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Old 12-27-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
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House rules for hand held gaming system (or other electroics)

We got my 3 older kids Leapster Explorers for Christmas. Kids are 5, 5, and 7. They have never had anything like this before and it's all new to our household. I bought them with the intention of using them for things like car rides and appointments where they need to sit quietly for a while. But, I also do intend to allow them to use them around the house some.

Until next Monday, they have free use of them because they are so new. And of course, they are using them like crazy. After that, I want to institute some strict rules with them. I don't know how much time per day is reasonable. I was thinking 30 minutes earned in 10 minute increments by doing chores and being well behaved. We have a chore chart we are starting to implement as well. I think these two things are going to work very well together and I'm excited about it. I was trying to figure out what privileges they were going to earn since TV would be hard to use because of where our only TV is.

I was wondering what other familys' rules are regarding these hand held systems (gaming or ipad or whatever). Please share with me how your family handles this to help me get some ideas. Thanks!!

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Old 12-27-2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: House rules for hand held gaming system (or other electroics)

We got a Kindle Fire for a family gift from my parents. We're trying to work out a good idea too. Right now they are playing it way too much...but it's new! They pretty much have free use of it right now. Next week I think I will bump it down to an hour a day, max. After a little while of that, we will probably make it about 30 minutes a day and you can maybe earn a bit of extra time or loose some of what you have. I don't have a great system in place though since this is brand new territory for us too. I do know that I love the "freetime" feature on the Fire because then I don't have to worry about keeping track of their time!
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: House rules for hand held gaming system (or other electroics)

My 5 year old has had her Leapster Explorer for 2 years, but has been given free play. She goes in spurts...some days an hour, and many days none at all. I haven't had to limit it because she hasn't abused it much. She is loving DS's LeapPad2, but is mostly taking pictures with the camera and editing them. I'm sure when the newness wears off, it will subside.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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Re: House rules for hand held gaming system (or other electroics)

We were only allowed to play video games after homework or on the weekends, but were allowed free reign in the car. But, that was the first thing that was taken away if we talked back, didn't listen the first time, or fought with each other. It worked out well. Neither I nor my siblings play video games now (I'm 28, they are 24, 22, 22, and 19) and I think it is due to the fact that my parents were so lenient with their usage.

My husband on the other hand, was NEVER allowed video games. 30 minutes and only on the weekends. That is extreme, but not I can't get him away from them. Like right now, he is playing with his DS. He's 28! I think it's a double edged sword. They should definitely be considered a PRIVILEGE, but if they are restricted too much I think they become a fixation for some kids. Of course, this is all the personality of the child. I hope this helped! Listen to your instincts and I'm sure it will all work out!
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: House rules for hand held gaming system (or other electroics)

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Originally Posted by UVASahm View Post
We were only allowed to play video games after homework or on the weekends, but were allowed free reign in the car. But, that was the first thing that was taken away if we talked back, didn't listen the first time, or fought with each other. It worked out well. Neither I nor my siblings play video games now (I'm 28, they are 24, 22, 22, and 19) and I think it is due to the fact that my parents were so lenient with their usage.

My husband on the other hand, was NEVER allowed video games. 30 minutes and only on the weekends. That is extreme, but not I can't get him away from them. Like right now, he is playing with his DS. He's 28! I think it's a double edged sword. They should definitely be considered a PRIVILEGE, but if they are restricted too much I think they become a fixation for some kids. Of course, this is all the personality of the child. I hope this helped! Listen to your instincts and I'm sure it will all work out!
Agree! The more restricted it was the more wanted it was. And it became an unhealthy relationship. I would say after homework and on weekends is fair. Of course meals with the family, church, etc should be deemed no-electronics zones
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Re: House rules for hand held gaming system (or other electroics)

We got some hand held games for a Thanksgiving trip and so far we have not had to set any real rules for them. Like PP said some days it's for an hour and some days not at all. Like I put them out of the way before Christmas and they have not come out since. The only rules are that they need to be handed to us to be put up after every use and they need to ask for it back to use it and not before breakfast or after dinner. I guess this way we can keep track of how often they are using them or abusing the privilege. We don't watch any TV during the week so after school work and chores are done I feel they can spend that time within reason playing with whatever they choose.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UVASahm
We were only allowed to play video games after homework or on the weekends, but were allowed free reign in the car. But, that was the first thing that was taken away if we talked back, didn't listen the first time, or fought with each other. It worked out well. Neither I nor my siblings play video games now (I'm 28, they are 24, 22, 22, and 19) and I think it is due to the fact that my parents were so lenient with their usage.

My husband on the other hand, was NEVER allowed video games. 30 minutes and only on the weekends. That is extreme, but not I can't get him away from them. Like right now, he is playing with his DS. He's 28! I think it's a double edged sword. They should definitely be considered a PRIVILEGE, but if they are restricted too much I think they become a fixation for some kids. Of course, this is all the personality of the child. I hope this helped! Listen to your instincts and I'm sure it will all work out!
I agree when we finally got a Super Nintendo my parents pretty much let is play whenever and we would go in spurts of trying to beat games, then not play for weeks. we are 28, 26, 22 & 20 and no one really plays video games now.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:38 PM   #8
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:44 PM   #9
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Normally, video games are not allowed on weekdays with the exception being during ds1's sport events.

Right now, they're playing them lots. They got some new games and its Christmas break.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:20 AM   #10
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Re: House rules for hand held gaming system (or other electroics)

In our house you earn couch potato time by being active outside. It is not super restricted, but I am not going to let them just sit all day so they have to get up and go play outside (yes even when it is 20*) for at least a little while. Sometimes they play for hours out there and some times we all just go run races for 10 or 15 minutes to get their hearts pumping and get the wiggles out.
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