• Last Updated:
  • Jul 22nd, 2020 9:54 am
[OP]
Member
Feb 13, 2017
273 posts
120 upvotes
Mississauga

Fortnite Addiction

My son recently “earned” his way to Fortnite. We allowed him to download it because he had completed a major task. He had prior exposure from his cousins.

Recently I started noticing strange language and a loss of innocence in the way he speaks. He’s 7. I realized it was the fortnite. My biggest mistake was not turning off the chat and allowing him to use a mic. Previously we had the Switch hooked up to the TV and would only allow him to play on the TV. Not exactly sure when he transitioned to the mic but it just happened over time.

After doing some research I realized parents are fed up of their kids addictions to fortnite. I so don’t want to be that parent. My son plays 2-4 hours a day (I realize that is a lot and will immediately cut it down).

So my issue is this: I’ve seen the effect of games like fortnite it’s (serious anger issues in some people) and I actually want to delete it all together.

Has anyone here done this? I’m worried he will be fine in the beginning but as soon as school as back or he meets up with his cousins he’ll want it again.

I guess what I really want to know is if anyone has figured out a way to manage it in a healthy way for their kids, or cut it out cold turkey and how that worked out for them?
Last edited by Arias1619 on Jul 3rd, 2020 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
16 replies
Deal Guru
Feb 7, 2017
14155 posts
11368 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Hmmm...

You might want to read this
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... g-fortnite

Fortnite has a 12 + up rating

Your son is 7

7 is a long ways off from 12

You currently are not doing him any favours ... so it’s good you are re-evaluating your decision

Parenting is hard. We as the adults cannot give into every want or whim a kid has ... cuz it will harm / stunt their appropriate development.

As someone who raised 3 kids, and mentored others ... I can tell you it’s never gonna be easy. When you set rules, and expectations ... and go against the grain with your kid, or your kids friends, or even their parents

There will be criticism ... and push back

But in the end, you can only do right by your own kid. He’s ALL that matters.

You get about 17 or so years with them at home ... where you can shape them into upstanding, well adjusted, responsible / productive adults. In the big scheme of your lifetime, and theirs ... it’s a minuscule amount of time.

Don’t waste it. Use it wisely.
Cuz you’ll both end up better for it.

The support ?
It’s knowing you are doing the right thing ... I applaud you for figuring it out @ 7. Now ... not later
When later, could be too late to change direction.
You CAN DO THIS.
You are father to an incredible boy ... who will grow up to be an incredible man.
You GOT THIS ... you can make it happen.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3179 posts
1049 upvotes
Woodbridge
7 is way too young. Most of the 13- and 14-year-old boys that I teach play the game regularly but there are huge developmental differences between 7 and 13. Even between 7 and 10 or 11. If you want to use a game as a reward, I'd try Roblox or Minecraft.
Deal Guru
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Mar 9, 2007
13243 posts
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Think of the Childre…

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
Member
Jan 4, 2019
458 posts
465 upvotes
How you approach this will define a lot of your relationship with your son and his behaviour. This didn't start overnight and won't be fixed overnight.

Just deleting it is not the best approach and I think will have the biggest backlash (unless handled properly).

Basically, this is the wrong place for advice. I'd suggest some parenting counseling. To know how to properly talk about and handle it. This isn't just about fortnite and translates to a lot of areas of development your son will go through that you will be apart of.

Best of luck.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
33644 posts
19449 upvotes
Ottawa
2-4hrs of gaming for a 7yr old is too much, whether it's Fortnite or Minecraft... heck that's too much device time in general.
Member
Jan 4, 2019
458 posts
465 upvotes
vkizzle wrote: 2-4hrs of gaming for a 7yr old is too much, whether it's Fortnite or Minecraft... heck that's too much device time in general.
Exactly. That's my point but you said it better. This is not a fortnite issue in my mind. It's a too much of x issue
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
8421 posts
1203 upvotes
Fortnite is designed to be addictive. They took the worst parts of gambling for adults and applied it to a game for kids. The business strategy of the game is morally repulsive at every level.

Have a talk with your son. Explain the issue. Explain your choice in action. Explain you understand it sucks and know he wants to play. But you need to cut it out of your lives. A game like fortnite is not one to mess with especially for a kid his age. He won't like it and it'll be tough but as a parent you need to do what's best for your kid in the long run, not the moment.

I'm a gaming parent but my kids are (generally) not allowed to play video games of any kind. I have introduced some and we had to backtrack as they weren't ready for them. We occasionally re-assess the situation. I love my video games and it seems hypocritical I'm not allowing them to do the same thing I did at their age, but as their parent I have to evaluate the situation and see how it applies to them. You've done the same and recognize this game is a problem.

Our school issued accounts to Prodigy (math computer game}. We had to explain to the teachers and my son why he wouldn't be participating. My kid is the only one out of 40 kids (it's a combined class with 2 teachers) why he wouldn't be playing. It was not easy. Being "those" parents that don't follow the teachers plans. Explaining to my son why he's the only one out of 40 not allowed. Listening to how he struggles daily when he hears all his friends playing this awesome game and he can't. But when it was first announced I (as the resident gamer) gave it a test drive and found a few major issues as a parent I couldn't condone. I couldn't justify the pluses over the cons. And so that's the route we took and 6 months later it is an after thought and no longer an issue.

Nip it now and hard. It's not easy but you can do it. Screen time is not inherently bad but the content/purpose matters a great deal. Fortnite simply doesn't enrich a 7 year old in any way. There are better video games for that age group you can offer as alternatives but it may be a challenge at this point to switch as they won't be as satisfying. Otherwise if it's screen time, there's also éducational shows. Or you can try to avoid the screen altogether and fill the time with a fun activity.

Gl.
Member
Jun 11, 2006
372 posts
332 upvotes
Fortunately my kids don't play Fortnite but they do play Minecraft and Roblox. Video games/screen time are definitely an addiction, since I see that they crave it and will forgo other activities to do it. Taking it away motivates them more than any other incentive Neutral Face. (This is true more for my sons than my daughter, she plays, but is not into it so much). As a result, we have very strict limits on the amount of gaming screen time they have. They also like programming in Scratch, but we also limit that since they seem to spend more time playing the games than actually programming anything new.

Anyway, I was tempted to increase their time during the pandemic but decided not to. After all, they have the rest of their adult life to be addicted to their phone, so might has well do something else now! Yeah, I get complaints of boredom, but if they can't entertain themselves without some sort of screen, then that just strengthens my resolve even more! I wouldn't be so hard about it, if they could actually manage their playing their playing time, but I don't see evidence of that yet!

I actually asked my son if he was interested in Fortnite back when he was around 10 but he said no. Dodged a bullet there! I didn't know much about it then, but since then I haven't heard great things about it. Glad he stuck with Minecraft.

If I were you, I'd be tempted to cut it out cold turkey and explain why. I'd let him choose another game to replace, or even a different reward (big lego set?). I'd also start cutting down the time too, I've done it to my own kids, and I didn't do it gradually either, they just had to deal. (though not as big a jump as yours probably)
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3179 posts
1049 upvotes
Woodbridge
Here is another alternative that he may be interested in...

https://sphero.com/collections/for-home

Too bad that the current situation has eliminated Amazon Distribution Centre tours, but when things open up again, if you live in the GTA, consider the tour of the Brampton distribution centre. Seeing how those robots move and all of the automation is really cool, and being able to replicate that coding on a smaller scale with something like Sphero can be a real spark for some kids.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
11388 posts
1988 upvotes
Toronto
Sorry OP. You might have well given a 13 yr old boy unlimited porn access and choices for hours.

It's not too late to reprogram him but it's going to take a lot of engagement to help him recondition his brain away from that world. And at 7, what 'task' is so important which allowed him such a prize.
Deal Expert
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Jul 5, 2004
24845 posts
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Delete it, and then evaluate how you got to a place where your 7 year old is playing 2-4 hours per day of video games.

That's way too much screen time for a kid. Do more stuff outside.
[OP]
Member
Feb 13, 2017
273 posts
120 upvotes
Mississauga
Thank you so much for the feedback. I really appreciate the time that you all put in to respond.

Initially the plan was that he would play one hour per day on weekends, which became two hours, not sure when. At times I would be busy with my 7 month old and although I would tell him to put it away he wouldn’t always, hence why I’m estimating it to be more than two hours on some days.

The combination of the baby, 5 year old, homeschooling (the 5 &7 year olds fight SO much and this kind of helped to keep them to themselves, letting me tend to the baby)— all led to this.

I have drastically cut down the hours and my plan is to let him play it only one hour per weekend, as we tend to see cousins on the weekend and they all play it.

All the feedback helped to reinforce my gut feeling that this was wrong and too much. There is so much I want to do with them at this age but the baby doesn’t always let me.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
33644 posts
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Ottawa
Arias1619 wrote: Thank you so much for the feedback. I really appreciate the time that you all put in to respond.

Initially the plan was that he would play one hour per day on weekends, which became two hours, not sure when. At times I would be busy with my 7 month old and although I would tell him to put it away he wouldn’t always, hence why I’m estimating it to be more than two hours on some days.

The combination of the baby, 5 year old, homeschooling (the 5 &7 year olds fight SO much and this kind of helped to keep them to themselves, letting me tend to the baby)— all led to this.

I have drastically cut down the hours and my plan is to let him play it only one hour per weekend, as we tend to see cousins on the weekend and they all play it.

All the feedback helped to reinforce my gut feeling that this was wrong and too much. There is so much I want to do with them at this age but the baby doesn’t always let me.
Parenting is hard and I still don't know what I'm doing, with my oldest turning 8 soon.
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Dec 17, 2019
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Montreal
god bless young father, we know you are doing your best.
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