I am the type of person who is very fond of video games. I've been playing them ever since I was 5 (I am now.. I think 13, maybe 14). I would play them as soon as I could and as long as I could. That was all I ever did.

Recently, however, I have come to realize that there are better things I could be doing. When I started 8th grade I decided I needed to control myself. I did successfully, but still played them on the weekend. Then, this week, I decided to just not play any video games or watch any 'media', as my mother calls it. I'm been really glad I did this. My life's been so much better!

Meanwhile, though, my sister (who's a bit younger) got herself an iPad six months ago. She's always been the kind of person who did stuff in the 'real' world. But, with the new iPad, she's stopped playing with the neighborhood kids or the family. Instead, she just plays lots of video games on the device.

What can I do to help her not make the same mistake I did and waste away her younger years(although I am still young, I guess) on video games?


I'm wondering if there is anything I can do for her based on the fact that I went through what she's doing now. Is there any 'empathy-inducing' speech I could give her?


3 Answers 3


Unfortunately it is becoming the norm for children (and adults) to spend a substantial amount of time using phones, tablets,...etc.

What you can do to help your sister is to invite her to participate with you in any real world activities that you do.

You will build a better bond with her, and at least temporarily keep her away from the electronic devices.


First off I'd like to say congratulations for realizing there was something in your life you wanted to change and successfully changing it. That's not an easy task and it'll only get harder as you get older and things are more ingrained. You should be proud of this achievement!

That being said, this was something you wanted and worked and made you happy. The simple truth is that what you did to make your life better may not make your sister feel like her life is better.

If you approach her telling her how much better her life would be if she just changed like you did you'll likely immediately get her to stop listening to you. This would be true even as friends, but as brother/sister, it's worse. She'd probably be thinking "Why does he think he knows better?" "Why is he trying to tell me what to do?" "He's not mom or dad, why doesn't he just mind his own business?"

So instead of approaching this as a problem that needs to be fixed if she wants to be happy like you, I would do two things.

  1. Talk to your parents about limiting the amount of time both of you (that's right, you included) are allowed on electronics a day/week. Come to them with all of your arguments planned out. Ask them for a good time to sit down with you (without your sister) and discuss something you consider is an important matter. You could do some research on the ill effects of electronics on young minds. You could even make a presentation if you really wanted. Anything to show your parents that you've thought this through.

    Maybe they agree with your and limit the time your sister can have. Or maybe they see some side that you don't--maybe your sister uses the iPad to socialize and fit in with the rest of her class. Regardless, this method would prevent you from ruining your relationship with your sister--you're not directly confronting her--and it will also let you express your thoughts and take criticism. Not to mention, if you really want to change your sister's behavior, going through your parents is probably the one surefire way.

  2. Get her out of the house! Maybe you could schedule a beach trip once a week or a trip to an arcade (or the local equivalent, ie: Nickel City, etc...). Or even better, while you're talking to your parents about your concerns, see if you could plan a family camping trip or a weekly family hike!

Again, I don't think approaching her directly and expressing your thoughts will work here. Instead, I'd suggest a more indirect approach by either going through your parents or inviting her to spend time with you away from her personal screen.

Best of luck!


As her brother you options here may be limited, were you her parents you could try imposing a limit on the amount of time spent on the ipad, I believe there are even parental control apps and settings that can be set for it.

As her brother the best you can do is try to caution her about what you felt you were losing by spending excessive amounts of time gaming, be careful not to be too pushy with this though, nobody likes to be pushed around and younger people in particular can take a rebellious edge when pushed.

Aside from this sf02's answer provides a simple way to pull her attention away from gaming by inviting her out with you on your activities.

  • When I was in my gaming days, if my mother would say things like "You've been playing too much today, why don't you take a break?" I would try to be as mad as possible, attempting to show that video games were just who I was. I realize how frivolous this was now, but I just thought she didn't understand. I'd get extremely mad, thinking of how much my mother hated me(I know it's dumb). This is why I don't want to go the parental control way.
    – user22955
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:21
  • @somerandompersononline agreed, for the same reason I caution you not to be too pushy telling her yourself she may not like hearing your parents say this either. I think though if you enable parental settings on the ipad then it's not you or your parents stopping her from continuing to play but the ipad itself going with that option
    – BKlassen
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:34
  • But she knows the iPad doesn't put itself into parental control without external activity
    – user22955
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 16:45
  • that's true, but its still one degree of separation from having to tell her directly that her time is up
    – BKlassen
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 17:26

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