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Don Rosco

Managing kids video games time

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1 hour ago, Laine said:

 

Thanks! I know deep down I’m not at all! Just being melodramatic today after a very fraught long walk this morning.
He’s just such hard work and I do feel a lot of guilt as he’s a wonderful kid. Of course I’d love not to rely on it so much! But he is who he is I guess. Sorry I’m kind of dragging this off topic - I should whinge in the parenting thread!

 

It's all on topic, it's very interesting to read other people's experiences. Also, there's a galaxy of difference when there's a baby knocking around. Peppa did a lot of parenting for us in the early years. It's like toddler heroin. 

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19 hours ago, Don Rosco said:

 

The MTX are a pain though. We've held firm on only buying the battle pass as that is quite good value, until the other day when she begged for a single skin. She paid for it with her own money, but I certainly told her how much of a waste I thought it was. That will probably not be the end of it, but we'll see. She said a neighbour's kid told her he'd spent €600 on skins. Even if it's a lie, it's an example of how normalised it is to be pissing substantial money away on them. 

 

 

I've totally changed my stance on this, going from 'what a waste of money!' when he first asked to buy a Rocket League car skin for £1.79 to pretty much letting him spend all his pocket money on Fortnite cosmetics. At least I know it's a game he'll play a lot, and it's clear what you're getting for your money. As soon as he argued that he's got a bunch of toys in his room that he barely uses so why can't he spend his money on digital items he will use, I felt like I didn't have a leg to stand on.

 

If he spends his money on digital clothes instead of plastic tat from Menkind which takes up space on our house and has to be ethicaly disposed of once the shine has worn off, I'm all for it.

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2 hours ago, Kryptonian said:

I don’t think using the last couple of months as a guide is fair really.

 

This x 1,000

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53 minutes ago, Pob said:

 

I've totally changed my stance on this, going from 'what a waste of money!' when he first asked to buy a Rocket League car skin for £1.79 to pretty much letting him spend all his pocket money on Fortnite cosmetics. At least I know it's a game he'll play a lot, and it's clear what you're getting for your money. As soon as he argued that he's got a bunch of toys in his room that he barely uses so why can't he spend his money on digital items he will use, I felt like I didn't have a leg to stand on.

 

If he spends his money on digital clothes instead of plastic tat from Menkind which takes up space on our house and has to be ethicaly disposed of once the shine has worn off, I'm all for it.


I’m coming around to this to some extent. It’s still very much an occasional thing but I don’t mind so much.
 

One of their pals spent £60 on Fortnite levels for the battlepass though (rather than levelling up) and then complained about not having anything to do which I’m totally against. 

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2 hours ago, Kryptonian said:

I don’t think using the last couple of months as a guide is fair really.

 

Sorry, that isn't what I was getting at. More that recent months of shown shone a light further on things for me. I am probably not saying it correctly, sorry. 

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1 hour ago, Pob said:

 At least I know it's a game he'll play a lot, and it's clear what you're getting for your money. As soon as he argued that he's got a bunch of toys in his room that he barely uses so why can't he spend his money on digital items he will use, I felt like I didn't have a leg to stand on.

 

That's a fair point, but it's still a waste of money. Which isn't disastrous in itself, they need to learn what wasting money is for themselves. I'd rather she spent it on new games, or the switch she's saving up for. Unless it's star wars skins.

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23 minutes ago, Kryptonian said:

One of their pals spent £60 on Fortnite levels for the battlepass though (rather than levelling up) and then complained about not having anything to do which I’m totally against. 

 

Even that's a bit of a lesson. I still remember being incredibly hyped for the release of a new Dizzy game one summer, then me and my mate followed a guide through to completion of the game, briefly having a lot of fun and then... that was it, over. Whoops! Cost less than £60 even with inflation accounted for, it's true.

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During lockdown I let the girls play an hour a day but my tactic of always giving them other ideas/activities to do instead usually means they do not play at all. If they do I tend to get them to go for multi-player games so they can play together.

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12 minutes ago, bradigor said:

 

Sorry, that isn't what I was getting at. More that recent months of shown shone a light further on things for me. I am probably not saying it correctly, sorry. 


It wasn’t aimed at you, I was thinking more like if someone asked me now how much ‘screen time’ my kids have now and I compared to January it would be very different.

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4 hours ago, BeeJay said:

@Bangaio Careful not to get dragged in to cause and effect confusion. Because you see struggling child = games player, that does not mean that games player causes struggling child. Games playing may actually be helping.

 

Your post triggered me unfortunately and probably highlights the biggest issue I have with most schools, which is attitude toward students with learning difficulties/mental health issues/who are on the autism spectrum.

 

That child who is bleery eyed, late to school or disruptive might be using games as a method of distraction and escapism from their life. Limiting screen time and further stigmatisation of their interests will only further isolate them and harm them. Ask them about their gaming, engage with them about it, just like any other interest that a student has. I read yesterday (possibly apocraful) that Jimmy Hendrick used to carry a broom around with him all day at school pretending to have a guitar, because he didn't have a guitar. The school, concerned about his mental health, campaigned to buy him a guitar. Be that school, not the school that would suspend him for carrying around a broom all day.

 

Personally, as a parent, I take whatever my daughter shows an interest in and help her develop her interest to the fullest, supporting her and engaging with her. For her, it isn't games, but currently art and swimming. Tomorrow might be something else.

I work in a school with a specialist asd unit and I spent the last 4 years as assistant head In charge of pastoral, well being and mental health. My issue isn’t with kids playing games. I played games after all but not when I was 5 and I’m really surprised and shocked by the number of very young kids (<5) who are plonked in front of games, phones and tablets as it is easy. 
 

I have spent many hours with asd students playing minecraft, programming, designing games etc. I’ve also sat in a room with families of very able students who are up playing fortnight until 4am and who have blown over a grand in one case of their parents’ money on skins and are out of control at home and in school. 
 

I don’t know if a single colleague who would decide a child who is behind and is an gamer as having a gaming issue without working with parents. Indeed we are even working on a policy in school to further improve relationships and we actually encourage our teachers to take in interest in what kids do. I can tell you what consoles half of y9 and 10 have in my place as well as what games they play. 
 

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12 minutes ago, Don Rosco said:

 

That's a fair point, but it's still a waste of money. Which isn't disastrous in itself, they need to learn what wasting money is for themselves. I'd rather she spent it on new games, or the switch she's saving up for. Unless it's star wars skins.


Depends on your definition of waste, if the kid likes it and it makes them happy it is that a waste?

 

I wouldn’t buy that stuff myself (and don’t) still though.

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Most things are a waste of money, let's face it, but when you're a kid you want this stuff. It's what pocket money is for. Obviously he's not running an unlimited tab on my credit card!

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It's probably the cheapest hobby your child can have.(Granted, I bought the PS4 because I wanted a PS4).

At most my son wants 2 new games per year, the rest of the time it's the very occasional microtransaction, maybe £10 a month.

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1 hour ago, Kryptonian said:


It wasn’t aimed at you, I was thinking more like if someone asked me now how much ‘screen time’ my kids have now and I compared to January it would be very different.

 

Ah fair enough. That makes sense. You are now off my nemesis list ;) 

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My 11 yr old definitely plays more than I think he should, especially at the moment while we're all at home and myself and my wife are both trying to continue working full-time, but I do keep an eye on him and make sure it's not affecting his wellbeing. The only really hard rule we have is that he's not allowed any gaming at all before midday, as this really does seem to affect him more than anything else, and can make him lethargic and affect his attitude for the rest of the day, whereas if he's done something more educational/physical in the morning and then goes on in the afternoon . the lethargy he shows after a long session (3-4hrs) in particular is a killer for doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

 

We've always tried to keep it to age-appropriate games for him as he's grown up, but I have let him play some more adult stuff like Just Cause 3 and GTA5 under my supervision, as the actual driving/flying mechanics in these games are brilliant fun and generally fine for him to play around with (though I was slightly concerned over the glee he took mowing down a number of pedestrians one time in GTA...). One of the main issues with GTA is the massive amount of swearing in it, he knows a fair few swear words through his friends and school now anyway, but we discuss them and talk about not using them, and he is generally very good with his language.

 

With the live online games like Overwatch and Fortnite it is harder to set a hard limit that means he would have to break off halfway through a game, and I understand this a lot better than his mum, who is more likely to march in and switch it off from the wall, but I have recently found quite an effective tactic to get him to mentally prepare for finishing his session, which is to send him a quick message through the Xbox app giving him a 5/10min warning, so it actually pops up on screen as he's playing, and he does seem to accept that more readily than us shouting into the room where he's playing.

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I have an 11 and 8 year old and held off them playing Fornite for years. But resistant is futile once all their friends are on it. I have to say during lockdown it has really come into its own as a way of them playing and socialising with their friends. Id still rather they were on Zelda (and personally think its a shit game) but it is kinda heartwarming hearing them form little teams and allegiances - and basically use it like a digital playground.

 

They have an hour or so a day, and only get that if they do their school work. 

 

God knows what we'd do without video game time, as its the only bargaining chip that seems to work these days :)

 

I think its so easy to become our parents and forget what its like to be a kid. I'd much rather they play something that they are actively mentally engaging with, than passively watch shite cartoons on Netflix. 

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9 hours ago, Horribleman said:

Don't get me wrong. I'm talking about when people don't interact at all with their kids and just plainplonk them down with tablet. Using it when you need to have ten minutes is fine! 

How long is acceptable in Horrible World then?

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Regarding swearing, it’s weird. I was a typical stuffy Brit when I moved here, but every radio station plays uncut edits during the day because swearing in English (or indeed, in Finnish) just doesn’t seem to be a big deal. The kids know not to swear but boy do they hear a lot of it. I’m much more relaxed about it. As long as they aren’t using inappropriate language themselves or made to feel uncomfortable by something, it’s really not a big deal.

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6 minutes ago, sir stiff_one said:

Regarding swearing, it’s weird. I was a typical stuffy Brit when I moved here, but every radio station plays uncut edits during the day because swearing in English (or indeed, in Finnish) just doesn’t seem to be a big deal. The kids know not to swear but boy do they hear a lot of it. I’m much more relaxed about it. As long as they aren’t using inappropriate language themselves or made to feel uncomfortable by something, it’s really not a big deal.

 

My son, absolutely refuses to swear, he cannot do it. Yet my daughter goes round calling people 'knob 'eads' and that we are 'pissing her off' amongst other things. We have never treated either differently with regards to language. It really is interesting how different kids can be in the same household. 

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51 minutes ago, sir stiff_one said:

How long is acceptable in Horrible World then?

Depends doesn't it. I don't think I made my point well. I wasn't judging. I was more interested in saying that screen time isn't inherently bad. 

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16 hours ago, sir stiff_one said:

Regarding swearing, it’s weird. I was a typical stuffy Brit when I moved here, but every radio station plays uncut edits during the day because swearing in English (or indeed, in Finnish) just doesn’t seem to be a big deal. The kids know not to swear but boy do they hear a lot of it. I’m much more relaxed about it. As long as they aren’t using inappropriate language themselves or made to feel uncomfortable by something, it’s really not a big deal.

 

My wife has started telling our daughter off for saying 'God' and 'damn' so my daughter (who is learning Spanish) looked up what they'd be in Spanish so she could say it without her mum realising. 

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17 hours ago, sir stiff_one said:

Regarding swearing, it’s weird. I was a typical stuffy Brit when I moved here, but every radio station plays uncut edits during the day because swearing in English (or indeed, in Finnish) just doesn’t seem to be a big deal. The kids know not to swear but boy do they hear a lot of it. I’m much more relaxed about it. As long as they aren’t using inappropriate language themselves or made to feel uncomfortable by something, it’s really not a big deal.

I was wondering this recently. They're going to hear it. I think the right approach is not to hide it from them but to explain why we don't use those words. 

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I think that’s spot on. We don’t use them because it’s usually quite rude in context. Taking away the magic naughtiness from them has been an unexpected bonus here. If adults do it then it really can’t be cool.

 

Now how to stop my 2 boys exclaiming “yeah boyeeee!” About everything.

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It's all bloody YEET! this and YEET! that over here, I hate it. youtube's far more influential than any swears they might pick up in gta. 

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2 hours ago, sir stiff_one said:

Now how to stop my 2 boys exclaiming “yeah boyeeee!” About everything.


Why stop that? Sounds hilarious.

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