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  1. #11

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    It totally can be anything. People have a knee jerk reaction to gaming, but for me, reading can be just as bad. I limit my fiction reading during term time because I will sacrifice sleep and relationships and responsibilities in order to read.

    I think cultivating a habit of doing other things in addition to the obsession is a good way of creating balance. For us it's the habit of daily walking that shifts us away from screens and pages and at least keeps other space open.

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  3. #12
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    lol i suggested dh get some jigsaw puzzles for xmas and he did - but I ended up working on a 1000 piece (with some help from Heron) and it was definitely obsessive and i kept kinda double-checking to make sure it was really still ok to spend the time, but it WAS vacation after all. I was telling dh, this is why i dont usually do puzzles, i get obsessive over htem . . . he was not impressed. i say the same thing about reading books. i used to sit on the toilet reading until it was painful . . . hours after i was done doing anything . . . because i was in the middle of a book.

    my boys know that if they throw a fit about getting off to do chores, that shows they need more time away from electronics - so that is motivation for them to not be too crazy about it. i used to just try to keep them busy, but i've been too exhuasted recently.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  4. #13

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    I know some families camp regularly as a way of getting unplugged. It wouldn't work for us because dh won't camp but some friends swear by it.

  5. #14
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    This is a little easier for me, because my son is still so young, but I put a limit on time for actual PLAYING. During the week (school days), he gets 30 minutes a day after his dad gets home from work (it's part of their bonding time, and dh is actually teaching ds a TON about programming, game design, and computers). On the weekend, ds gets 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon.

    Ds loves to read strategy guides and can do that any time he wants (obviously ).

    I do think there are enormous benefits to gaming, just not at the expense of outside play, books, dreaming time, and relationships with family.
    -Angela.

    Unschooling one son (7).

  6. #15

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    I get the same way about puzzles, Cara. Thank goodness we don't have anywhere practical to put them.
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  7. #16
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    yeah, it was rough eating dinner around the puzzle. we actually had a board to do it on (dh has been using board for his games). now that Heron is gone, we might have enough room on the table . .. lol
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  8. #17

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    We don't do video games here (except for the occasional ones on Google, or the plug into your TV old 80s style Pac Man and Space Invaders--which are addictive enough!), but I totally laugh about the puzzles. I'm the same way. There are other things my kids do that I consider addictive or habits---one of the biggest is picking on their siblings--you know just walking by and instinctively taking something and hiding it, or just pretending to take something and hide it. We've had a lot of discussions about the things that are easy to choose spend time on versus the stuff that's hard to decide to do. Often, once we get started on that thing that we'd rather put off, we're glad we did and we usually grow. Not only that, but an hour later we feel good about ourselves versus just neutral, or even zoned. I have problems with my two older kids reading fiction. They will read or reread books all day if I let them. (Sometimes I have). I finally for the most part put an outright ban on "free fiction" during the school day. I've been known to confiscate books we own that they keep reading (Harry Potter among them). Sometimes I replace them with other series I've looked into, or sometimes I just tell them (if they ask) that I've put them in the attic. Usually they will find something else to do and not get upset. Eventually, on a weekend, they'll go up in the attic and drag them back down again and we'll go through it again. (I haven't had the heart to take their favorite books to the thrift store yet.) Perhaps you could put some of his games "away" in rotation. It doesn't feel like I'm totalitarian about it, as we usually discuss how in order to have healthy lives we have to make ourselves do the things that we need that extra push to do. And it helps that they know where I'm putting them---they're just not immediately accessible. Even better, maybe you could talk to him about being healthy about a hobby and not compulsive, and he could actually put the games away for a period, start with one day. Maybe make a bargain like "How would you like to go to the batting cages---how about on Friday we decide to put your games away for a day and instead replace it with something that improves your motor skills in another way" And/or discuss with him some things he'd like to accomplish in his life and help him design a plan to use his love of video games to reward himself when he's reached a certain checkpoint to his goal. I'm constantly setting goals *with* my kids. Or perhaps just start storing the games in a drawer, unplugged, and make a rule that every time he's finished playing he has to disconnect everything and put it away, so that it's not within hand's reach at all times. If it takes a few minutes to set the game up each time, maybe he'll choose something different more often.

  9. #18

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    Sorry about the one long paragraph. I tend to ramble.

  10. #19

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    Thank you so much everyone for your answers!!!
    It really helped me relax.
    Home Learning since July 2005. Currently homeschooling my youngest (dd10)
    while my two oldest (dd 17 & ds 15) attend public senior high school (they both homeschooled until grade 9).

    Come and visit us at Life on Prince Edward Island.

  11. #20
    Senior Member Enlightened Kimberlapoderosa's Avatar
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    I have found it very helpful to give my DS 6 a kitchen timer when he wants to play. When it goes off, game time is over. I usually let him set it for 30 minutes. He never fusses about turning the game off, because the timer told him it was over. And he doesn't blame me, which I really like.
    Kimberly, homeschooling DS 12 and DS 7

    The three stooges now living together in Dallas.

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    Tell me and Iíll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and Iíll understand.
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