Do you think kids should play outside?

sofrustratedMarch 18, 2009

DH and I are at odds again with raising our children - go figure. :(

I think kids should play outside every day to burn off energy, get fresh air and just be a kid, doing kid things outside - playing basketball, bike riding, "gardening", playing on the swingset, etc.

DH thinks it's okay for SS6 to come home and sit for almost 2 hours and play the video game World of Warcraft. We eat dinner and then he's on the game again for another good hour and a half before bedtime. He thinks this is completely normal for a 6 year old. Then again,DH is on that same game whenever he gets a free minute. I feel like it's a competition to get DH's attention between me and that game. He's gotten better about not playing it when I'm around but he stays up till all hours of the night playing it, then he's tired all day and complains that he didn't sleep well and that he couldn't get anything done all day b/c he's soo tired. I've tried to get him to STOP taking naps during the day (he's a stay at home Dad) but I know he does and that's how he is able to stay up all night.

UGH! I guess this turned into a rant too about DH and his computer habits.

Back to my original question - my two ages 2 and 4 play outside from about 4 in the afternoon till dinner and then they are inside after that. I think that's a great amount of time for them to play each day. They burn off energy and aren't as wild when they get to play outside during the day. We live in Florida so weather is not an issue. It's GORGEOUS outside right now. I have an issue with this b/c #1 I think it's entirely TOO MUCH computer time for a boy his age playing a violent video game. I also think he needs to burn off more energy because he's a wild animal at night (when he's not on the computer) when he doesn't play outside during the day.

Am I wrong to feel this way? Should I even care? I try really hard to care about my skids but when they are being raised totally differently than I am raising my own kids, I think of them less and less as my kids. I don't want to be responsible for his bad behavior in the evenings b/c he didn't run off energy. He also gets Fs in school and has had some behavior issues recently. He was given less homework by his teacher so he could work one on one with DH to get his reading and writing up. DH has done very little with this. He lets him come home and get on the computer immediately.

I am just so beyond frustrated with this situation. This is why I just throw up my hands and say, I don't effin care anymore what his kids do! I don't think what I'm asking is unreasonable - an hour a day outside. Is that really wrong???

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Of course kids need to play outside. Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for serious diet-related chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer. The health consequences range from increased risk of premature death, to serious chronic conditions that reduce the overall quality of life. Of especial concern is the increasing incidence of child obesity in the USA. This is partly due to kids not burning off calories due to TV watching. computer and video games..
World of War Craft is also called World of War Crack! This word play is due to this game highly addictive quality...

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:15PM
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I know how you feel. Been there..done that with dh. His game of choice was on his playstation! He would spend late nights doing that after work and then sleep all day till work. Drove me crazy! One night I put a nighty on the playstation before he came home and lit a candle next to it right when he pulled in the driveway. I also put a note next to it saying to have a romantic evening with his girlfriend!

After that he came in the room ticked and I told him I felt like he was cheating on me with the darn game! He finally opened his eyes to just how much time the darn thing was taking up and how little time I got from him.

He also let my ss play video games whenever he had his days off. SS would play for hours on end. My ss began becoming very irritable and crying a lot. Also started twitching. I showed dh many articles online about the link between all that and excessive video game playing in kids.

Things have gotton better. You need to let dh know how this is affecting you and his son.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 6:26PM
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No freakin' way should a kid be on the computer that much!
And no, an hour a day outdoors is not unreasonable.
You're being a good parent. DH is being a lazy parent.

My SS is 10.
DH used to let him go on the computer when he woke up in the morning (so he'd haul himself out of bed before dawn of course) and be on it ALL DAY LONG. It was a convenient babysitter so DH didn't have to DO anything with him.
I said no dice to that. SS was miserable to be around when he was on the computer that much (for example, he'd cry and scream when told to get off the computer and come have lunch) and no kid needs that much video game input.

Now, on a school night, he gets a max of 90 minutes of video games. Usually only 1 hour, but sometimes a little more is OK. Many nights he doesn't go on at all now, and doesn't even complain about it anymore!
On weekends, he is not allowed on computer or video games until 10am, he is dressed, with teeth brushed, breakfast eaten and bed made. And a max of three hours per day (except if he has a friend over or something unusual like that).

He's much more pleasant to be around now!!

We also boot him off the computer at least 10 minutes before a meal etc. He's less glazed if he has a few unplugged minutes.

We're in Saskatchewan, so it's cold here in the winter and he can't play outside. But he can play Lego, or bedroom hockey, or read books, or colour, or play a game with us.
In the summer I kick him outdoors all the time!

DH was open to my "no dice" and likes that we can work together. SS was somewhat resistant of course - but has adjusted now.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 12:35AM
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Oh no No NO!
I don't think a 6 year old should even be playing that game, but that's just my opinion. I know my 7 year old would like if if I let him near it, so I just don't. I have a big problem with him being allowed to play games all the time, but I have a HUGE issue with the fact a 6 year old is getting F's, his teacher has made special allowances so his dad can help him, his dad is a stay at home dad, and yet he is doing nothing to help his child . . . IMO he's doing much to harm him! What kind of example is he setting? What role model is he being for his son? The patterns your SS sets now will be with him his whole life. What kind of future does he want for his boy?

I'm sorry to go off like this, but it's got me totally fried. I don't blame your SS for not wanting to go outside. I hold your husband 100% accountable for his lack of interest is anything but a computer game, and his poor performance in school. Put a 6 year old in front of a screen full of violence all the time and what else should you expect.

Hugs to you. I'm so glad someone in this boys life gets it.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 2:21AM
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Well thank you all for seeing my POV on this. DH thinks I'm being melodramatic saying that he's addicted to the game. He made fun of me because I called his son a World of War-CRACK addict. I did this out of earshot of SS of course.

I mention every now and then that I think he needs to be spending more time with him reading but it falls on deaf ears. He spent 5 minutes this AM with him doing flash cards and that was it. He was supposed to spend time with him yesterday but that didn't happen (insert eye-roll here).

I think that DH thinks it's okay for him to be like this b/c that's the way HE is and he sees nothing wrong with the way that he is. I've told him that that game ruins lives and he tells me I'm being ridiculous. I told him that it's HIGHLY ADDICTIVE and I see it already in SS. If he has more than one option of what to do he will 99% of the time pick that game. Of course the 1% of the time he doesn't, DH will rub it in my face and say - look, the addict is actually doing something else... He's mocking me.

I'm to the point where I'm about to give up with it. I hate that I'm there but I don't know what else to do. As long as it's not affecting my own kids, then I should just keep it to myself. In fact, whenever SS plays with the other kids, he only causes problems so maybe I should just be happy that he's inside by himself and not harrassing my two! Sad but true!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 7:58AM
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I agree. No more than 1 hour per day of tv or computer for my dd age 6. And WWC is one of the reasons my ex and I broke up. He played that thing nonstop. Till his thumbs were bleeding. Ok, not that bad... but it sure felt like it. Every day for hours. Then, when I "took it away from him" (his words, like I'm his mommy) he turned to online porn.

Why? Because he didn't know how to self-stimulate. And I mean that in the most innocent terms. He didn't know how to play/interact with me and his daughter so he had to have an outside influence (the computer, the game console) to "play" with.

He's mocking you because he doesn't want to admit you are right. By making you into the over-exaggerator, the "crazy" one he can feel secure that he is doing the right thing. I know, because my ex used to do the same thing. It was my fault he turned to the porn because he couldn't play WWC anymore. BS.

"...As long as it's not affecting my own kids, then I should just keep it to myself. In fact, whenever SS plays with the other kids, he only causes problems..."

Whoops. I don't agree with that. He may not be biological, but SS is your kid and you are responsible for how he turns out. If you don't nip this in the bud now, you'll have much worse problems than you're facing right now. Believe me.

I have empathy for you. This must be very difficult, it sure was for me. Best of luck to you. You are in a competition and 'mere mortals' like wives and mothers have a very poor chance of winning against the technology.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 9:47AM
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