I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this issue. How long should the kids spend on their games consoles and hidden away in their rooms?

It’s a harder question now than ever before because there is such a social – I use the word loosely – aspect to it all now.

Our soon-to-be 14-year-old is at the stage that when asked to leave his room for anything other than food a battle develops. It is all that much harder as he went into his room a while ago as our 13-year-old sweetheart and has emerged a gangly being with a deep voice and big feet. He had friends round the other day and I forced them out into the fresh air. They came back 15 minutes later saying they were bored and had nothing to do. Since when have the youth of today lost the ability to walk to the shop or hang around a phone box? Do they still have phone boxes? They ended up playing computer games in his room, so no change there.

We decided to dust down his bike so that he can go out cycling with dad and we are planning family walks, but only because he wouldn’t come to Zumba with me.

Now we have over six weeks of summer holidays and the child torture that we have inflicted in the form of waking him up at 8 o’clock to go to his aunt’s while his dad and I have the cheek to work through said six weeks. I tried negotiating a holiday bedtime curfew with limited success. The result is me asleep at 10.30 his dad at 11.00 and him at 11.30. His reasoning for staying up is that it doesn’t matter how much sleep he gets as it’s the time he wakes up that makes him tired.

I’m beginning to wonder if my celebration of no ironing on a Sunday and not needing to have copious amounts of coins available every morning was a bit premature. It’s just a change of issues. But they do say a change is as good as a rest, don’t they?


  1. Sandie May on July 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I was a real computer game geek from the age of 14 to when I left home at 17. It was utterly compulsive and devoid of rational explanation. The games I played were strategy based so had no end point or final level to reach. You could continue a single game infinitely and I often did. My longest stretch at the computer was when my mum went away for the weekend and I spent 13 continuous hours playing The Sims. This was before computers came with internet as standard, so there was no ‘social’ element to it. So it was a very introverted and isolated activity.

    Although the games I played were always non-violent, even a short period of time at the computer would make me irritable and aggressive, particularly when interrupted. If I were interrupted to be told to go to bed, I would meekly comply and switch the screen off. Only to switch it back on again as soon as my mother had gone to bed.

    I’m not sure that the ‘social’ element to modern computer gaming would decrease the aggression and irritability of teenagers. In fact it may decrease the users sense of identification with the real world, as he/she lives vicariously through an on-screen persona and interacts with other users on the same level as them.

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