My 7th grader and those darn video games - FamilyEducation
My 7th grader and those darn video games
09/19/2010 at 16:44 PM

Hi, I have a 7th grade son who has always been into video games. I normally wouldn't have a problem with this..except...I got a phone call from the school on Friday saying that he was not doing his work in class, not turning in his homework, and that the teachers had to move him to the front of the class for not paying attention. When he arrived home from school and I confronted him with this, I made him dump out his backpack and found that 3 of his notebooks were nothing but drawings and pictures of that game Halo. At this point I had decided that all the game systems were going to be taken away from him until I see major improvement in his school work. It was like WW3 in here!! He acted like I was taking his life away! He is normally a very well behaved child, and other than some abandonment issues regarding his non-existent father, he hasn't had any problems. This whole weekend he has made my life a living hell with his's like he's going through video game withdraws or something. I just want him to realize that school is most important, not his friends or the games. Any ideas on how I can divert his attention off of the games and on to something else?

You said it--withdrawal. The video games are made in such a way that the player uses the game to increase the level of endorphins in the body. Help your boy find another way to get a natural high--go for a run is the first thing that comes to mind. Be sure he is hydrated, give him some tylenol or ibuprofen. He IS going through real withdrawal.

Dear Amanda, I got 4 kids and I'm not sure who loves gaming best; let's say there's always a fight about who's first. So I decided to let them have it only on afternoons when next day there's no school. In our country we're free on Fridays and Sundays; meaning that playtime is just Thursday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. Great solution, just give your son limited time! Excluding him totally from the games will make him dislike you and that's not what you want. Good luck!

Thank you both for your feedback :)

Hi Amanda- We had the same issue with my son who is also a 7th grader. What we did as a test first was limit him to 1/2 an hour a night only after his homework was done. That worked for a while until we would find him playing in bed (DSi) when he was supposed to be sleeping. So what we ended up having to do is taking it away from him on school nights all together. Like your situation, it was a total NIGHTMARE for a couple of days. But honestly, now he doesnt even play his DSi that often! He does enjoy listening to music more now, and has a few shows he likes to watch on TV. He went through the "withdrawal" stage and came out ok :) Hope it works out for you!

Amanda, my advice would be to let him play. Chances are he's doing more reading during his gaming hours than most children would otherwise. And that's something ALL parents should be ecstatic about.

Runs are fine, but don't overdo it. If you want children to be miserable, depressed and suicidal, repetitive sports are a good way to accomplish this. That was exactly what I went through.