Limiting computer game time for teens

Filed under: Teens, Development/Milestones: Babies, Day Care & Education, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

My oldest son, Loren, is a dedicated World of Warcraft (WoW) player. This would not at all be a problem if he were a more devoted student. If given the opportunity, he and his band of cronies would spend their evenings slaying computer generated evil guys rather than do their Spanish homework. And, in fact, they have been sneakily doing just that. It is now parent teacher conference time and all of their reports have been somewhat negative in the homework area. As a result, three other families and I got together for margaritas at a local restaurant to discuss the slacker qualities of our favorite teenage boys.

We are not alone in our struggles to limit our sons' game playing time. It is not unusual for the average player to spend up to 24 hours per week on line. The addictive aspects of the game can suck a player into its world for 24 hours at a time. With this in mind, my friends and I came up with a plan to limit our children's playing time to 3 hours per week. They can log on at a designated time three nights per week for a half hour, and for an additional hour and a half on the weekends. There are no rollover minutes, so it is a use it or lose it policy. Needless to say, our boys are not at all pleased with this arrangement. They claim nothing can be accomplished within just thirty minutes. As parents, we are well aware of this shortcoming in our plan. They have been informed that if they improve their academic performances, they might have more time on the weekends or accumulate their weekday time to use on the weekends. But until that time, they are resigned to their current situation.

I can't muster up too much pity for the boys. Although I can admit that WoW is an exceptionally cool game, there are just so many other things they can be doing with their time. What about our readers? Do you have a WoW player in your home? If so, is it a problem? How do you cope with it?


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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.