A New House Rule

September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Say Bye-Bye to this during the week

It had to be done. We made a new rule in our house when school started. Specifically, we said this to our three boys:

Sorry dudes, No Video Games During the Week anymore.

Yes, this was a dark, dark day in their 8, 12, and 15 year old lives. And, this is what happened [not necessarily in this order]:

Little Dude laid down on the floor and refused to get up. He said he was quitting football, baseball, and life.

Middle Dude begged and pleaded and promised to do all his homework as soon as he got home every day, and said he’d never, ever curse again. (Umm, didn’t you learn most of those curse words FROM the video games?)

Big Dude claimed he didn’t care. After all, he’s a big high school guy now and wouldn’t have time for games during the week. But still, he walked around the house muttering, “what am I going to do now?”

After their moaning, crying, and complaining, they pretended they were over it. But, I knew better. They discreetly went searching for those Xbox controllers because they knew I had to hide them in order to enforce this new rule. After tearing apart the basement, the dudes turned up nothing, other than re-discovering the game of ping pong, and playing a few rounds of indoor baseball, using the couch cushions as bases. Yup, they not only survived — but thrived — as they realized they still enjoyed other indoor activities besides maniacally pressing buttons and staring at a TV screen until their eyes are glazed and red.

I’m not patting myself on the back just yet, though. I know I have some tough days and weeks ahead as they continue to go through withdrawal from their video game addiction. I know it will get worse before it gets better. But, some day I hope they’ll realize the rule was the right thing to do. I just hope I have the strength to keep it going because it’s so much easier to let them zone out on those games than it is for me to re-direct them to more productive (or at least less addicting) activities. In the meantime, please send me Valium because I’m going to need it.

What happens when you change the rules in your house?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

LisaD September 12, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Good luck and stick to your guns! My kids aren’t really addicted to video games, but just to watching tv, but I always make sure they finish their homework before they start watching. Sometimes it can be a problem in the morning to get them dressed and out of the house. I always threaten to not let them watch in the morning, but as usual I never follow through. That is always my problem. I have stopped threatening unless I know it is something that I will follow through on which is rare. For some reason, the follow through always seems to be a bigger punishment on me then on them, so I hope it works for you!


ohboymom September 13, 2012 at 12:38 am

Yeah, I’m a big empty threaten-er too and you’re right, the follow-through is much more punishment for us!


Julia September 12, 2012 at 11:50 pm

We have the same rule – I love it! Congratulations on a difficult step, but one I think you’ll be happy you took. The weekends get a little intense when they jump back onto the screens they were denied all week… Keep us posted how it goes!


Candace September 14, 2012 at 11:55 am

Good for you. We have a strict 1/2 hour of screen time a day in our house. Screen being anything with, well a screen 😉 TV, iThings, Computer, Video Game….pick your poison. The thing is though that often the weeknights are so packed with other things that they don’t even get their 1/2 hour, and the time isn’t bankable 😉


ohboymom September 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Sounds like you’ve got a good rule too. Glad it’s been working!


Roshni September 19, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I made the same rule in our household….only I know that I won’t really follow through, so I condescend to hand out small chunks of time for ‘good behavior”!! And, it actually works fine because they recently rediscovered their Lego collection!! I’ll definitely be reading your blog religiously…my boys are 8 and 4!


ohboymom September 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

I like your “good behavior” incentive. I may try that one because my follow-through is definitely going to be tested. So glad you’ll keep up with my blog — appreciate the support!


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