Manage game time as a logical consequence of available time. Don’t position gaming a “reward” for good performance, and don’t make the suspension of gaming privileges a “punishment” for failing to comply with rules. This may seem like semantics, but you’re setting attitudes that will last a lifetime. Like any other recreational activity, access to gaming should be a function of available free time. If grades are slipping, for example, more study time = less gaming time.
I find myself needing to explain why I have veered from this principle.
Normally, I would completely agree. And, normally, this is the principle that works really well in our family. And it has always worked for the other son. Lately, however, we have found that it is just not enough for my second son. When it is not grades that are slipping, but assignments that are not being handed in, and ‘fibs’ that are told about ‘having done them’, ‘having asked’, ‘not having any homework’ – then more drastic measures have to be taken.
The transition from elementary to middle school has been hard for the youngest. He has never had to work for a good grade before now. Until his 9-week progress report, I really don’t think he realized how much a zero would bring down his grade. But that was 3 weeks ago. We handled that by being understanding, and trying to teach him what needed to be done in order to fix it – and he did MOST of it. But not all. And there continue to be issues with incomplete and missing work.
I am sick of Call of Duty being his number one priority. Until he shows that fixing his school work is his number one priority, there will be consequences. So, every missing assignment on Parent Portal (handy stalking device for parents to see grades etc), he will miss one day of access to his x-box. Other gaming is still allowed, and TV is still allowed.
I don’t know why I feel the need to justify myself. We are good parents, but we are also taking to desperate measures. I refuse to let him fall now. So, please don’t judge me. I know of many parents who would have taken a far more strict approach.
Phew! I feel better now!