On this week’s Parenting segment, one mother is concerned her son is too obsessed with video games.
“My son and I battle constantly over it,” she told Moncrieff.
She said her eight-year-old son has had his own gaming console since he was five but has been watching his dad play video games since he was a toddler.
“Playing video games is one of the things they do together, but my husband works abroad during the week, so he only sees the ‘fun’ side of gaming on the weekends,” she said.
“[During the week], he knows he’s only allowed it on Tuesday and Thursday for 45 minutes each day, but he begs and begs to the point of distraction.
“I give in just for an hour’s peace while I put the dinner on or tend to his twin siblings.”
She said she knows she should be stricter with her son, but there’s “utter mayhem” in the house when tries to enforce video game rules.
Child psychotherapist Dr Joanna Fortune said the mother should “turn the battle into boundaries”.
“Your son’s job at eight years old is to test your boundaries and it's your job to hold them gently,” she said.
“He’s learned that testing your boundary and pushing is an effective form of communication because it does get him what he wants, which is more gaming time.”
Joanna recommended increasing the son’s weekly gaming time from 90 minutes to two hours “since he’s doing it anyway” and allow the son to choose when he uses those two hours.
“If he decides [he’s] going use it all up on Monday, then he's made a choice, but he doesn't get to have 45 minutes the next day either,” she said.
“You're making him a part of self-regulating the amount of gaming use.”
Gaming with dad
Joanna said the boy might want to play more video games during the week so he can impress his dad on the weekends.
“It is what he and his dad do on weekends, so this is a big part of his connection, a big part of his world,” she said.
“Dad should be a big part of the boundary setting here because it's disproportionately falling on mam to set these boundaries.”
You can listen back here: