How much time do your kids spend playing video games?

United States
April 25, 2008 4:45pm CST
Sometimes I am truly amazed at how much time some kids spend playing video games. A friend of mine with 4 boys allows her children to play video games constantly. She has bought them every video game system in existence. Nobody else in the house plays these games but the children, the oldest of which is 10. I think it's disgusting. She says it keeps them occupied and out of trouble. I think what she really means is that it keeps them out of her hair and makes her parenting job seem easier. I am not completely against video games. I used to be until recently. My son was never allowed to play them without his dad. We own a PS2 and XBox 360. My son, who is soon to be 11, just got his first video game, a very old gameboy color, this past Christmas. When we got the Xbox, we gave him our old Game Cube. These are his video games he can play when he chooses, they are in his room. However he has rules to follow. He has to do his homework and chores first. Then he has to turn the games off at 8pm and read until bedtime. When he messes up, the video games are the first thing I take away from him, and he has to earn them back. Even though he is allowed to play his games a few hours a day, most days he'd much rather be outdoors. He may actually only play his games an hour or less per day. Also, whenever he goes to a friend's house, I tell him he's not allowed to play video games there, and I make sure the parents know this too. I just believe there are other things kids can be doing than playing video games all the time.
1 person likes this
10 responses
@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
26 Apr 08
Even with going outside every day and doing homework my son clocks a good bit of gaming time in daily. We have a game cub, he has a DS and his own PC. As long as he is doing good in school, going out every day and enjoying his friends (usually at least an hour and a half after he comes home from school), I don't care how much time spends on video games. He has to take a shower during the week at 8:30 and is in bed by nine.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
27 Apr 08
Well, I'm not going to judge other people....but I wouldn't let my son play video games constantly. My older son who is now 7.5 years old got his first video game when he was almost 5....and that's something I didn't like (his dad got it for him). I also noticed that my son would get stuck to it once he started playing and the half an hour turned to an hour (which in my opinion was too much for a 5 year old). So, I just took it away when he was at school and packed it up. As long as he didn't see it, he didn't want it. Now he plays it maybe twice or thrice in a year for half and hour to an hour. And I'm fine with that. He's learning nothing from it and he's better off outside. Now that I have a younger one too....I prefer them being out or playing board games or doing a jigsaw puzzle with the older one (when the younger one is napping). I also like talking to my son and understanding how he thinks and how his day went. I do the same as you when my son visits his friend's place (especially the ones who play video games constantly)....I don't mind a half hour of play ...and I tell the mother that. So, what she does is let him play for half hour before it's time to leave.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
4 May 08
Thanks for the BR!
• United States
26 Apr 08
I agree it is disgusting that parents let their children sit in front of a video game for hours on end. They need social interaction , and they need to go outside in play .Personally I think this shows a sign of a parent being selfish and purely lazy! HOW SAD!
• United States
26 Apr 08
What I find odd is, when my kids are outside they are out of my hair and not really bothering me a whole lot, it's the same if they play video games. The only difference is that outdoor activities are better for them. So it's really not a matter of laziness, I think it's more a matter of she doesn't want to fight with the kids or let them be mad at her for not giving them whatever they want.
@kezabelle (2984)
26 Apr 08
They dont play any, eldest is 4 and plays a couple of kids educational games on a childrens website but they are teaching her numbers etc so i dont mind, youngest is only 2. I dont see the need for video games although like I say I dont mind the educational ones
@moneyandgc (3430)
• United States
26 Apr 08
My ten year old son loves video games. My 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter like them too but they get bored with them pretty quick. They have a Playstation 2, an Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy DS and a PSP. At my mom's house next door they have the Gamecube. My 10 year old plays a lot of video games. It is his hobby. At first I thought that maybe he needs to cut back. Then I sat and thought about it. He is a straight A student and he also plays soccer, football and baseball. It is not like he is sitting in front of a video game 24-7. He is very active. His dad takes away all the video games as a punishment if they do something wrong. It works a whole lot better than grounding him because he is a homebody anyway most of the time. It is warm enough to swim in Mississippi now so with the pool they will be outside even more. I'm not too worried about him. If his grades start sliding and he doesn't want to do anything else there will be an adjustment though.
@gemini_rose (16192)
26 Apr 08
My children have a playstation 2 now, we cannot afford to buy them all the games that they want but they have a few. I do not put limits on it, especially not in winter. When they first had it they were always on it, but as the time has passed the novelty has worn off and they now don't bother with it at all, they would rather be out in the garden or playing with their action figures.
@magrylouyu (1629)
• United States
26 Apr 08
My husband and I own a PS2 and I bought "The bee movie game" for my oldest on her 4th Birthday in Feb. I dont allow her to play it every day 4 hours a day but maybe twice a week for an hour each day. Nothing majorly long. I would never allow my children to play videogames that long. They also have a Dora Save The Mermaids game that I want to get her as well.
• United States
25 Apr 08
Alright, you've my funny bone here. Ya know that bone on your arm, that kinda hurts, but is interesting anyway? I used to think video games were horrible, because of the experience I've had with them. I've noticed many people become very addicted and completely absorbed into them, as if real life didn't exist. BUT... I do not put limits on my kids' time, nor do I even keep track. One day they might be there for 8 hours, but then it might be two months before they turn the thing on again. We are unschoolers, so our life approach is much different than most. There are so many things kids can learn from video games. self control and time management are the first and foremost my kids have begun learning. My (at the time) 4 year old started to learn to read and developed the want to learn through video games. He is very hand eye coordinated and has impeccable problem solving skills for a five year old...for a 7 year old for that matter. Sometimes he gets wrapped up for hours at a time. I see it like this, he's 5, if something can engage him for longer than 20 minutes, it's good. The video games are not a babysitter for me, because either myself or another adult is with my kids when they are playing. We talk about the characters, the plot line, possible solutions, where clues might be, and sometimes make up our own ideas for games. The other day at the grocery store my son developed his own video game. He used the squares on the floor as battery power, fire power and hits. He produced a scenario in his mind with a problem, a solution, a list of characters including the bad guy, good guy, guide, heroine and damsels. He calculated his life points as we walked through shopping, and kept track of his hits and misses. In the end, his game wasn't complete, so we moved to the next level to find the next clue on our drive home. After unloading the groceries and putting them away, he moved to the next level in the back yard. He kept on the same story line and continued his quest. He solved his problem, found his clues, and rescued the prisoners and saved the day. All this, and he just turned five in January. So tell me, are video games really all that bad????
@vera5d (4006)
• United States
25 Apr 08
My son probably plays video games for 3-5 hours a week. It is a nice way to keep him out my hair. He is playing things like sonic and computer games like nick jr. so in some ways I think it is good for him - it stimulates his mind and eye hand coordination. the computer games are actually teaching him spanish, lol. he knows more spanish than I did after taking 3 years of it!!
• United States
25 Apr 08
Sounds like your friend would be lost without the electronic babysitter. Bet she spends tons of money on batteries for those games. My son has a Game Boy and he plays it once in a while. My kids read and mostly watch TV when they need a break. I never tell them to leave me alone so I can neglect my parenting duties. I wont buy and Xbox or any other stuff like since I'm not into it. I rather have a family game night then watch my kids stare at a screen until they pass out.