How many hours should I let my 11 year old child play video games per day?
My wife and I, have two kids. I would like to ask parents out there if they are experiencing the same behaviours being elicited from my 11 year old boy. Two years ago in 2010 my wife and I, bought the new Playstation console for him. With it, came a couple of free games. He played those games till he got bored with it. One day he came home and started talking about how his friends got modern warfare and he wanted to get it so he could play it with his friends. My wife and I, were cautious about his request. Initially we had said no, because he was too young for the game since it was rated with violence and it was not age appropriate. Then Christmas came.... My wife and I, talked about it again after he kept mentioning the game to us and it was one of his christmas wishes. Of course as loving parents we had to decide. We felt bad that he kept saying his friends had the game and he was the only one that didn't have it. So that year we got the game for him and gave in. Yes, of course we got it for him for Christmas. He played the game and still playing it till this day online with his friends. He got really proficient with it. Since we got him the game we had noticed a change in his behaviours. At least twice a month he would say that he wasn't feeling well and didn't want to go to school. This started in 2011. For six months he did this and stupid us didn't think nothing of it. We believed him all the time. Then came teacher's parents interview. Our child never really had any complaints about him from his teachers prior to this interview with his teacher. She said that our boy was not paying attention in class and he was always talking with his friends about the game and didn't get his homework done. We were quite surprised because every day we would asked him if he had homework, and he would say 'no' or he did it already in school. Then we realized that every day after school the first thing that he did wa play the game for 3 hours before going to bed. At that time we were happy because we believed him when he said he had done all his homework. But that interview with the teacher really set back our trust for him. We felt guilty for not attending more attention to his behaviours, so to this day we allow him to play only half an hour of video game that's after he has done his homework. He is still protesting about it and want more time to play online with his friends.
We know some of the pros and cons about video games but this has become a family issue and would like to get some feedbacks about it. As concerns parents we would like to see some ideas on how to deal with it.
So my question is how much time should we allow our 11 yo child to play video games with his friends after he has done his homework?
Are we being bad parents for not letting him spend more time with his friends online?
By: Concern Parents