I am a video game widow...have known it for years and come to terms with it. My DH LOVES video games. He doesn't play as much as he used to, thank goodness. But here's the problem, now our 5 year old son is hooked on them. We limit his game play and keep him involved in other activities, but ALL he ever wants to talk about is video games. And I'm talking about details that you would never even understand unless you are playing that particular game. And he talks NONSTOP. He will pause the game to come tell me all the details. He will get out of bed to talk about it, stick his head out of the shower to talk about it, interrupt my phone conversations...you get the idea. It's making me crazy!!!
I don't want to give my baby boy the impression that I don't want to listen to him, I want him to ALWAYS feel like he can talk to me and I'm interested in what he has to say. BUT I am SO SICK of hearing about these video games!!! I ask questions about other things in his life and he brushes me off and starts in on the gaming talk again. He claims he "can't remember" what he did in school, but he will tell me all the details of level 5 in game whatever he played yesterday.
PLEASE HELP ME!! What can I do? Will this pass? How can I encourage new conversation topics? Is there a delicate way to tell a 5 year old that not everyone wants to hear about video games?
Nothing wrong with telling him that, in my opinion. Tell him that you are sometimes interested in many other things. My son tends to have what we call the "obsession of the month" (or day, or week-- it varies). I do hope that it will pass. I think that you are doing the right thing by keeping limits and keeping him involved in other things. If it's any comfort, my son never has a favorite thing in school-- "I love everything Mommy"-- or "I can't remember what we did".
Do yourself and your family a HUGE favor and cut him off from the video games entirely. My son was the EXACT same way. He got hooked on games at 4 years old has never stopped. He's now almost eighteen and has wasted a huge part of his life on games. I wish I could go back in time and put an end to it. We did limit his time, of course, but his obsession with games has been a battle every day. It's getting better because he doesn't have much free time anymore, but I think it has affected his life in a very negative way. He never got into sports or made a lot of friends because he was always in the house in front of the TV. Now it's more of a computer/myspace obession, but it's all the same thing as far as I'm concerned. Please take the advice of someone who has been there/done that and whatever you, DON'T buy him any new games. He'll get bored with the old ones and want to do something else. Help your son get involved in some outside activities and put an end to the video games. I wish I would have!
Or start playing with him!
My hubby plays video games and online games, and I did not understand his "obsession' with it when we first got married, until I "tried" it. AT that point I was hooked!!
We both are part of a team online and we compete with other teams. I LOVE IT! He also got involved in another game, which I am not fond of, but it does keep him out of my hair!
I think young children just get so excited about new things. Other things will come along for him to talk about, but video games are just so new and exciting for him right now.
Personally, I think you should encourage him to talk about them. Those conversations could open up new interests for him. So many games have elements that are based on myths, classic books and stories, etc. By talking with him about the games he is playing, you could guide him towards subjects that are more interesting to you.
Hi, I'm a gamer widow as well. Fell free to contact me for a chat!
Thanks to everyone for the varying advice. Infields, I can see your point, my DH was raised in front of the TV, computer and video games. It took him a very long time to develop new interests as an adult. However, I don't think completely cutting my son off is the right choice for us. He enjoys it SO much, and there is the argument that it helps his hand/eye coordination, among other things.
It's an interesting suggestion to encourage the talks....maybe if I encourage him to tell me more about the games instead of just "uh huh" I can learn more about what appeals so much to him.
I feel I should point out that he also excels in school and karate, and when he gets a little older, his dad is planning on letting him try out some sports. I absolutely agree that video games shouldn't take over his life. As a family, though, we all enjoy games from time to time, we even all play together sometimes. I don't see anything wrong with that. It just drives me absolutely BANANAS to be in the middle of a conversation with someone and have him come up "excuse me, mom, this is important...I just beat level 3!"
I guess maybe I just need to meet him somewhere in the middle.
This is my 6 year old.
His "I don't know" to school means " boooring! I just got out of school and I don't want to talk about what I just left"... How many times are we asked about our day & don't want to talk about it????
I make my son tell me 5 good things at school during dinner (started with 2 last year in kindergarten & worked my way up this last year to 5 things).
He also gets no games until things are cleaned up, homework done etc and computer games are limited, 1 hour m-f & 2 hours sat & sun.
Video games are not bad or evil when played in moderation with enforced restrictions. They have their place just like board games, hot wheels, trains or lego's.
Video game widow here too! I'm in HALO3 hell! I do limit my DS gaming and TV time because there's a wealth of physical activities awaiting him. My DH is 50 and will sit in our family room and game for 8-12 hour and i never say a word! I cruise CC as the world goes by me or am in the kitchen "cakin" for hours on end and he never says a word. If that's something in life that he enjoys, so be it! Atleast he isn't out philandering. That would be my first husband! Now on Thursday's the big TV is MINE! No questions asked! I watch Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy. Don't speak to me unless someone is missing a limb, bleeding profusely or the house is on fire. It is tiring, I know. I have it blasting out of a 51" tv with surround which is right off the kitchen. Thank God for iPods! I'm not telling you to ignore him just what I do in my life. Hang in there!
I know what you mean about the details you don't care about, my son is like that or he'll ask something about a game that I've never played. He just got a new game (he doesn't have many because I'm mean) for his birthday and it's a pirate one which makes it even worse because he's obsessed with pirates anyway.
You guys who let the kids play on school nights are way nicer than I am. My son knows that generally speaking he's lucky to watch TV if it isn't the weekend or a break, video games are strictly for the weekend and I limit the time on those to about 1 hour.
I don't believe that games are terrible things for children in limited amounts, personally I won't let my kids have their own game systems, TVs or computers in their rooms because I have greater control then. I also think that if it looks like it's getting out of hand you can take the games away then.
My 11 year old son does this to me until I want to stick a fork in my eye.
My mom taught me a trick...listen to the feelings behind the chatter, and reflect them back. "Wow...it sounds like you are really excited about that game!" "You must be proud that you conquered that level", etc. All in all, I usually give him a few minutes to chatter about it-doesn't usually take more than 5-10 minutes of undivided attention. And you definitely want to keep him talking to you now...so he will continue to do it as he gets older.
I love lots of these ideas. I don't need them yet, but I am storing them for future use. My son (4) gets about 30 minutes of movies on school nights, and maybe an hour and a half to 2 total each weekend day. (Some of that is mornings so we can eat and read the paper.) I really agree about wanting him to keep talking to you. I am glad he has some other activities-- I think that will help. He can't play at school or karate. If gymnastics is available near you, he might like it. My son LOVES it-- and tumbling, so he is there twice a week. Might not last forever, but it's great for upper body strength and for coordination.
My 4 year old is obsessed with Mario brothers...but I do play with him. I have an old Nintendo (NES) and so we play the old games. He does like other things though...but I do worry that he'll end up like one of those kids who only want to play video games and I don't mind some but those fighting games scare me. I won't buy those at all.
I say limit him to a certain amount of time each day and maybe he'll find other things to do besides gaming? Would he be interested in some books? He might like fantasy like Lord of the Rings or something...how old is he?
My youngest DS is what they call a "gamer". He is 15 now and knows that there are limits to the amount of time spent on a game and limits on what type of game. There will be NO Grand Theft Auto in my house or any other games where it is cool to kill "innocents". They can kill all the creatures from H&!! they want just not after bedtime. I try to play some of these games with him and his friends so that I know what they are about. My DS has informed his father and I that he wants to make games for a living. He has even started to design several (he's my scary smart child).
If you set some ground rules to start with then there should not be as many fights. You will still get..." But I'm just at a good part and I cann't save" You just learn how to pick the battles to win the war
If you want to get DH's attention and your DS is asleep...try standing in front of the TV in the whipped cream bikini. At the least he will be so shocked that he may loose his turn