Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

AIBU to say "no" to more gadgets for 9yr old DS

(67 Posts)
Dotty342kids Tue 29-Jan-13 11:00:58

So, my DS is 10 in March.
He has had a Nintendo DS for 2-3yrs, we have a family Wii, and he has access to the family laptop for supervised internet access, games etc. He also has an MP3 player for music.

For his birthday he's asking for an Ipod or a Playstation 3.
I feel really sad that he just wants more gadget type things and when we chatted about it this morning he is very much feeling that "all" his friends have X boxes, Playstations, Ipods etc and therefore he's missing out.

We could afford a gift like this but I just don't want him to have any more of these types of things. I should say too, that he does struggle to entertain himself and will rely on screen based things if allowed to so I do limit him to approx an hour a day of tv/laptop/Wii time.

AIBU to refuse to buy him any more of these types of things? He did say he'd like to text / message his friends so I may consider a very basic phone (without internet access).
How do you handle boys, in particular, and their love for all things gadgety / screen based? Am I just being old fashioned?

Taffeta Tue 29-Jan-13 17:59:48

Yes it's about what suits your parenting choices. My Dad ran a very early computer educational company in the 70s so we were one of the few households that had a PC. I spent aaaaages playing one adventure game ( no graphics, just typing in commands ) and I get the obsession, which incidentally I no longer have. Well, for games, anyway.

Boundaries are important to kids, and my DS especially generally responds well to them. He has approx 8 hours football training and matches per week, but some nights there is nothing. Tonight, for example, we get in from school and he spends 30 minutes on his homework, 15 minutes reading, 15 minutes listening to DD read with me, 10 minutes looking at football boots on Sports Direct website, 10 minutes helping prep supper, 15 minutes eating supper, had a bath and is now,only now, allowed some screen time, Fifa 13 on the Wii U. This is cool with me as he's done all the stuff I need him to do and I know he's getting lots of exercise the rest of the week.

He'll then help with the food delivery, well help riffle through it seeing what he wants, then do a bit of his design project thingy, maybe play on his iPod for 15 minutes and then I will read him a story or poem on my ipad kindle app as he prefers this to me reading from a normal book.

Someone said that gadgets are all it's about and that it's just one of the hazards of modern living (paraphrasing here)

I appreciate many people are happy with the presence of electronic stuff and limiting screen time, that it's an acceptable choice for that family. What I disagree worth is the perception is that it's inevitable and it's not worth arguing over.

My dc would love ipod/ wii, but we made conscious choices not to get them. They have infrequent, limited and heavily supervised computer time, maybe twenty minutes each month (plus school) and that is it.

Dotty342kids Tue 29-Jan-13 16:11:18

He does loads outside of home including cubs, tennis, cookery club and swimming club training x 2 per week, it's just that when he is home his default option is to find a screen of some sort and I want to balance that out with other stuff. Plus the more screen based stuff there is, the less time he'll have on each of them, which I keep telling him!

StuntGirl Tue 29-Jan-13 15:45:30

What is up with your kids? I've had my DS Lite for 6 years and I love it as much as the day I bought it. Babyish? Boring?? Rubbish??! You lot are just playing the wrong games!

The Wii has some excellent games and does suffer to some extent the shovelware crap that the DS also suffers from but seriously, there are some absolute gems on it. You're mad if you think otherwise.

If you're concerned about the amount of time he spends on them just put screen limits in place, and stick to them. He won't shrivel up and die if he has to entertain himself for a while. Is he a member of any clubs/groups to occupy his time one evening a week or whatever, and get him out of the house?

SilverBellsandCockleShells Tue 29-Jan-13 15:33:18

I'm with you on limiting gadgets. My two, who are a little younger, both have a a tablet. No televisions, no XBoxes, no anything else, and no touching my computer or phone on pain of death! But one each to prevent arguments!

Mean mum that I am, I let them go on their tablets for a limited time, if and only if they have completed their other chores, rooms are tidy, etc. and if they behave themselves. It is very much a privilege (sp?) rather than a right. They still love running around in the garden, playing lego and playing their own nonsense games, and sometimes they chilll out with the tablet. Sometimes they will go days without asking for it, other days they will nag constantly but they know the rules!

My son has requested a microscope for his birthday. My daughter, somewhat bizarrely, wants a handkerchief!

Dotty342kids Tue 29-Jan-13 14:21:50

oh, that really made me laugh out loud (in sympathy, you understand smile ). Gosh, the joys of boys. Mine isn't quite as bad, but I too am getting the "but all my friends have...............". and then when he lists which specific friends have what gadgets I have to refrain from being very judgy about how the amount of gadgets seems to relate directly to how well they do at school / their overall behaviour and attitudes to life in general.
Perhaps I should just give in and send him to the Steiner school where they're banned from having any kind of gadget / screen at home!
But then I think about how often I'd have to play Monopoly grin

joshandjamie Tue 29-Jan-13 14:14:05

my son is about to turn 9, not 8

joshandjamie Tue 29-Jan-13 14:13:05

haven't read the full thread in my eagerness to say: ME TOO!!

My son is about to turn 8. He and his 7 year old brother each have a Nintendo DS which they only ever play with when we travel somewhere. They fight over use my old ipad. In fact trying to get them off it is a sodding nightmare. If I take the ipad away, they hop onto my laptop and start playing on Friv (something they learnt from school). It used to be for 'mathletics' but they never stay on Mathletics long.

If I ban that, they have a wii downstairs. If I forbid that, they will either watch TV (this used to be a treat, now having to JUST watch TV is a punishment apparently) or they try to play on my phone. DS who is about to turn 9 is now wanting an xbox for his birthday because 'he is the only boy in the WHOLE SCHOOL who doesn't have one'. hmm And my sodding husband feels that, yes acutally, an Xbox is better than a wii so it's only fair that they should keep up with the Jones.

DS has also asked for a phone. How I laughed and laughed and laughed. Apparently he is 'the only boy in the WHOLE SCHOOL' who doesn't have a phone. I'm like: You're 9 for God's sake. Who the hell are you going to call?

Oh, I forgot, last year he saved up all his birthday money to buy a second hand ipod touch. He never touches it (excuse the pun).

We have almost daily rants (from me) about them staring at screens. No matter how hard I try to ban them/remove them/hide them they just seem to get on them the minute my back is turned.

I want them to play with their other stuff, go outdoors, use their imaginations. I am so sick of hearing 'I'm coming, I'm just finishing this level/killing this zombie/attacking these aliens etc.

I get that life is different now and that they do start to feel left out when all their friends have this stuff, but I DON'T CARE!!!! Ok I do, but I don't want them to have it.

It really irritates me that their friends are all allowed to play on things like Call of Duty. Seriously - they are little boys. Then I get the: 'but ALL THE BOYS AT SCHOOL PLAY, why are you so mean?' I'm not mean. I'm trying to stop you turning into a psychopath who wants to murder everything and can't string a sentence together but has the fittest thumbs on the planet.

The thing is, it is so much easier to let them stare at screens than argue with them or have to play mindless fucking monopoly or risk for hours. But I know it's my job to get them to cut down on screen time. Sigh

Anyway, after that small rant I am going to go lie down somewhere dark where there is no screen. (the irony of typing this looking at a screen)

fieldfare Tue 29-Jan-13 12:59:47

Dd is 10, we have a wii in the lounge (I use it for Zumba and we play dance party on it too, she'll use it when there are other kids around), and I have a ps3 that she sometimes plays on - more as a reward than a regular thing.
She got a phone for her birthday, it's handy for when she goes over to her dads - there have been some issues and she stopped going for a while, I wanted her to have the safety net of being able to text or call me whenever she wanted. She plays games on it too and listens to music.

My husband is very tech minded and she's taking after him. This is balanced out by the amount of reading she does, the clubs she belongs to, the amount of time she spends playing out with friends and the craft things we do together. It's all about balance.

I have loads of Enid Blyton books for DS.........he is not interested so I shall read them instead.

I have the far away tree ones, some of the famous five, malory towers (yes, too girly) and a box set of the mystery of.......(the 5 findouters and their dog, used to love those ones).

I lived near the woods and was so desperate to find a magic tree with a land at the top.............it's a sigh from me too.........

Dotty342kids Tue 29-Jan-13 12:42:24

We live up in the woods but can I persaude DS to go and "play" up there? Nope!!! Sigh....

Valium - I have definately not seen that and neither has DS or he would have asked me what they were doing......for sure.....!!!

Bring back Malory Towers and the Twins at St Clares....oh for the innocent days smile

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 12:40:56

Ds had read all of Enid Blyton's racist, sterotypical tripe by the time he was 8! grin

LemonBreeland Tue 29-Jan-13 12:40:13

OP I have the same issue with my DS1 who is 9. He really relies on screens to entertain him. I may have a cull on weekly screen time. It is already limited but not enough. When he runs out of time on the Wii he asks for the tv etc. It is driving me crazy.

He will probably ask for some gadget for his birthday too. He currently has mp3 player (not really used), DS (not really interested in), Wii, smartphone.

Sulawesi Tue 29-Jan-13 12:37:56

Oh for Enid Blyton!!!

Mind you I'm sure a lot of flogging and fagging went on in all those public schools so maybe things haven't changed so much!

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 12:36:11

Apparently it's what they do to the dead people once they have killed them on COD!

Sadly I do know what it is and had no need for google grin

See Valium I haven't heard all that or any of that..........I shall hang around next time he plays it and listen out for it. I have just heard the odd f word but that's about it.

Mind you, I think DS would think someone was going to make a cuppa brew if he heard that.

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 12:33:44

Apparently bollock sucking! I had to look it up!

Sulawesi Tue 29-Jan-13 12:32:48

oh lord what is tea bagging when it's at home? My language is sort of earthy farmers type language rather than Bronx!

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 12:30:57

Language is fine in general BUT the language on some of these games is pretty ripe - tea bagging, whores and all sorts of other stuff that is not on in my book.

Possibly Valium...is he very insistent he knows exactly what to do and just makes out that you are a dinosaur who has no clue grin

Sul - ok well since you admitted it, I have been known to let the odd bad word slip out and DH can be dreadful too!!!

I haven't seen a rape scene so if it does exist it is on one of the games DS doesn't have. Not sure if that is true or if it is scaremongering but am sure someone will enlighten you.

Sulawesi Tue 29-Jan-13 12:25:32

Ah ok, I'm not too bothered about the language tbh as I'm a bit sweary myself and they are always telling me off for it blush. I thought there was gratuitous rape in one of them though, scoring points for it or is that just an urban myth?

grin at educational Italian!

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 12:22:01

Do we have the same ds betty? I'm pretty convinced ds hasn't a clue either! grin

Oh yeah, forgot about Assasins Creed. Don't know if DS actually knows what he is doing...seems to wander up and down all the time and not actually do much. Still, he says he knows what he is doing.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now