my 3 year old son addicted to video games! what do i do??

Mandii - posted on 11/13/2009 ( 99 moms have responded )

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my son is only 3 years old and hes already addicted to video games. he plays innocent games , (specifically Banjo Tooie, and Mario) but it really consumes his everyday activities. he use to LOVE to play with his trains, and other toys, but since we got him the game, its all he wants to do and if i ask him to turn it off, he throws a fit!! if i would have known it was going to be this way, i would have NEVER gotten it for him. i feel terrible. help

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Dominique - posted on 11/21/2009

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My son used to play video game a lot. I sometimes would forget he was playing, or if he was playing quietly I'd let him play for hours. One day he played for almost 6 hours. After I told him his time was up, he cried that he just started to play. I noticed that this was a problem. I started to make him earn video game time and timed his playing with a timer. It really helped him to feel like he accomplished something. I would have him do a chore like clean up his room, and do this for a few days in a row. I would mark it down on a chart on the fridge, and when he made his goal of doing it 3 days in a row he would earn a half hour of game time. Some people just say take it away, but that is not fair. Having your son understand that it is not good for him to play too much and that he should earn the time will make him understand that there are consequences and help him grow into a responsible child, rather than him thinking mommy is a big meanie for taking away something he truly enjoys. Good luck and be consistent it will work out.

[deleted account]

I totally agree. a 3yo should have limited access to screen time, no matter how educational they are. The best thing to do with your child is to shut the game off, take it away and read a real book to him, not one of those electronic you push a button and it makes noise book but a real page turning book. I used to be a Preschool teacher and you could tell a huge difference between the kids who had been read to and those who hadn't. Color (with crayons not markers,) cut pictures out of magazines, make playdough, plant flowers, omg the activities are limitless! Sometimes I really miss being a teacher!!! Reintroduce the game later and definitely set limits. 30 minutes a day is more than enough. Be tough! Remember you are the parent and therefore in charge. Get your kiddo used to limits now rather than try to establish them when they're a teen. Then it's almost too late! Stay Strong! Remember it's just an electronic box and can be replaced. Your son will only be 3 once and when it's gone, it's gone forever!

Candice - posted on 11/23/2009

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my son really likes playing Wii. We set a timer so that he knows that he has a limit on the time. We also use it as a reward system......he has to pick up his room and then he get 15 minutes or so. We also remind him that he has other toys to play with and if he whines the we take the video game away for a few days.

[deleted account]

My son is 4 and he started playing video games shortly after he turned 3. Most of them are educational but there a few that are just for fun. He can get carried away too if I dont keep him in check. I dont think you should feel badly. I know it's easier said than done, but you've got to find a balance. I use his games as leverage to get him to do things like clean up his room. But before I let him play I sit down and talk with him and let him know how things are going to work. He can play one game for a certain amount of time and when I say it's time to stop - he has to stop without throwing a fit. I let him know that if does throw a fit, he will not be able to play ANY games for the rest of the day (or for more days depending on how bad the fit is). I make sure he understands and have him repeat what we talked about - and we make a "deal." Now I'd be lying if I said this works all the time. He does try to prolong the time as much as he can but when he's being good, he'll remember the deal and things go smoothly. When he's not behaving, we do have fits and tantrums but I suffer through it and stick to the "deal" and take the games away. It also helps to have something else for him to do right after game time is over - like a trip to the park. Hope you figure things out and hang in there!

Heather - posted on 11/13/2009

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There have been several studies which have stated that video games (even educational ones) and TV negatively impact the wiring (neuropathways) of children's brains, up to about age 9. It literally affects their brain development. I know how hard it is to deal with a screaming toddler however if you can help yourself to think what you are doing for your son is for the best, it might make it easier to take it away from him. I wish you the best of luck! And earplugs work great!!

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Pamela - posted on 11/09/2011

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You face the fact that it's a sign of his future and do your best to nip in the bud right now while can. Take the game system out if need be. Just my opinion but I do have a young grandson who's been playing games on my computer since he was a toddler and at one point we we're worried about him as well. His mother completely removed the computer and game systems so he was only allowed to play once or twice a month when visiting us.

Barbara - posted on 11/23/2009

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When my kids were little they got a game machine for Christmas one year. It wasn't long before I noticed that my once active, sporting and social children that barely ever set foot inside during daylight hour now had there bottoms glued the lounge staring at the tv screen. They turned down play dates, wouldnt talk to me or each other unless it was to argue over who's turn it was on the darn thing and worse still I had to listen to that horrid repetative music day and night.
My solution.. I packed up all the games and the console and sent it to Nanna's.
This limits the amount of time they spend on their games and also makes getting the kids to go to Nanna's in the first place a heck of a lot easier.

June - posted on 11/23/2009

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While it is educational for your child, it is not healthy for him to play it all the time. I would set times that he could play it. Tell him what times he is allowed to play it and put togeather other activities that he can do either with you or another play-mate. If he has a fit and refuses to do the other things then tell him that he will not be able to play the video game at all that day. You will need to stick to your guns and not let him set the rules. He has learned as most children do that if they have fits and say things like I hate you that they will eventually get what they want because no mom wants to have their child hate them and if you give in because he had a fit then he has just learned that all he has to do to get what he wants is to have a fit. I know that sometimes in our extreamly busy lives it is sometimes just easier to just give them what they want rather than listen to them have a fit. My son was that way when he didn't get what he wanted he would have a fit and I would give in because I felt bad for him or I just didn't want to listen to it. I lost control of him for a while, he was always having a fits if I didn't give him what he wanted and that included things like going to the store if he wanted something and I said no he would have a fit right there in the store and I would give it to him just to keep him quite. I over heard some people saying that I was a horrible mother and that I had no control over my child and that my child was very ill behaved. I was very upset by this but when I got home and thought about how my child acted and how I reacted I could see things from there side. I started to set rules for my son and he did not like them but I refused to let him make the rules anymore. When he would have his fits if I was at home I would put in ear plugs so that the tempertantrums would not get to me. If I was at the store and he had a fit I just picked him up and left the store. I was a real inconvience for me for awhile but he finally got the idea that he needs to follow the rules not make them. Hope this helps. Hang tough with them and teach them while they are young because if the behavior is not corrected at the young age they only get worse when they are older.

Rose - posted on 11/23/2009

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Quoting Mandii:

my 3 year old son addicted to video games! what do i do??

my son is only 3 years old and hes already addicted to video games. he plays innocent games , (specifically Banjo Tooie, and Mario) but it really consumes his everyday activities. he use to LOVE to play with his trains, and other toys, but since we got him the game, its all he wants to do and if i ask him to turn it off, he throws a fit!! if i would have known it was going to be this way, i would have NEVER gotten it for him. i feel terrible. help


I have a 7 yr. old who would like to be addicted too.  I make him do other things. He has a DS  and wants to take it everywhere.  You need to limit his time everyday "fit" or not  take it away  if need be.  Does your son get his way  on other things?  Maybe  super nanny has a suggestion.

Sara - posted on 11/21/2009

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As a mother of four and a previous daycare owner, I have seen the effects of video game overload!!! I implore you to take it away from him to a large degree. You can offer it on a timed basis (eg. twenty minutes per day) or as a reward. Regardless of your choice, he CANNOT be permitted to play a free for all. He needs much more quality entertainment and experiences (books, puzzles, legos, trucks, coloring, etc). He will be very upset for a while, but stick to your guns. He, and you, will get through it and you will both be better for it.

[deleted account]

I think this generation of moms is more concerned with being "friends" with their children than being mothers. I don't mean to sound harsh but a child, especially 3-years old will follow your clues. Just remove the games, find something else to do with him and in no time he won't have a clue they were even gone. If you don't learn to deal with the "tantrums" now you will never make it through the teenage years. Mothering (love) has to be tough sometimes. My children loved "people interaction" anytime over any toy. Get on the floor and play with him. Involve him in your chores, cooking, playing, whatever. He would love to be with you more than playing an video game. he will learn more as well.

Vonda - posted on 11/20/2009

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wait tell he is asleep put all the games up. Then speed time with him playing other games. My kids like going to the park or taken a walk around the block. sit down and read a book but make it fun have him help you make cookies.

Janice - posted on 11/20/2009

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In all the advice I read, the most important thing to remember is moderation in all things! Set the limits, you are the mom.It's in our children's best interest to learn in as many ways as possible, and computers are one of those ways, in addition to the good old age appropriate learning methods mentioned by others here. There are benefits and pitfalls in most things in life, and now that you're the mom, it's your job to help your children navigate them successfully!
With my children & grandchildren (grandkids from 9yrs-23 years old) the time limits on the computer & games is set for each child (they have to share one computer's time when they are in our home.)
Years ago with my children, I learned that the timer on the kitchen stove was my best friend!
I read someplace that it was easier to listen for the buzzer to announce the end of whatever time was being tracked, and the timer was the bad guy, not the mom/dad!
It worked great with finishing meals for dawdlers after everyone else was finished, and it works now with computers and games. Very rarely (unless an adult is not in the room when the timer goes off) do they not comply, and each child cannot claim that another had a longer time!
Hope this was helpful to many!

[deleted account]

Just take a video game away from him. He'll be angry, might throw stuff around but he'll get over it. It will not happen over night, but he'll come to realization that game is Gone! He might be asking each day for it but simply say "No More Game"! Good Luck

Michele - posted on 11/19/2009

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Who's in charge? Are you the mother or are you allowing him to tell you what he can and can't do? As parents, it is our responsability to guide our children through their day in activities that enrich their minds and help them in cognative play. Video games are never good. Every expert that has spoken on the subject has repeatedly said that no good comes from them.
Just put it up. Period. Put it away in a closet. Out of site, out of mind for a 3 year old.
No more discussion.
Obesity and diabetes are a growing epidemic for elementary school children because they have been allowed to sit idle and waste away playing these games that do nothing but retard their activities.

[deleted account]

This will sound harsh and rude (it is not) but he is 3. Take the games out of the house or at least put them in a closet. Out of sight, out of mind. When they are gone he will go back to playing with his other toys. We have teenagers and took the games out of the house 3 years ago and have never looked back.

[deleted account]

I would get rid of the games asap. He can't throw a fit forever. Don't do it as a punishment, just say it broke, or that you had to sell it, or whatever you think would work, but don't bring it back into the home.

Kelly - posted on 11/17/2009

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Wow did you open up a huge discussion topic with that one Mandi ,I to have a child that is game mad the only difference is i tried to take the ps2 off him and he pulled the whole tv down resulting in the loss of a television and a game system ,not quite what i had in mind but at least he cant play it anymore and i have no plans to rebuy one any time soon.

Kelly - posted on 11/17/2009

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Quoting Heather:

There have been several studies which have stated that video games (even educational ones) and TV negatively impact the wiring (neuropathways) of children's brains, up to about age 9. It literally affects their brain development. I know how hard it is to deal with a screaming toddler however if you can help yourself to think what you are doing for your son is for the best, it might make it easier to take it away from him. I wish you the best of luck! And earplugs work great!!


 

Erika - posted on 11/17/2009

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I have a gamer too! My son loves video games, so we had to make a schedule of times when he could play it. This way he knows what needs to be done first and how long he has. Don`t forget to give a 10, 5 and 1 minute warning...it helps prepare them for the end! lol

[deleted account]

Try taking it away altogether. He'll forget in a few days. Or, try a reward system, with time limits.

My mom used to put our toys on rotation, so there was something "new" every few weeks. Try putting some of his toys on rotation, so the "new" ones capture his interest- maybe he won't throw a huge huge fit at the removal of the video game.

Kathryn - posted on 11/17/2009

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take it away gradually, he's young he'll soon forget about it if you occupy his mind with other activities. Kids that age forget quick. Spend time with him teaching him things or reading to him, he will enjoy mommy and me time much more than video game time.

Kathy - posted on 11/17/2009

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Let him know he can only play the games for a certain amount of time each day...and stick with it...if he throws a fit...then let him know he loses more playing time...if things get rough then I would take it away and make him earn it back but let him know it's only for X amount of time he can play the game....Good luck!

[deleted account]

As a mom and grandma,and a pediatric nurse.... this is an age of discovery and active play. The kids grow up sooooo fast, even though it may not seem that way now. Set time limits - you are the parent. Spend time doing fun things with this precious child ... it may take a few days to feel that way once you take control of the game. Too may of our kids stay indoors infront of one screen or another. Our bodies were meant to move, encourage activities that will a strong body and mind.. Wishing you the best!!!!

Jessica - posted on 11/17/2009

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Quoting Tiare:

my son is 6 and just this year i have toyed with the idea of getting him a wii... i dont believe that kids should be in front of the tv all day, they need to learn how to play and keep themselves occupied.... i have decided to not get the wii this year and wait just one more year he is just too young to get sucked in... with this said, i think you need to stop this.. make it a reward for doing good things (maybe doing chores or cleaning up his mess, etc) and limit his time to play for only weekends, or maybe make a chart that has an allotted time (say 3 hours) slot that he can choose when to play but everytime he plays you color in the amount of time so he knows how much time he has left and that time has to last the ENTIRE week, he will learn that if he plays for 3 hours one day then he cant play until the next week.. he will realize that its best for him to only play for a little while at a time.. good luck.. you will be happy when you do this!



I love the idea of saying "this is how much time you have for the week". I will use this, thanks.

Sharon - posted on 11/16/2009

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Give him an alternative. If you don't get it under control now you won't be able to later. Give him a book or blocks or something that is going to challenge his mind. Go for a walk weather permitting any thing. He's still young enough that you can regain the control and giving in to him because he has a fit well that's another road you don't want to travel. I have 8 children 6 still at home and all under the age of 18 and we don't have any video games in my house. Well i take that back we have a V-Tech for the younger children.

Mapuana - posted on 11/16/2009

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When he's not there, like when he's sleeping, disconnect the game, and put it away in storage. After a few weeks of him not realizing its there anymore, you can sell it and/or get him another interactive, non-tv, video or internet, game. Too many of the people in this world are addicted to these types of games. There are also rumors that some who are terribly addictive do not sleep, eat, use the bathroom or take a shower for fear of missing that one more point or position of winning first place. Stop the addiction now before it gets too hard to stop it! Teach your children to avoid addictions by following through on what you tell them.

Mandii - posted on 11/16/2009

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thanks everyone for your advice. i took the video game system out his room, and turns out, he didnt mind at all! whew! thank goodness. if he does ask to play it i am definitely going to limit his playtime on it, and focus more on other activities (painting, coloring, reading, singing, playing with other kids, etc.). i mean, we have been doing those things with him, but not as often as we should. so thanks again everyone!!!

Carolyn - posted on 11/16/2009

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I do agree with most everyone. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, then you see what an impact it has on him. Like before he should be playing with trains, trucks, going out side and do things to help him physically and emotionally. If he gets that up set at this age. What will it be like when he's older and you have lost your authority as a parent. You know it is wrong, you have to be the one to correct it. You can tell him it broke and when he is older and can manage his time and emotions better tell him it was fixed and he can play it now. With certain limitations that you can enforce so the game does not break again. You have all the control at this point. Show him how you handle it with keeping your cool and he can follow your lead. Sure he'll have a fit, but did you get everything all your friends had when you were a kid? Teach him how to cope with rejection now so he will be able to handle it when he gets older. Best of luck, I know from experience, it's not easy to say no, but it sure is easier as they get older and he will understand and may be even thank you for it.

Susie - posted on 11/16/2009

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Hide the game for a while & take him to a local ymca or join a Mom's Club, get him out of the house so he wont be tempted to play the video games.

Another way is to set a timer & tell him when it rings it's time to play with something else. Good Luck,

[deleted account]

You need to be strong, firm and patient. Talk to him and tell him that there are other activities that from now on all of you or you and him will be sharing. Outdoor activity should be #1, let him burn all his 3 yearl old energy, introduce books, drawing, writing, etc, decrease his TV time, if you are at home mom, teach him to help you with chores, get him a small duster or wipy and teach him to share the cleaning with you, if this only happens at night, remove the system from his sight, put it away, if it is the computer where he plays, teach him to paint in the computer, he'll cry and scream in the beginning but once he falls into a routine, he'll learn to have the video game as a special reward and when he plays it, 30 to 45 minutes should be enough

Shontay - posted on 11/16/2009

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An idea would be to purchase some learning video games for the playstation of nintendo ds. I think playing video games is somewhat beneficial as it teaches them cordination, visual awareness, etc. I see them advertising some on the tv a couple of days ago. This way, your child can continue to do what he enjoys while learning abc's, 123, and how to spell and I am sure you will be pleased as well. Checkout Kanomi Kids alphabet circus..etc. Good luck in your decision.

Karen - posted on 11/16/2009

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switch it off and amuse him outside or away from the home. you are the parent take charge, no means no, the tantrums will soon stop, bear with it

DOLORES - posted on 11/16/2009

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Turn them off!!! Make a chore list fit for a 3 year old and let him earn the time on the video games. It's never to early to let him know you DON"T always get what you want. This will set you up to let the list grow and change with him, for him to be able to earn more privileges as he gets older!!

Betsy - posted on 11/15/2009

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You're the parent. I honestly can't see how a 3 yr old is able to use them so much to become addicted, but you are the mom and have full control of all his activities. Exercise that control. If he throws a fit and you feel you can't, honestly the problem is more than the games, but rather the 3 yr old with control.

My now 19 yr old loved the games too much also when he was in grade school and middle school. I don't feel they are all bad or evil, but like most activities can't take over their lives. At 3, I would have very limited usage. As long as you remain in control, it shoud be fine. As I said, I don't find them to be completely bad for kids. My son, who was controlled in his usage, still had a love for them, but wasn't allowed to place them as priority. He put more energy into his education and now is in college getting his computer science degree, designing video games and also double majoring in languages, Spanish and Japanese, which are the most prevelent languages in the computer world. That was our biggest argument with him growing up, which is ironic now, but if I had let him just be addicted and focus on that, he could be living in my basement playing all day rather than having an education and building an actual career out of it!

Carmel - posted on 11/15/2009

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hi Mandi, my son was also addicted to video games when he was 7yrs old. So I allocated 20minutes in the weekend for him to play, but he had to earn time to play. But your son is 3yrs old and purchasing a game for him at this age was a BIG mistake, the only solution would be to put the video game away somewhere he will not find it. Register into a sport club eg soccer etc.., take him to the park, do outdoor activities get his mind off video games. Your the parent, so the right thing and take it away now...you will not only be doing him a favour but yourself as well. Do not give in to him when he throws a fit, your the adult here!!! You can do this!!!!! Be strong.....good luck....no more purchasing video games!!!!

[deleted account]

WoW this post is crazy... All these opinions have my head spinning! My opinion is this, ~regardless of the age of your child~if the video games are posing a problem it's your job as a mother to curve the issue. Considering that he's three & will throw a tantrum without the games makes no difference, because 3 year olds are known for their tantrums anyways. At least he's not a teenager who can just go to a friends a play behind your back. But more importantly, your the parent here. If you don't get a handle on who the boss is now then later you may not be able to control the situation as easily.

Tiare - posted on 11/15/2009

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my son is 6 and just this year i have toyed with the idea of getting him a wii... i dont believe that kids should be in front of the tv all day, they need to learn how to play and keep themselves occupied.... i have decided to not get the wii this year and wait just one more year he is just too young to get sucked in... with this said, i think you need to stop this.. make it a reward for doing good things (maybe doing chores or cleaning up his mess, etc) and limit his time to play for only weekends, or maybe make a chart that has an allotted time (say 3 hours) slot that he can choose when to play but everytime he plays you color in the amount of time so he knows how much time he has left and that time has to last the ENTIRE week, he will learn that if he plays for 3 hours one day then he cant play until the next week.. he will realize that its best for him to only play for a little while at a time.. good luck.. you will be happy when you do this!

Patti - posted on 11/15/2009

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You have to talk to him and set a time limit if he can't listen to you without throwing a fit then put the game up for good. I don't think video games are that bad to have for kids but i would just limit the playing time. You are the boss and at the age of 3 they are easier to handle then whe they get older. So try also to sneak some educational games in there. IT sounds like he has a DS so they have learnign games for that system.

Alex - posted on 11/15/2009

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Well a couple things you can do is 1 if you tell him to get off and he throws a fit, put him in the corner and let him throw the fit. My 1 year old goes to the corner and it works pretty good on her. Another thing to try is get him the leap frog game things. My friend's 4 year old has one and is already surpassing kindergarten level stuff and is almost ready for 1st grade stuff.

MomMom - posted on 11/15/2009

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just say no! give him a time frame, set a clock with a bell/buzzer and then help him put it up. You must get control now!!!!!

Leisel - posted on 11/15/2009

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Don't feel bad, games, TV, computers etc. are terribly addictive (I use the term loosely) and many adults fall into this trap themselves.



I do not believe that simpl taking it away will solve the problem or teach him any self control. It will be tough but you need to set limits. Ours are games are allowed only on wekends, and then only if homework is done, and only for an hour.



My recently 3 year old plays (well, waves the remote around) and we all have fun with it as a family. They learn the limits very quickly and if the ask in the week and I say no there is very little trouble, but they still push their luck.



I also think that children need to play in a public space where the family is so that you can monitor the content and their response.



You can get thro the scraming good luck.

Ariel - posted on 11/15/2009

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take the video games away. addiction of games can start at a young game. he should be playing with normal kid toys take the games away and let him have them again when he is older.

Michelle - posted on 11/15/2009

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Never heard of a 3 year old play video games. lol

I would set a time limit on how much he is playing. Maybe 30 minutes a day. Once he knows his time is up, he will start playing with his toys again. Let him know that if he throws a fit, then he doesnt play tomorrow...Good luck :)

[deleted account]

My kids were the same way and I finally put my foot down and told them only one hour a day. They could break up the time or play all at once it was up to them. I got a lot of opposition so I took out of their room and put in my closet and made them earn it back and we did this a few time s but they finally got it. Now they play outside more than anything they eventually out grew anyways.

[deleted account]

I would get rid of it for a while. Hide it in the closet and tell him that it's broken and you need time to get it fixed. He'll stop crying and soon forget about it.

Angela - posted on 11/14/2009

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You need to make it to where he has to limit his time daily. Set a time limit that he can play buy a timer set it and when its done his time is over, explain to him that if he pitches a fit then tomorrow he wont get any play time and stick to it.

Marshon - posted on 11/14/2009

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This could be a good thing too. He’s at that age his mind is like a sponge. Use this time to prepare him for school. There are a lot of education games for these systems. Tell him he can play a game but, push him toward the education ones he will love them. There are games, colors and numbers.

Sarah - posted on 11/14/2009

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When My son was 3 his only Video Game was his V smile. I didnt have a problem because it was teaching him something and honestly he would only play so long and get his fun in and get bored of the letter and numbers. I honestly think that should be the only kind of video Games a 3 year old needs. There is a lot of fun games that teach at the same time!

Melissa - posted on 11/14/2009

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I am not sure why you would even get a small child a video game. I would take it away and put it up where he cannot see it or get to it. He would just wake up and it would be gone. If he asked me I would just say, "Sorry, it is gone." I would then take him outside to play. If he get mad and yells, well I would just walk away without saying a word. Once the yelling stopped I would take him out to play.

Jill - posted on 11/14/2009

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My son loves video games also. I don't care that he does, but we also try to limit the time he spends on it. You could make a rule that he only gets this amount of time each day to play and when his time is up he's done. Then he would feel like he's not really being told no, that he can't play it at all he can also kind of disipline himself that way also. He would probably use his time more wisley. Then the rest of the time do something fun together, go outside or just get the legos out!! Let him start using his imagination!

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