I've always limited my son's (now 8) access to electronic games as it overstimulates him and makes him aggressive, emotional and frustrated. Even school recommended educational games (like tutpup) for small periods, make him obsessive and obnoxious for hours afterwards.
I let him on an arcade game "as a treat"a 3 days ago-yes I should have known better! and he looked like a druggy afterwards. He was wide eyed, trance-like, wringing his hands and distracted; it was quite shocking to me and he takled of nothing else for the rest of the day. His behaviour for the following 2 days was appalling. Has anyone else experienced his? I'd like to understand what is happening physiologically and find out if this extreme reaction is common.
We had to set up extremely rigid rules around screen time for our boys because of this kind of behaviour after. As soon as there was any crossing the line there was no screen time for a period of days depending on the infraction and how long it took to recover :o)
I found a lot of their behaviours were around being hungry, being on the pc too long and/or not enough time running around outside first.
They are now able to have an hour shared session with no major issues during or after but it has taken a year of being really on to it. We have the computer in the living area right by the kitchen so I could do that.
Boys particularly, and sensitive boys even more so, tend to have very difficult interactions around screen time. Good luck.
Hi, same problem with our now 12 year old although much better at this age. I have heard that our brains are flooded with happy chemicals when we win or succeed and stress ones when we lose. Playstations etc are very intense and involving so I think the feelings when we "lose/fall into the lava etc" are probably overwhelming. We had to use all sorts of techniques to teach ds to calm down but I recall a major shouting match one when I kept saying "walk away and calm down for a minute" and he just kept shouting "NO" My son also has the distinction of being the only person known at the Emergency centre to cut his head open requiring stitches while playing Playstation. Long story but if you need a cautionary tale... he was playing a game in which he had been trying to get past a level for some days, He 'died' and in a fury he flung the control on the floor and flung himself backward on the couch which was up against a window. Bang went the head on the window sill, "ow" yelled the boy and then the blood came pouring out. So that was a fun evening. He was about eight at the time. I think it's best not to let them feel it is a reward though because then when it all goes wrong it feels even worse. They just can't stand not being able to beat the game so maybe they are learning something useful about persistence. Good luck with dealing with it
Gosh, that's a story Victoria!!
Our 6 year old is similar to this.
The addiction is instant, and lasts for a long time.
He just can't let it go. (we haven't played any 'games' yet, just maths like games, problem solving things), It was dominating his thought process 24/7 and the constant stress he was under (and us) worrying about when his next turn was, and how long it was going to be, and the tantrums at the end...
It's a little better now that we are in a very very strict routine with it. only 15 minutes, and i have to be right on him at the end. it's always after reading and jobs are done, and as much as would love to, we don't use it as a reward at all for anything. I'm hoping this will enable him to develop better self-control over it all, as I really do think that the use of the computer, and internet, for research and discoveries is going to be so useful to him in the future. so far so good. It is a real relief to know that others find the same thing. good luck everyone. It's a drag being the computer police, but I think their brains just get so overwhelmed, and we need to be able to intervene .
My son also has a really hard time with anything that is fictional - like, won't watch movies (get's very scared very easily), does not like fiction, and I think has a hard time comprehending the difference between non-fiction and fiction, so he get's very consumed in the computer, and doesn't have a 'switch off' mode in his head.
Here's an idea that worked for us. We created a separate user account (non-administrative) for each child. Now we as administer can set limits such as what time, which days, and for how long each user may log on. So, when they're playing games, watching a dvd, surfing the web, the computer gives them a 15 min and 5 min warning, then goes to sleep. If they truly need more time, we can easily extend that session.
Try using "Kids Watch" -- a great way of limiting times & sites. It also allows you to go back & see how much time was spent on which site at what time of the day.
It's not expensive & works great. You can restrict which hours the internet is available for each individual -- ie: when jobs should be done, after dinner, etc. You can easily add time for good behaviour & hand them a written code for it.