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ADHD in Boys

x-box and call of duty

My 12 year old son loves video games and I’ve made it work to my advantage so far allowing him only 1 1/2 hrs a day and thats after chores and homework is done.  he used my husbands laptop to play minecraft and roblox This was working great until Christmas when we decided to buy an x-box for his games because my husband claimed the games were causing his laptop to lag.  Future shop allowed me to switch out resident evil for minecraft and I thought all was good except now all his peers are wanting him to get Call nof Duty so they can play on line together.  Even teachers and youth group kids are talking about how fun it is and he feels so left out.  He has always struggled with friendships but some of the kids who own COD are bullies and will turn on him in a flash.  Some nicer kids have the game too.  I’m against the killing gamesprinciple, my husband says they all had GI joes when he was young.  He does have ADHD as well and now this has become a big issue in our house even causing fights between my husband and I because I want my son to be happy but don’t want to endorse these types of products.  Does anyone else struggle with these issues?  Also If we don’t learn to say no to peers now then we may have trouble with drugs and alcohol later.  My son says he just doesn’t understand what’s so bad when everyone else has the game.


Yes yes YES i can relate to your concerns.  My son is 9 yrs and is exposed to these games during visitation with his Dad (divorced.)
My theory is these are ‘mature’ games, and rated that way for reasons.  The content of the game is not appropriate for any child in my opinion.
My son does struggle with social skills…the gaming keeps him emotionally safe.  It’s not offering any benefits that are positive.  I think these games teach violence is okay for conflict solving- I only see pain caused in these type games. This desensitizes my sons reality-games aren’t circled in red, by teachers either.
Making errors help advance the player you’re steady wining with no chance of failure. My son is able to properly self regulate being exposed to this, thus

Posted by cwgrlyipp on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:26am

By being his parents need to be the bad guy and force some limits.  This isn’t always easy…..or fun for us.

Posted by cwgrlyipp on Jan 30, 2014 at 12:27am

We have the same struggle.  My son also got a X box one for Christmas.  We only allow games with the E rating at home.  However, I now when he goes to a friends house is plays call of duty.  I agree this game is too violent for him to play. 

Video games cause more arguments than any other source at our house.

Posted by mom2barry on Jan 30, 2014 at 1:01am

Afternoon, Happydays.  I have a son who is 9 who has adhd. I want you to know as a mom, I don’t like any shoot to kill games myself. However, I find that males are a lot less sqeemish or sensitve about violence and destruction.  I believe if you sit down and discuss your views on violence, guns and destuction with your son it will be ok. I had to explaint to my son about how it is in real life, how it affects people. 

Overall, it’s just like us playing cops and robbers or cowboys and indians except it is on a tv screen and it looks more life like/real. It’s how you present the game to him so that he gets the correct perspective FIRST before someone else allows him to play the game and he gets a bad one.  Try letting him play without being online first…maybe he you have a requirement set sohe can play online?

Regardless of the ADHD, I believe you have a great son.  ULTIMATELY, I believe he will continue to do well with your guidance. It’s up to you to prepare him for the world. The world will try to get him one way or another, but at least with you are teaching him first the right way so he will be able to come out on top.

That’s my two cents. I hope it helps. My 9yr old understood, loves the game, more sure of himself, and is more confident in himself socially, and on the game he is #1!

Posted by DMose on Jan 30, 2014 at 1:25am

I have a 13 year old as well. Even he thinks Call of Duty is too much. I do not agree that males are less sensitive as my son would be bothered (probably to the point of nightmares) if he played something like this. I also do not let him connect to the Xbox with other people. Honestly, during the week he’s not allowed to play at all and the weekends it’s limited so I see no point. If it’s not something I could stomach while in the room with him, he’s not getting it.

Posted by adhdmom2000 on Jan 30, 2014 at 2:43am

I can completely understand the dilemma.  My son is 15 and has add innattentive subtype. He struggles socially at times. Though he plays competive water polo and swims, he still is often reluctant to socialize outside the house at other times. He lives for x-box and a lot of his social interaction is done on it. I try to limit it but also want him to be somewhat social. I avoided violent video games until he turned 13.5 at which point his dad convinced me that he needed to be able to play with his friends who all have it anyway. I was so against it and felt mad at the other parents for giving in and allowing MA games to be played by their young kids. Anyway, he does play them now but I encourage other types of games like car racing that he play more often. It is tough. Stick to waiting as long as you can. I m glad to have made it to 13.5

Posted by kmbauer on Jan 30, 2014 at 4:41am

Hi happydays!

My opinion is that it is rated Mature for a reason. Call of Duty is violence for the sake of violence, and that’s never okay for me. I won’t let my son have an x-box because every time I read about a child “addicted” to and ruining their life with gaming, it’s always on an x-box. We have a Wii, iPad, PSP, and Nintendo 3DS. That is way more gaming than one child needs in the first place.

When my son talks about how all his friends are doing something, I tell him that our family doesn’t support games where you shoot people. I tell him other families do what they think is right and we don’t have to agree with them.

He is allowed to target shoot in Boy Scouts and at our neighbor’s house and that is plenty. If he’s going to have experience shooting, I’d rather it be in real life where reality governs his decisions on how to handle the weapon.

My son does a lot of things his friends do (play Minecraft, Skylanders, build with Legos, etc.). There’s no reason he needs to be like everyone else in all aspects and violence is where I draw that line.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 30, 2014 at 6:56pm

OMG! As soon as I saw read the topic title, I had to see what everyone else was saying. I have a 16 year old son and I am having problems with ““limiting” his video game playing. I’d pretty much have to give up my life and my own time in order to “monitor” him and limit him to his 1 hour a day. When I tell him that his time is up, he argues that he has been watching a show on TV because the PS3 is set up downstairs. We decided to have it there because when his friends come over, they are too loud if they are upstairs in the family room when I need peace and quiet when I am doing things. Up until now, my husband wasn’t very supportive of limiting game time until we saw our son’s latest grades. I don’t understand how he did pretty well last quarter but totally went downhill this quarter so I can only attribute it to the amount of time he spends on playing either the PS3 or Roblox or Mindcraft on the computer. Even when we are in the car, he has to be playing some game on his iPhone. My husband doesn’t realize that it’s a major issue. Actually, I think my husband has some ADD too, not to mention that he seems very passive when it comes to setting limits with our son. We have two different types of parenting styles. He is the passive one and I am the aggressive, rule with an iron fist parent. It just gets to be so much stress trying to do this all by myself. Even the pediatrician agrees with me that our son needs to have strict limits on media/game time but that doesn’t seem to sink in with my husband. He also claims that there is no way to set time limits mechanically on the PS3 but I have been told otherwise. He does IT work for a living and I’m just not buying what he says about that. That’s why I think hubby has some ADD issues too. He, himself can sit and either do work on his laptop or watch movies on it for hours and not take a break. I think I have two addicts here. I’m about ready to throw in the towel because it has caused so much anxiety for me. I have come to the conclusion that I have to set some rules in writing and post them somewhere for both of them to see. I’m not trying to slam on my husband in this post but I need him to be proactive in our son’s academic success and he’s not helping either of us by being passive.  Any thoughts?

Posted by BlessedinMN on Jan 31, 2014 at 7:17pm

I can totally relate !!  The #1 thing I fight with my kids about is computer time. 

I have 2 sons who love COD.  One is 12 and the other (ADHD) is 14.  I resisted COD for years. I hate it but I found my 14 year old would simply go to a friend’s house and play it there (or something worse).  My husband also likes COD.  At least my 12 year old isn’t too interested in it.

Since this is a loosing battle - we’ve made the restriction that COD can only be played on weekends.  And then the kids don’t feel “left out” at school when their friends talk about it.  But no live Xbox COD with other friends on line!  I also have them put the highest filter on re: blood showing.

Yes - battle games are definitely a male thing and I don’t like it. 

One more thing - computer games are very addictive to ADHD types.  The speed of the sounds, lights and action is like a “drug” to them.  Our Child Psychiatrist told us that.  She advised us to limit screen time with strict consequences if rules are not adhered to. Computer games will always be around. We need to regulate and teach our kids how to deal with them.

Good luck!

Posted by staypositive on Jan 31, 2014 at 7:37pm

My ADHD 13yr old son and I struggled with his addiction to Xbox Live and war games.  So when it became time for his Science Fair project and he chose to do it on “The effect of violent video games on kids by age groups”, I thought we might come to some understanding of each other’s viewpoint.  He did interviews with gamers he actually played with and found that kids that understood that it was only a game did not become as effected by the violence.  Since doing this report, he plays less and enjoys other games.  I think kids can make good choices if they have the right information and thats’s our job, not just being police.

Posted by Lulu41 on Feb 02, 2014 at 8:34pm

Great post Lulu14! Would you like to take my son in for a week? It’s funny how kids listen to teachers and other elders but often times they don’t listen to their parents. As if we would ever steer them wrong. Sounds like you have a wonderful kid! God Bless!

Posted by BlessedinMN on Feb 02, 2014 at 8:47pm

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