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Old 12-21-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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Homework first. Chores done. That's about it. I don't have any 'addicts' but I can see the reasons for having more rules if gaming was beginning to look overused. If anyone's fighting over them, they can sort it out or I don't have a problem turning it off for the rest of the day (that was more when the older two were younger).
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:16 PM
 
5,019 posts, read 12,471,540 times
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Like many of the other parents here I had no strict rules about gaming as long as chores and homework were completed.

Unlike the others (perhaps?) I speak in the past-tense as my daughter is now a grown-up.

How did that work out? PhD in Computer Science.

My thoughts... encourage your children to THINK and ask questions: some human "made" this game. Someone wrote the code. Another did the artwok...."How does that work? Could I do that?"

Also expose your child to as much as possible. Sports. Outdoors. Nature. Art. Music.

Present tactile alternatives to the digital world: cooking and art supplies are my favorites.

Good luck and best wishes!
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:43 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,516,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
Wow.

When my daughter was 16, she told us that when she had kids, she would have all the same rules as we did. Now I see how far outside the norm that was. (Our kids are now 22 and 20. The elder just got into med school and got engaged this weekend. The younger is in line to be manager of his department after the first of the year.)

Our rules:
No video games in the house, even if received as a gift.
No TV in the bedroom. (In-laws violated this when elder was 14. Major problem with this one.)
No computer in the bedroom. (See above note about in-laws.)
No TV after supper on school nights. It was never an issue because the rule began at kindergarten. There would be special occasions when something was on that was important: a presidential address, a science or history special. Our family is not into televised sports so that was never an issue either.

The biggest short-term benefit was never having to argue about turning the TV off for bedtime on school nights. The long-term benefit is probably the language ability that our kids exhibit. I believe that this is because while they their friends spent upwards of twenty hours a week gaming, ours passed the time playing with each other, reading, drawing, playing with Legos, etc. We also had a regular bedtime story hour that usually lasted at least half an hour when we were reading a really good novel.

I knew that my students spent a lot of time playing games, but I had no idea that it was so much. They must be incredibly proficient! Imagine how much their schoolwork would improve if they attacked it with so much intensity!

BTW, there is an increase in children having trouble with holding writing instruments because they lack wrist and hand strength, something developed playing with Play-doh®.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/fa...pagewanted=all

WOW...I think I would have had myself emancipated if I was your kid.

Do you honestly believe that your childrens accomplishments are a direct result of your policy regarding TV and video games? Let's be honest here, their accomplishments aren't exactly Earth shattering. I'm sure there are just as many students entering the same med school that watched TV and played video games. As for the department manager...no college?

I had video games. I had a TV in my bedroom. I had a computer in my bedroom. I watched TV whenever I wanted without question as long as I kept up with my responsiblities. I graduated in the top 10 of my class. Went on to Boston College, earned my BA, am currently working on my masters, have a rather succesful career, am married with three children, own my home, etc. Obviously I could not possibly have accomplished all of this while still having unfettered access to mind numbing TV and video games.

As for the handwriting thing...mines horrible and it hurts my hands to hold a pen and write for a long period of time. However, that may have something to do with the fact that no one wants to read anything hand written anymore. From late elementary school on, it was typed or it didn't count. I agree it's an essential skill, but is increasingly marginalized in our tech heavy society.

As for my home. I don't regulate my kids time on TV or video games as long as all of their other responsibilities are met. When everything expected of them is done, than it's their time to do what they please. The only time I have restircted access was when my son was getting physically upset over his video games because he kept dying in Mario Brothers. Took them away for a couple days to reinforce the fact it's just a game.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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My older son gets a 1/2 hour computer time after school and then 1 hour per each weekend day/vacation day. If he complains about getting off of the computer, he loses his time for the next day.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:49 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,657,034 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
The thing is that you set a precedent that video game time is a "premium" thing to be valued above all other activities.

We don't have rules about video games. When my kids are done with what they need to do (homework, chores) then their time is their own. They can do what they like once they have done what they are supposed to do. Believe it or not they don't ALWAYS choose video games even though they are always permitted to do so.

Once you set video games up as something that needs to be "controlled" then you will set up them mindset that says that they will always want to do what you don't want them to do, which in this case is play video games.

If we feel they have been playing to much we will step in and tell them that they are playing to much and ask them to turn it off. We have never had problems with this approach.

As far as handheld games, our kids are a little old for that. We used to let them take them in the car when they were small but we did not permit them to walk around glued to them. We let them play when we were waiting for food to be served but once food was served they needed to put them away. If we had to go somewhere that was boring for them we let them take stuff to entertain themselves.

Now that they are older they do try to sneak in text messages at the table but if they are caught we take the phone right then and there and return it after the meal.

Despite our complete lack of rules with respect to media our kids are very personable, and social. They get good grades, have friends, participate in activities AND they play video games whenever they want to do so.
And other kids, like my son, *will* stay on the computer all day if I let him. He needs limits.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:51 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,657,034 times
Reputation: 16471
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma_bear View Post
Why couldn't your son have other interests without strict limits on video games?

I am not saying people shouldn't have time limits if that works for them. I am just trying to point out the pitfalls of controlling one thing strictly becasue it does give kids the idea that the thing being controlled should be the most highly sought out thing.
That's ok. *shrug* It doesn't bother me that my son looks at computer time as a treat. He has like 14 other hours out of the day to do other things so if he looks at his 1/2 hour of Poptropica time as a treat, who cares?
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:54 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,657,034 times
Reputation: 16471
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
Wow.

When my daughter was 16, she told us that when she had kids, she would have all the same rules as we did. Now I see how far outside the norm that was. (Our kids are now 22 and 20. The elder just got into med school and got engaged this weekend. The younger is in line to be manager of his department after the first of the year.)

Our rules:
No video games in the house, even if received as a gift.
No TV in the bedroom. (In-laws violated this when elder was 14. Major problem with this one.)
No computer in the bedroom. (See above note about in-laws.)
No TV after supper on school nights. It was never an issue because the rule began at kindergarten. There would be special occasions when something was on that was important: a presidential address, a science or history special. Our family is not into televised sports so that was never an issue either.

The biggest short-term benefit was never having to argue about turning the TV off for bedtime on school nights. The long-term benefit is probably the language ability that our kids exhibit. I believe that this is because while they their friends spent upwards of twenty hours a week gaming, ours passed the time playing with each other, reading, drawing, playing with Legos, etc. We also had a regular bedtime story hour that usually lasted at least half an hour when we were reading a really good novel.

I knew that my students spent a lot of time playing games, but I had no idea that it was so much. They must be incredibly proficient! Imagine how much their schoolwork would improve if they attacked it with so much intensity!

BTW, there is an increase in children having trouble with holding writing instruments because they lack wrist and hand strength, something developed playing with Play-doh®.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/25/fa...pagewanted=all

With all due respect, I'll dispute that lack of tv facilitates better language skills. Language skills develop from a variety of sources and activities.

Don't hang your hat on the no-tv thing. Many children do learn language from television shows like Sesame Street and Between the Lions or videos like Muzzy.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:55 AM
 
27,993 posts, read 19,657,034 times
Reputation: 16471
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
WOW...I think I would have had myself emancipated if I was your kid.

Do you honestly believe that your childrens accomplishments are a direct result of your policy regarding TV and video games? Let's be honest here, their accomplishments aren't exactly Earth shattering. I'm sure there are just as many students entering the same med school that watched TV and played video games. As for the department manager...no college?

I had video games. I had a TV in my bedroom. I had a computer in my bedroom. I watched TV whenever I wanted without question as long as I kept up with my responsiblities. I graduated in the top 10 of my class. Went on to Boston College, earned my BA, am currently working on my masters, have a rather succesful career, am married with three children, own my home, etc. Obviously I could not possibly have accomplished all of this while still having unfettered access to mind numbing TV and video games.

As for the handwriting thing...mines horrible and it hurts my hands to hold a pen and write for a long period of time. However, that may have something to do with the fact that no one wants to read anything hand written anymore. From late elementary school on, it was typed or it didn't count. I agree it's an essential skill, but is increasingly marginalized in our tech heavy society.

As for my home. I don't regulate my kids time on TV or video games as long as all of their other responsibilities are met. When everything expected of them is done, than it's their time to do what they please. The only time I have restircted access was when my son was getting physically upset over his video games because he kept dying in Mario Brothers. Took them away for a couple days to reinforce the fact it's just a game.
Exactly!
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:11 PM
 
2,920 posts, read 2,908,338 times
Reputation: 3504
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
WOW...I think I would have had myself emancipated if I was your kid.

Do you honestly believe that your childrens accomplishments are a direct result of your policy regarding TV and video games? Let's be honest here, their accomplishments aren't exactly Earth shattering. I'm sure there are just as many students entering the same med school that watched TV and played video games. As for the department manager...no college?

I had video games. I had a TV in my bedroom. I had a computer in my bedroom. I watched TV whenever I wanted without question as long as I kept up with my responsiblities. I graduated in the top 10 of my class. Went on to Boston College, earned my BA, am currently working on my masters, have a rather succesful career, am married with three children, own my home, etc. Obviously I could not possibly have accomplished all of this while still having unfettered access to mind numbing TV and video games.

As for the handwriting thing...mines horrible and it hurts my hands to hold a pen and write for a long period of time. However, that may have something to do with the fact that no one wants to read anything hand written anymore. From late elementary school on, it was typed or it didn't count. I agree it's an essential skill, but is increasingly marginalized in our tech heavy society.

As for my home. I don't regulate my kids time on TV or video games as long as all of their other responsibilities are met. When everything expected of them is done, than it's their time to do what they please. The only time I have restircted access was when my son was getting physically upset over his video games because he kept dying in Mario Brothers. Took them away for a couple days to reinforce the fact it's just a game.
Go back and read my original point. It was that our daughter said that she would have all the same rules as a parent that she had as a child. She was 16 when she told us that.

God knows that we made many mistakes when rearing them. Some of those mistakes will have lifetime consequences, but our screen policy was not one of them, according to these two young adults who are just beginning their professional lives.

I was just floored to realize that the default mode for many families seems to be that it's okay to spend nearly all unstructured time on screen activities. As a teacher, I know that children get better at what they do, and they usually don't get better at the activities they don't practice. This realization helps me understand the problems that my students have in focusing on academic tasks where there is no immediate gratification.

Considering the responses so far to this thread, I thought that offering a completely different perspective would be insightful. It seems that I have touched a nerve. Mea culpa.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:28 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,516,591 times
Reputation: 14278
Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
Go back and read my original point. It was that our daughter said that she would have all the same rules as a parent that she had as a child. She was 16 when she told us that.

God knows that we made many mistakes when rearing them. Some of those mistakes will have lifetime consequences, but our screen policy was not one of them, according to these two young adults who are just beginning their professional lives.

I was just floored to realize that the default mode for many families seems to be that it's okay to spend nearly all unstructured time on screen activities. As a teacher, I know that children get better at what they do, and they usually don't get better at the activities they don't practice. This realization helps me understand the problems that my students have in focusing on academic tasks where there is no immediate gratification.

Considering the responses so far to this thread, I thought that offering a completely different perspective would be insightful. It seems that I have touched a nerve. Mea culpa.
I suppose the touched nerve has to do with the fact that your statement implied that your children's success was directly attributable to your policy regarding TV and video games, ergo people who choose not to have such policies will raise children that are less succesful.

Everyone has different rules and different methods for their own homes when it comes to raising children. It is not for me or anyone else to judge the methods you chose, but you invite criticism when you make the type of statements you did. Maybe it is just others getting defensive because you are implying that we are causing harm to our children by allowing them to have access to these outlets.

When it comes down to it, anything is acceptable in moderation. I think that was actually the original topic of this thread, how does one reach a level of moderation. If your child is motivated to do nothing other than play games, surf the web or watch TV, than they may need some limits in order to prompt them to engage in other activities. However, those activities in and of themselves are not harmful unless they are allowed to become an all consuming activity.

If my son stopped wanting to go outside and play. If he neglected his homework and chores, or began to lose interest in drawing just to have those activities replaced by video games, I would be concerned. As it is video games and watching "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" are only two of the many varied activities he enjoys. For what it's worth, I would be equally concerned if his entire life was solely devoted to any single activity. Sitting in your room doing nothing but reading encyclopedias is just as bad as sitting in your room doing nothing but playing video games.
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