How do you let a child know that game time is over?

United States
August 26, 2007 5:57pm CST
Awhile ago, my husband and little kid were happily playing away the day with some made up game. And, the second I walked into the room carrying a plate full of sandwiches for lunch, my spouse hopped up and grabbed a sandwich to eat. On the other hand, my daughter still thought it was game time and kept trying to play the game with him. And, he told her that game time was over for now. She did not take the news too well. I think she's still too young to understand that there will always be plenty of time for games later after lunch. So, how do you handle this type of situation with your own children? How do you let your kids know that game time or playtime is over and now it's time to move onto dinner or lunch? How do you do that without them throwing a tantrum or causing mischeif? Is there some type of routine that I could set up so that she knows the procedure in the future?
1 person likes this
9 responses
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
27 Aug 07
I just tell my son that we will stop playing soon. My son loves to eat, though. So he's usually happy to eat whenever he sees his lunch. If we have toys out, I also make it a game to put them away. Then the game will be over once the toys are all put away. It works well now, since he's only 18 months old, but I'm not sure it will still be working by the time he reaches 3 years old. I might have to come up with something else when he gets older.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Aug 07
I'm sure you'll do fine. If you can get those routines started at his age now, he'll be so used to them when he turns three years old, he won't even question them. My little kid was never much for routines. It's just not her nature. Next time I will tell her way in advance like you suggested. And, then do a couple reminders, like "Five more minutes of playtime and then lunch!" I have done that before and it worked. Not sure why I don't use that everytime. Mommy needs to be consistent! Yes, I do!
@youless (91494)
• Guangzhou, China
23 Nov 07
Usually I will just tell it to my child that the game time is over. Let's play it tomorrow. Now it is already 9pm, it's time to go to bed.
@fredgame (1261)
• China
22 Nov 07
i'm single with such an idea but nontheless it's the future that will tell and this my idea, it's best when it's playtime, you play and when it's about time for another thing, before the actual time you should notify the players and let them adjust their systems gradually till the time finally comes and by then they'd have been ready to stop and that wouldn't cause the sudden inpulse stop that makes them go mad. i think you should let the child know or have a transition to another programme so that she can be use to it and prepare for it. that will help her build up gradually. if even adults when imensed in doing something interesting and suddenly there is a stop, you don't feel happy. so it's a blow to children and may think you're a hinderer to their progress.
@youless (91494)
• Guangzhou, China
4 Sep 07
My son is three years old and he likes playing computer. I tell him that he can't play it for a long time. So sometimes I will tell him let's read books together, and he is happy to do so. Sometimes we will also play with toys together. Probably children at this age can still listen to parents. When it's 9pm, then I will tell him the time and he will know he has to go to bed.
@KrisNY (7592)
• United States
3 Sep 07
It is a hard one for little ones to learn- Possibly remind them that it is almost time to eat lunch- Actually go out of the room that you are playing in- and sit down to eat- Leave the game set up so that the child knows you will go back to it- I bet it will be hard at first- but if you set up a routine- they will quickly catch on. Also does she take a nap?? How did you get her in that habit? Follow the same routine for play time as you did for learning when to nap.
@maddysmommy (16236)
• United States
30 Aug 07
I just tell him when game or play time is up. Of course he packs a fuss but after further explanation as to why we are stopping he understands. Kids are like that though, they would rather play for hours and take a drink here and there and thats it. We have been playing tennis at the park for the last five days and he loves it as he gets to join in as well and then when us adults are finished he gets to play on the playground for 10-15 minutes. He does whine a little but understands the reasons why its time to stop and go home.
• India
27 Aug 07
this is something that would never happen with me! i am not a parent yet... i am talking about what my parents would have done to me if i had the similar situation... my parents had to just once and it would not have even occurred in my head to argue.... they have always brought me up like that in such a way that its always their word thats the law... there is no choice... this doesn't not always happen... when i come about age, like say 13 or 14, then they relax a little.... thats how most indian parents are!
@3lilangels (4639)
• United States
27 Aug 07
well i just tell my babies that mommies making luch and while im making it i start singing clean up song,and i tell them to sing along with me while they put their toys away.and if they dont want to do that at that certain time,i just tell them we have to eat first and then mommy will help you take all your toys out and you can play.i always try to give them like a 5 minute warning and i tell them 5 min til lunch,clean up and get a treat with your luch would be like fruit or something.they usually go for that.
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
27 Aug 07
I personally would have given her a "5 min warning" which is what I've done with my kids for yrs..They get a 5 min warning before dinner, bedtime, before they have to shut off the computer/tv/video games etc etc and its worked like a charm....Next time I would suggest that BEFORE you get up to grab lunch for everyone (or whatever) you tell her something like "ok this is the 5 min warning...we can play for 5 more mins then it'll be time to stop so we can have lunch but maybe we can play again later" I think the reason she MAY have not taken it well is becasue it was abrubt and unexpected... AND if a tantrum happens then you tell her somethign like "well if thats the way you are goin to behave then maybe we shouldnt play this game again until you are older and dont have temper tantrums" Thats always worked for me with my kids and like I said, I've been doin it since they were little