After a mood swing filled summer I decided it was time for my son to do a Fortnite detox. I’m sure most parents are familiar with the attitudes they get from their kids playing this game. Arguing about bedtimes, yelling “Give me 5 more minutes! I’m in the middle of a battle!” when called for dinner, constant arguments in game with real live friends. The list goes on.
The battle parents face with Fortnite is real. At the time I wrote this post, there are currently over 70 million players on this game. The average player spend 6-10 hours per week playing. 15% of players have skipped school to keep playing. And 70% of players have spent real money in game.
When my son first started playing Fortnite I didn’t have a problem with it. The characters were cartoony enough that it didn’t seem too realistic, it isn’t terribly gory, and I thought getting to talk to his friends from school was actually a good thing.
All was well at first. He would come home from school excited to play with his friends. I thought this was a good break between the hard work he had just put in at school and the hard work he was going to have to put into his homework. His friends would jump on the game as soon as they got home from school and they were off to their battles.
It was a couple of months into the game play that we started to see a shift. It all started with him asking for v bucks. What the heck are v bucks? V bucks are basically the virtual currency for Fortnite. Players use v bucks to purchase things like new skins and battle passes. I’ve never been one to like to spend real money on in app purchases so this really annoyed me.
He started getting xbox gift cards for Christmas and he would turn around and spend those gift cards on v bucks. Whatever. It’s his Christmas money to do with what he wants.
Then his birthday rolled around. He racked in with the cash and gift cards for his birthday. In one day he spent $50 of v bucks. This really annoyed me. Couldn’t he find something better to spend his money on?
The money isn’t the worst thing about Fortnite. The worst part is the attitude that comes along with it. You know how I said I was actually excited for him to play with his friends from school? Well that quickly changed.
Fortnite fights with friends are the worst
I don’t know how many times I heard my son and his friends hang up on each other, call each other names and bash each other behind each others backs. I know kids will be kids and kids will have their arguments in real life too, but Fortnite just turned these sweet kids into little jerks. When I say Fortnite has brought kids to tears I am not exaggerating.
And then the attitude towards us parents is horrific. My sons knows what time he always goes to bed. He knows what time I always pull the plug on technology. Every single night it is a battle to get him to come eat dinner with us and get off the game to go to bed. It was always, “I’m almost done!! Give me a minute!” And his friends would even get an attitude and say things like, “You have to go already? My mom lets me play later then you.”
After the kids started back to school and I not only battled with my son to go to bed, but I would battle with him in the morning to wake up I decided it was time for a break. I sat him down and told him he was going to go an entire week without playing Fortnite. He protested for all of 15 minutes. After I listed the reasons he needed a break he was ok.
We are 5 days into his break and he is a totally different kid. I have my sweet boy back. I haven’t had any issues with dinner or bedtime. He is getting along better with everyone including his sister. And I’ve even been able to wake him up for school easier.
What does the future hold for us for Fortnite?
Fortnite use is going to be very limited if he gets to play it again. He will only be allowed to play Fortnite as a treat for good behavior and good grades. Gone are the days of unlimited Fortnite game play.
Do you struggle with your kids and Fortnite? How are you handling the real addiction to this game?
26 thoughts on “Managing a Fortnite Detox”
I love this. This is incredibly relatable for me right now! Now that school started we are taking a break from fortnite! We will see how that goes haha
I’ve heard about Fortnite but I never played it or know what it is about. Good that you have put a limit on your son’s playing time, especially if he changed to much. When a kid start spending real money on a game, then it’s time to take action.
I like this game! Maybe next time I can install this game and play with my friends!For now i don’t have any word to say.This is GREAT!!
My son is too young for video games right now (he does play the paw patrol game sometimes 🤣) but I worry about this in the future. I like to play video games quite a bit myself though, so hopefully we can turn this sort of thing into family time 🤷🏼♀️ only time will tell. Props to you for setting healthy boundaries and doing what’s best for your kiddos!
I think that’s a great idea to give your son a Fortnite detox. Kids should not be spending so much time playing video games. They need to spend more time outdoors!
Actually I loved playing fortnite too but now I hardly get time but yeah addiction isn’t good. However yeah I agree with your decision here.
Haha, I love this! I’m sure my sister would love this! I know my nephews are totally addicted! lol
I have never played this game but my cousins do and they are obsessed!
I am glad to say that I don’t have to worry about anyone in my house and their Fortnite addiction but I do know a couple friends who would love this post!
Online game addiction is something modern day parents have to deal with. I know. I’ve been there. I tried to talk with my sons, let them understand the ill effects of getting hooked on the game and made them realize how much it is impacting our electric bill to have their computer running for hours and hours. Thankfully they got over that game!
I’m not a parent but I am a teacher and the number of fallouts at school because of this game is ridiculous. I play a similar game at home called Overwatch but at the end of the day, it is still only a game. I don’t fall out with my husband over it!
I think the strategy will work on every game. Playing the balance of use is very important. When rest and playing time is managed. You will have a smooth relationship.
It sounds like having a break has really worked for you guys which is fantastic! My son is 9 and after asking once or twice about Fortnite thankfully the phase passed pretty quickly in his little group of friends and they have moved onto football and match attax cards lol! I do think these ind of games in general have a lot to answer for when it comes to kids attitudes!
Yeah, a lot of new games idea is solely trying to get people hooked on things. And so it’s all about drawing them in and then getting them to pay for more. That’s good you were able to separate your son from it.
I have never played that game but my two girls are obsessed with games. I am sure they probably know about this one.
I worry about this in the future. I never played video games myself.
I know this game. My kid was addicted to this even my brother lol 😆
Wow did not know this game but as much as i can see it is not soo good for kids!
It’s sad that technology can change our childrens behaviors and habits to worse. Hope you can change him back to better for his own sake .
Thankfully my son has not gotten into Fortnite, but we do have a similar issue with electronics in general.
I even have in no way performed that sport however my women are obsessed with video games. I am sure they probably recognise about this one.
Me and my siblings play this game. We were addicted of this game. lol
Amazing Article, Thanks for sharing your favorites so we can spend our time playing the games instead of figuring them out and wasting time on ones that are just not that fun.
Amazing Article, Thanks for sharing.I love this idea.
I think one important point is that not all video games are created equal.
There’s a big difference between something like Fortnite (although one could argue there’s a socialization aspect that can be healthy) and Civilization.
In a game like Civ, kids can learn about world history, different cultures, how to manage a budget, and plan for long term goals. The strategy and critical thinking aspects can be pretty valuable!
That said, too much of anything can be unhealthy. It’s especially true with a video game like Fortnite that is created to keep players coming back in order to woo them to purchase cosmetic in game items with real money. It’s setup to be addictive.
The games are important and necessary, the bad thing is that they are designed to be very addictive, like everything in life, you have to enjoy without abusing.