlor or arcade on the weekend as a mom-son or family date? It doesn't have the same connotation as the video games in the house and it isn't slumping in to the Tree Sloth of Mom Guilt.</p>
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<p>Maybe he doesn't yet<img alt=":heartbeat" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style=""> see how much fun it is to have a mom who cares about him so much.</p>
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<p>peace,</p>
<p>teastaigh</p>
 

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<p>My son simply doesn't respond well to the loss of privileges for late or missing homework. It doesn't change a thing. But if it actually works for your son I don't see how it would be a problem. It sounds like a logical consequence. If games get in the way of school work completion then games have to go. However, I wouldn't ban them all semester. Now he has already lost the privilege so has no reason to keep working on getting his homework in. I'd give him a way to earn game time back. Personally I'd do a set number of days or weeks with all work turned in on time with an average grade of a B on all work during that time frame. That way earning game time continues to be an incentive. It also re-frames the issue. You didn't punish him by taking away game time. He earned game time by proving himself responsible enough to handle it.</p>
 

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<p>I would not do it because I don't think it teaches much except that those with power can use it to get their way. Punishments simply don't each the kind of values and life lessons I want my child to learn. Dr. Laura Markham (one of MDC's "Ask the Experts") has written several great articles on this subject. <a href="http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/Consequences_Punishment" target="_blank">Here's one about "consequences"</a>.</p>
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<p>I'd rather have a heart to heart with my child, find out why they aren't able to complete their assignments, come up with some suggestions together on what could be done to help with that, offer my assistance in helping the child stick to the plan, and then check in with him/her regularly to see how it is working. </p>
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<p>Punishment assumes the child just isn't sufficiently motivated to solve this problem unless you make life unpleasant enough for them. Instead, assume the child wants to do it but is having some difficulty they may not even be able to identify: life is too overscheduled, lacking time-management skills, not understanding the work/subject matter, not being able to stick to a schedule. Help the child identify the problem then help them implement solutions. If you do this, punishment is unnecesssary.</p>
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<p>Plus you have taught valuable problem-solving skills: analysing the problem, finding solutions, and checking in to see if those solutions are working. The child is given ownership over the problem and responsibility for working to a solution rather than having it imposed on him/her from above. Most importantly, you send a message that you trust your child to do the right thing when they have the tools and help to do so.</p>
 

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I think reverting back to mandatory homework time, like you probably had when he first started homework at a younger age, is a more logical consequence that may also br helpful in developing good habits. I would also see if the school has a system for letting parents know about homework for the week. Our junior highs and high schools have had automated phone systems for homework for almost twenty years.
 

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<p>I have a 13 year old who has just had two weeks with no cellphone and no ipod because she was using them when she should be sleeping and was never without an ear plug.</p>
<p>She was tired and grumpy and very disrespectful and rude.  I had worked with her on self regulation and leaving her electronics downstairs over night. But it had not worked. She was very unhappy.</p>
<p>The second week she has been on school holidays and is a different child. She is happy, communicative, respectful and coperative. We are having great conversations. SHe has been to the library and is working on learning Japanese and French as well as working on her maths. She is no longer tired all the time.</p>
<p>I do not see this as punishment. It is a logical consequence. My job as a parent is to protect her and make sure she gets enough sleep etc. Her use of electronics was impacting negatively on her health. I do not allow her unlimited access to televison. I only allow programs that are appropriately rated. If left to her own devices, like a lot of teens, she would watch shows that are absolute rubbish. She knows what she is permitted to watch. So why should I allow unlimited access to her devices?</p>
<p>I consider all these electronics as privileges, not necessities.  In another week she will have limited access to her ipod and use of her phone over the school day as she travels on public transport to and from school.</p>
<p>It would be nice if kids this age were capable of regulating their use of electronics but they are not. Xbox games are very addictive. I do not think parents should give their kids unlimited access to these devices. As parents we make decisions that control our kids in all sorts of ways every day. We choose what food to buy, and where we live, and how much money we spend on clothes etc. We make these decisions based on our love and concern for our kids. We have a right as parents to monitor and stop the use of electronic devices because of their potential to harm our kids.</p>
<p>I feel no guilt at all about taking away these privileges from my daughter. She is not happy about it but she understands why I consider it necessary and I think she realises how much better she feels.</p>
 

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<p>It sounds like the xbox is directly related to the falling grades. Therefore it is a good consequence.</p>
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<p>I sometimes tell my kids-- you showed me that you are not yet ready to manage your own time and choose the right priorities, therefore I will have to manage your time for you.  Let's get your grades back on track and then we can try this again.</p>
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<p>I do think he should have a limited amount of time to use the xbox on the weekend if he has shown good effort with trying to manage his schoolwork during the week. Maybe you can designate a 2 hour time slot on Saturday mornings or something. Then as his grades and time management improve you can loosen the restriction further.</p>
 
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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>whatsnextmom</strong> <a href="/community/t/1390508/do-you-agree-with-taking-away-video-games-and-computer-for-not-turning-in-homework-assignments-for-14-year-old-boy/0_50#post_17470735"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>
 
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<p>Well, if your son is in school and elite soccer 5 times a week until 9.... then really, there is no self-management happening. His schedule is being dictated by teachers and coaches, not by himself. If he's not getting his assignments in, then the few moments he has to manage, aren't being managed. If he truly doesn't have time for the work, well, then sports are being prioritized over school and that is a choice that the family has made. That's not what I'd consider self-regulating at all. This isn't an attack on your lifestyle. I've got busy kids too. I just know from experience that busy kids may not be getting in trouble, but they aren't necessarily learning self-management. They don't have TIME for self-management. When my eldest was in middle school, she was working in theatre an average of 20 hours a week outside of a hefty honors school schedule, Girl Scouts and Orchestra. There were no time for distractions. She got to high school, pulled out of non-theatre activities to focus on school, found that she really didn't know how to self-regulate when actual FREE time was an option (and gosh, free time is delicious when you haven't had enough for a couple years.) This is a real common problem with high-achievers when they head out to college.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I actually think my DS 12 has a better handle on it. He has several activities but they require lots of self-study and practice time and little scheduled, adult-supervised time. His self-control and ability to CHOOSE to do homework or practice his instruments or do his karate work-out when the option to play video games or futz around on the computer is what I find impressive. It's something he had to learn... 6th grade was when he needed some guidance but now in 8th, he seems to have it down. I suspect, like most teens in this age, he'll get a little older and make his mistakes so I'm no stamping him with "DONE" yet lol.</p>
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<p>The real tech problems tend to hit from 14-15. Before then, you are dealing with video games and TV, maybe an i-pod. Come high school, you start dealing more with other kids texting yours at 2am every morning. Most of their work requires a computer but they all think they are better at multi-tasking than they are and so they facebook and twitter and watch youtube while they are supposedly working in the evenings. The school consequences vary from being not enough to change behavior to being so high that there is no recovery and kids give up (like getting a "C" in a class one semester because of missed assignments when they had the dream of an Ivy league education.) </p>
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<p>I share your belief that kids need to learn self-management. I don't agree that a child whose schedule is packed is learning it. I don't agree that there isn't a time when a parent needs to step in and say "OK, this is how you do it. Feels good when you are doing it right doesn't it? Let's give you another whirl at this."</p>
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<p>I think he is managing his time very well, he knows how to regulate his time when he is not on the soccer pitch quite well. Yes, he makes choices, instead of hanging out with friends after school, he has to come home, do homework and get to soccer practice, then many times instead of being able to watch tv, or go on his ipod, he has to finish his homework when he gets back.</p>
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<p>I also don't think he is being over scheduled. He is playing soccer because he loves it, it is not some after school activity, it is his life, it is what he wants to do. He is learning that if he wants to succeed as a soccer player he needs to give it his all, so some things have to go, school work is not one of them however, and he needs to keep on top of it and for the most part he does. I have suggested he might want to try home/online school or part-time school and online school, but he prefers to go to school full time. I wish that he could be part of a soccer residential program, but that is not offered at his age.</p>
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<p>I have a 16 year old, who also is an elite athlete (sport climbing) who is taking several pre-IB classes (a lot of extra work) and she too manages to do her homework, and have computer, iphone time etc. She has never once missed an assaignment or failed a class. She is very adept at youtubing, facebooking and doing her homework at the same time!</p>
 

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<p>I'm in the camp that it can be helpful to impose a break from electronics, but that a semester is too long. The real goal should be to teach self moderation, and too long of a period of denial can't do that. I would let him have them back, but with strict boundaries that make sense to you for now, such as only on weekends, or only after homework is done, or only if you have a B average, or whatever easy for you to verify and makes sense for him. Ideally, the boundaries will become less necessary over time (months and years, not days or weeks).</p>
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<p>Some day, he won't live with you and he'll need to manage this on his own, so the real goal is to figure out what steps you can take now to help him learn to do that.</p>
 
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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mirzam</strong> <a href="/community/t/1390508/do-you-agree-with-taking-away-video-games-and-computer-for-not-turning-in-homework-assignments-for-14-year-old-boy#post_17471573"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>
 
<p>I think he is managing his time very well, he knows how to regulate his time when he is not on the soccer pitch quite well. Yes, he makes choices, instead of hanging out with friends after school, he has to come home, do homework and get to soccer practice, then many times instead of being able to watch tv, or go on his ipod, he has to finish his homework when he gets back.</p>
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<p>I also don't think he is being over scheduled. He is playing soccer because he loves it, it is not some after school activity, it is his life, it is what he wants to do. He is learning that if he wants to succeed as a soccer player he needs to give it his all, so some things have to go, school work is not one of them however, and he needs to keep on top of it and for the most part he does. I have suggested he might want to try home/online school or part-time school and online school, but he prefers to go to school full time. I wish that he could be part of a soccer residential program, but that is not offered at his age.<span style="font-size:13px;">I have a 16 year old, who also is an elite athlete (sport climbing) who is taking several pre-IB classes (a lot of extra work) and she too manages to do her homework, and have computer, iphone time etc. She has never once missed an assaignment or failed a class. She is very adept at youtubing, facebooking and doing her homework at the same time!</span></p>
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<p>If you believe that an hour after school (for which I suspect eating and changing take place) is enough unstructured time to prove a child a master of time management, what can I say but I don't agree at all. I've watched too many kids crash and burn freshman year of college coming out of highly structured childhoods. By no means do I find soccer bad... I'm irritated that we live in a society that thinks it's a good idea for kids to have 12-13 hour structured days on a regular basis. Most adults wouldn't stand for it for themselves. We've been there. There were years we lived that life. However, we've started to say "no" to that being the norm and I'm amazed at how much the kids have grown and developed when they aren't being told what to do 12 hours a day (even if it's their choice to be there.) </p>
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<p>There are actually several studies that kids DON'T multi-task on the computer well despite the perception from themselves that they are. They aren't as efficient, take longer on assignments than they have to and don't absorb the information as thoroughly. At 15, my eldest started taking almost all her classes at the college and when she finally embraced the notion that she could have more time if she stopped trying to social media while working, she found her work was done in a fraction of the time.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>missmelancholy</strong> <a href="/community/t/1390508/do-you-agree-with-taking-away-video-games-and-computer-for-not-turning-in-homework-assignments-for-14-year-old-boy#post_17470404"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>
 
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<p><span style="color:#3F4549;">My 14 year old got his xbox and computer games taken away from him at the end of the last school year because he didn't turn in some school assignments and was failing a class. I felt that the games were getting in the way. He started out doing the same thing again this school year. I talked to him in a calm and concerned voice, about how important it is for him to turn in his work and tried to get him to explain to me why he's not doing his work. I told him that I was sorry, but that I was going to have to take away the games for the rest of the semester. He seemed to take the punishment well. I guess he realized how he brought it on to himself, but he wasn't happy about it of course.   I do see how he's miserable everyday after school for not being able to play his games. After reading articles about not punishing your kids, it's made me wonder if i'm doing the right thing here.</span></p>
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<p>I completely agree with your stance! I've done the same thing for the same reason, although in our case it was computer use and internet access as our dds don't really play video games much at all.</p>
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<p>I think the idea of "punishment" is different than "natural consequences." When the thing that caused the grades to drop is taken away until the grades are stable and well established, I do not see this as "punishment." I see it as "parenting!" </p>
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<p>Look at it this way, AS the misuse of the video games CAUSED the poor grades and class failure, WHAT other choice would you have to help your child get back on track?</p>
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<p>IMO, it isn't a punishment. If a child is misusing his time and his learning is suffering because of that misuse of time, I think it is every parent's obligation to make sure whatever caused the failure to be put on hiatus until the child brings the schoolwork up to the best of his ability AND shows he can manage his time properly so that things like video games don't take the place of wisely using his time to do <em>his job.</em> Which at this time, is learning is school.</p>
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<p>I also don't see taking away video games or access to the internet as a horrible punishment in any way. You're just making the choice of time management that your son wasn't able to do on his own.</p>
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<p>Our youngest child had a similar problem at the end of last school year. We limited time on the computer and online due to her not learning the things she was capable of learning because of poor time management and abuse of the internet. When we found out she was then accessing the internet on her iPod, I took possession of that for the remainder of the semester. This semester: MUCH better time management, she gets to her work quickly and gets it done and is learning as much as she is capable of. (Which is a lot, she's a smart child in a Gifted program.) She LEARNED from the choices we made to cut her access to the internet and it did teach her better time management skills.</p>
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<p>As far as I am concerned, video games, TV and internet access that is not related to school work are not Rights, they are privileges, when required work isn't done, then privileges are put on hold until proper time management can be learned. Children <em>suffer</em> from being struck, screamed at, humiliated or denied food (those are "punishments" and ones many loving parents choose never to use.) I don't think kids actually "suffer" when they can't play video games. They may not <em>like</em> it, but as in real adult life, our privileges are often taken away if we cannot manage our time properly or we break rules that concern other people.</p>
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<p>The advice of "no punishment" doesn't mean we stop being parents and let our children do whatever they want at any time and jeopardize their future and their present by not learning! From my POV this simply means that "punishment" that is not related to the problem is simply not to be initiated to change behavior by the parent.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container">Quote:
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Piglet68</strong> <a href="/community/t/1390508/do-you-agree-with-taking-away-video-games-and-computer-for-not-turning-in-homework-assignments-for-14-year-old-boy#post_17470884"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>
 
<p>I would not do it because I don't think it teaches much except that those with power can use it to get their way. Punishments simply don't each the kind of values and life lessons I want my child to learn. Dr. Laura Markham (one of MDC's "Ask the Experts") has written several great articles on this subject. <a href="http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/positive-discipline/Consequences_Punishment" target="_blank">Here's one about "consequences"</a>.</p>
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<p>I'd rather have a heart to heart with my child, find out why they aren't able to complete their assignments, come up with some suggestions together on what could be done to help with that, offer my assistance in helping the child stick to the plan, and then check in with him/her regularly to see how it is working. </p>
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<p>Punishment assumes the child just isn't sufficiently motivated to solve this problem unless you make life unpleasant enough for them. Instead, assume the child wants to do it but is having some difficulty they may not even be able to identify: life is too overscheduled, lacking time-management skills, not understanding the work/subject matter, not being able to stick to a schedule. Help the child identify the problem then help them implement solutions. If you do this, punishment is unnecesssary.</p>
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<p>Plus you have taught valuable problem-solving skills: analysing the problem, finding solutions, and checking in to see if those solutions are working. The child is given ownership over the problem and responsibility for working to a solution rather than having it imposed on him/her from above. Most importantly, you send a message that you trust your child to do the right thing when they have the tools and help to do so.</p>
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<p>This would work with some kids and not others. My daughter mostly likes school and wants to do well. If she wasn't completing assignments it would mean she was upset about something or having trouble understanding the work. Restricting her access to electronics wouldn't help her at all, she'd just do something different with her time. On the other hand, my son doesn't give a crap about school. He'd happily drop out and go find a job, were that possible for 11 year olds. Even when he does well on a  test or gets some praise from the teacher, it means nothing to him. He isn't able to see far enough into the future yet to really understand that school is a stepping stone to better things. Computer time is a big motivator for him, he has to finish his homework before he gets a turn playing online. </p>
 

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<p>Well, let's just say that I hold some very different values from others posting on here. I would never force my kid to go to school if he hated it (actually, we homeschool but I would consider letting them go to school if they wanted to). My children have lots of unstructured free time so we don't have to limit video games or screen time - there is enough time in their day to get their fill of that and do many other things they enjoy as well. I don't have to fight with my kids about homework. I don't care about "grades". My kids don't have to perform or meet standards to earn approval or iPad time or whatever. </p>
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<p>When we do have conflicts, which are mostly issues of learning to live together with people, how to behave, participate in family life, etc., I work with the children to solve them. We are all on the same team, I am on their side. My job is to assist them, not to force my own solution upon them. If there is a problem I ask them to come up with solutions. I may offer suggestions but ultimately we have to all agree. Sure, it doesn't always work. But that is the beauty of it - failure is how we learn. If it doesn't work we try something different and we keep trying until we solve the problem. If I were to use my power as a parent to manipulate them into doing what I think they should be doing, I rob them of the opportunity to learn valuable life skills. But most importantly, my kids trust me to always be on their side, to not use my power against them (even if I'm in the right, they will perceive it as me forcing them into unpleasantness when they know I have a choice not to but I choose to do so anyways), and...what I find really important....they actually believe in their ability to solve the problem. They may need help, reminders, etc....but they believe that they can do it, because I have always acted as if they can. </p>
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<p>This takes time and patience, and yes I am sometimes tempted to just force them to do it my way. Punishment is a lot easier than allowing them to find their way to a solution. But I believe the rewards are worth it.</p>
 

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It would be heaven if life consisted of only with our time as we chose. But reality dictates that often people, children and adults, need to sometimes engage in activities that are not all fun allof the time.<br><br>
Part of our job as Adult Parents is to help our children prepare for adult life. This is something we as responsible adults (if we are responsible adults) know more about than inexperienced and sometimes irresponsible young people.<br><br>
I would love to simply let my children do whatever they like with their time, all the time, as would I, but that isn't realistic nor possible in reality. Also if we all did that my children might not be properly prepared for adult life and if I did whatever I wanted all the time we might not have food on the table, clean clothes a livable environment to live in and my career would be in tatters. If my DH did whatever he wanted with his time all the time we would have no place to live, no food to cook and.... I could go on and on. Perhaps some children need very little direction, but most will need quite a bit to help them grow into responsible self motivated adults.<br><br>
Most families who do not unschool also have down time amd tome for children to do ss they like, but that time needs to be healthily balanced with learning responsibility.<br><br>
Part of being a parent consists of sometimes enforcing structure when our kids might "just not feel like it." It's part of the HARD UNFUN part of being a responsible parent some of the time.
 
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