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  1. #21


    Me, I actually use video games to get the kids through lessons. The older children (11 & 13) are allowed video game breaks when they get through their two toughest subjects, math and grammar/writing. I prefer they play active video games and not passive games, but I figure giving their brains a break is good. The 4yo isn't allowed any games before he does his (approximately ten minutes worth of) lessons.

    If the weather is nice, they're not allowed to play passive games until sunset. Either pull out an exercise game or go play outside.
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  3. #22


    Our version of the kitchen timer is Parental Controls on our iMac. They are logged out automatically by the machine. We all agreed on the time limits and days, I coded them in, and no further intervention is required. This has reduced conflict in our household enormously!

  4. #23
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    we once tried to do parental controls on my son's pc - he went in in safe mode and disabled them. i think he was 12?
    Cara, homeschooling one
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  5. #24


    When my boys were younger, we gave them 14 hours per week screen time. This counted towards TV, computer, and video games. They could use a couple of hours a day, or use it all one day, or however they chose to do it. It helped them learn to manage their time and plan for the weekends. They grumbled a lot, at first, but it worked. They learned to not turn on the TV to kill time, to choose games they really enjoyed, and to plan carefully. I think it was successful. My sons, now grown, still are careful about how much time they spend playing video games, although they might have done that without our experiment.

  6. #25


    We tried time allocations, but it made my son sneaky. I didn't like sneaky, and even more, I didn't like that the rule - arbitrary - I made was causing the sneakiness.

    Having times of day when it isn't an option seems to work better. Works better for me too.

  7. #26


    I agree, Stella. I feel like the more elaborate the system, the more likely it is to turn kids into little grubbers trying to game it out. We also have more of a routine where there are certain times of day when it's an option and others when it isn't at all.
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  8. #27


    We didn't really have trouble with sneakiness, and we didn't really consider it an "elaborate system". I thought it was simple. We no longer had to argue about game time. They had to decide how to spend their time themselves. But I guess it depends on the kid. We might have to change what we do when our younger ones are older.

  9. #28


    We have had no hacking attempts. Were the kids to try to hack the controls, I would have no problem with locking them out of the machine completely, or selling it. They also have iPods and iPads, which have time-limited access to wifi (via Airport Utility). We have discussed these conditions and they have helped to draft, and then signed, agreements specifying all of this.

    Left to their own devices, our kids would sit at the computer all day and night, watching YouTube or playing games. I know, because I have done the same, as has DH. Someday they will learn to (somewhat!) control their obsessive impulsives, which they inherited from us. Til then, I will help them out by constraining their choices. It's analagous to stocking the kitchen with healthy foods rather than the junk they would happily eat all day long.

  10. #29


    Except not quite

    Ds learns a lot from gaming and YouTube etc - everything from spelling to design to anime - so it isn't really junk food. Maybe more like only eating fruit and not enough veggies or something

  11. #30


    Kids differ! In our case, our gene pool has a tendency to gaming/eating/spending/drinking to destructive extremes. Be glad your kid does not!

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