AIBU to say "no" to more gadgets for 9yr old DS(67 Posts)
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?
For phones we have a rule that they are allowed when moving up to secondary school (repeat after me, ad nauseum, 'I want a phone, not I need a phone'!). We bought our DSs ipods for Christmas but they are the music only ones, they both play instruments and we want to encourage this. They can be used for backing tracks, etc. They would love an x-box but we only have a Wii. They are aged 9 and 12.
I think its a really tough call my ds is 10 in june so in a similar boat... he got an ipod last year for his b'day which he uses for games/music and the odd email ( i have a linked a/c sp I can see everything he sends/receives) and we have had a wii for yonks - as a family we have 2 ipads which he uses for movies if we are travelling on hols for example.
We caved this xmas and got an xbox as he really had moved on in a lot of ways from the wii.
It is in a completely different league to the wii and he plays fifa13 as if it is going out of fashion but we do have a limit. No xbox/games allowed during the week. He has a pretty bust weekend with school and sport activties so he is allowed up to 2 hours at the weekend but often doesnt use all this up.
I have had to allow some self-regulation as this is the way of the world. It doesnt mean he has to play awful violent games and I am very strict in content.
However for all this we have friends who really dont have the iPod/xbox/ipad type stuff and are not harmed as well we have friends whose kids are allowed unlimited access....which doesnt seem that great
I think you have to agree a middle ground - can you discuss with your son what he thinks is appropriate - we did rules for use ( and withdrawal of use) with ds which has aorked well at an age where they are looking for a bit more control. It is also good to take it away as a penalty for poor behaviour etc etc.
meant to say no phone and he won;t get one until senior school - when i asked him who he was going to call ( none of his friends have one) he said Granny!
I'm a long way off having to make this decision for myself (my ds is 4 months) but if it's the quantity of gadgets that worries you could you persuade him to give up/eBay a gadget he's not that bothered about to then replace with a new one of his choice? X
YANBU at all!! My DS (10) is well into his gadgets. He has a nintendo which he hasn't played in about a year, an iphone (which he was given by my company when they upgraded to the next one) and he got an x box for christmas. He has access to the family lap top but it is so old it needs coal shovelled into it and he gets no pleasure from that
To be honest, the only one he really loves in the x box which in the week I limit to 1.5 hours per day. He likes to watch his iphone for videos etc but generally isn't too bad.
The gadgets in themselves are ok but it is the way they are monitored. My DS would happily be on his x box all day long during the weekend and when we make him come off it he mopes around. They seem to lose the ability to do creative stuff which I have to say really pisses me off.
Oh, forgot to say, when we bought him the x box we then sold the wii as there was no way he was having 2 consoles.
Yes, I did mention that if he wanted the PS3 then that would mean getting rid of the Wii. Trouble with that is that we have a younger daughter who would then lose out so that doesn't seem entirely fair!
Like the idea of no "gaming" during the week, that seems like one way of doing things.
Am I right in thinking that you can turn off the internet access aspect of Ipods? But then there's probably no point and he may as well just have a phone that's not got internet access.....!
No, you can't really do that then can you....I have only have the one so it wasn't an issue for me but if there had been a younger sibling to consider then we wouldn't have sold it.
My DS is angling for the x box to be in his room as we have it in the dining room but that ain't happening, lol.
He is ok with 1.5 hours in the week but I stick to that. I set the oven timer and when it goes off he has to stop!
I don't know re internet access on ipod. DS has an i phone which works through the wi fi so I just turn the router off....I imagine the ipod is the same.
Why of they need phones at secondary school? Who are they ringing? However did we all survive getting to and from school without needing to text our parents en route?
DS (9) got an ipod touch for his 9th birthday. It has no Internet access, any games or music he wants go through me via my ipad/laptop.
TBH, whatever you get them, they always want more. After years of resisting a console, we got a Wii U at Christmas ( we also have DD (6) ), and within 2 weeks of getting that he started saying he wanted an Xbox. Jog on.
You have to restrict it, I agree. It is very useful for journeys, DS has at least 4 journeys a week with football at the moment, the agreement is he reads his book one way and has the ipod the other.
The ipod is good value IMO as the games are a snip, and it has camera, has music etc etc. Watch the age recommendation for games. He'll get a mobile when he goes to secondary.
PuffPants - We survived without phones but it was a nightmare if something went wrong, eg you broke down.
I suspect most people went to local secondary schools ( I could certainly walk to mine ). My DS will have to, as a minimum, travel 6 miles to his on one, two buses and possibly a train, depending on which school he gets into.
I don't relish the thought of him doing this in 2 years time on his own with no form of communication, knowing the unreliabilty of public transport.
The thing is ten year olds aren't into Wii's - they are a bit old hat now - they mostly seem to be on x boxes and play stations.
I limit screen time too.
Puff - My DS will be getting the bus too and from senior school when he goes and I would feel more comfortable if he were able to reach me if need be.
I know we didn't have them when we were kids but times are changing. Should I not have sky tv because when I was a kid we only had 3 channels??
Horses for courses........no, a phone is not a necessity but it will make life easier.
I find this so hard. I have two boys, similar ages and they are obsessed with any type of electronic gadget and would play from dawn until dusk.
It makes me really sad as I have to force them to read or do much else, so depressing but you can't make them interested in other stuff.
They are at a good school where they do a fair bit of sport, art, drama, food tech etc so I guess that helps off set it but I do wish for children who just wanted to ride their bikes and read Enid Blyton until bedtime <deluded>.
The other think is the xbox seems to be very much a shared console, ds has his mates over and I often have to step over them as they are draped over the front room I much prefer this to a solitary thing like an i pod where he would just play by himself.
Ds has had a phone since he started walking to school at 9. Basic phone, no internet and gets topped up with a fiver every term and is ONLY for texting/ringing home in an emergency. It has been really useful when he has been let out of school late.
Its difficult though when they have younger siblings. Why should everything revolve around them?
We got the Wii U as a compromise. DD can play NintendoLand games on it, DS can play Fifa 13 and we will get some sports ones soon that the whole family can play.
Any other stuff he wants he will have to make do with his iPod.
Sulawesi, I know exactly what you mean! I was explaining to him this morning how when I was his age I'd come home and either do colouring, reading, jigsaws or play with friends. He looked horrified at the idea of life without gadgetry!
There are times when I'd def like him to have a phone and be contactable as I'm just starting to let him meet friends to go swimming etc. That may be the route to go down until I can't fend off the games consoles any further.
Sulawesi - I so hear you. Oh for a bookworm boy! My DS is football obsessed, no idea where he got it from, DH and I detest it. He reads a little about it, but mainly wants to play it, in RL, or on the Wii U/ipod.
You're right, you can't make them interested in thigs they aren't. You can expose them to stuff and hope they show an interest.
I think back to my childhood, hours and hours roaming free on my bike. So sad they don't have this freedom, its whats missing IMO.
mm my DH is the same, loves gadgets and so does DD - she is already lusting after a new Ipod (as "it comes in different colours mum") - but I have said to wait. I think you need to think whether some of this is just nostalgia for the days when we only had two channels on the black and white TV and we were forced to entertain ourselves with bits of wood. As they grow up they will play games regardless, what matters is the discipline to not let it take over your life (as MN testifies there are different definitions of this).
Personally think it might be worthwhile upgrading the Nintendo to an ipod as they are more versatile and games are much cheaper.
But funnily enough the most popular gifts the kids got at Xmas were the card games (I got Monopoly Deal and Uno) and the little hand held crossbow (Petron - worth looking if you want something non-gadgety: this one)
The thing is limiting screen time - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Ds can go on it for a certain length of time and when it's off he has to find something else to do - which is usually reading. The xbox is hardly on at all in the Summer but it the winter it's great when the kids are stuck inside a lot.
Sul - another one who totally agrees.
When I was a kid I was out all day on my bike, loved reading and colouring. My mum didn't let us watch tv in the day time, we had a t in a wooden cabinet and she used to slide the door across and lock it so we couldn't watch it.
Sadly times are so different.....no way would I let DS out from dawn to dusk without a clue where he was (but hey he does have a phone so he could call me) and although I don't agree with being a sheep, gadgets is what it is all about and it is what they are all doing.
Imo there is nothing wrong with 'gadgets' (apart from the price)
gadgets are a way of life now, and the updates are speeding up all the time. Being familiar with 'gadgets' can only be good.
My ds has always had gadgets (maybe not up to the minute ones but that's due to cost) he is 16 now and uses various gadgets to 'create'. Add to his list his cameras and lenses he is able to spend hours 'creating' all sorts of great stuff.
Like anything else they need to be monitored. An obsession with a particular game is as bad as an obsession with any other toy.
I say, get what you can afford, keep them safe, tell them why you need to keep them safe. Talk about what they are doing/playing. Take an interest. Play the games with them. Playing a xbox game with a child is just as good as playing monopoly.
How do people afford all this stuff?
<mutters about peer pressure and commercialism and materialism and the death of the Great Outdoors>
Valium - we haven't had the x box (or that bloody thing as I now call it) over the summer yet so we will see how it goes. DS is not an out doorsy kid at all (much to my despair) so I think I will physically have to boot his backside out the door
We have Monopoly on the xbox - played it a lot over Xmas, it was great fun
betty I do a lot of booting out as well
Monololy.....aarghhhhh................DS loves monopoly but the board game version. I know I shouldn't moan but a game has been known to last 3 hours. I usually make bad decisions and go bankrupt on purpose but don't think DS has caught on yet.
He can't win can he
iPod touches are amazing gadgets and wonderfully cheap to run compared to £12 plus awful DS games.
They also allow you to say no phone very firmly as they do everything a phone does except run up huge contracts.
You can set up email, face time and their are messaging aps.
Clearly if you supervise the Internet you would want to rig up protection.
I'm a very bad mummy, I ban FB and chat rooms, but I have no soft wear protection in place.
I have lovely, but bright and not beyond being devious girls. If it was banned here they would do it somewhere else.
Also they know their geek DF can spy on our wifi if he so chooses.
Wiis are rubbish-out of date and babyish !
Of course he want a playstaion or xbox because that is what all his friends will have.Please don't make him feel bad for being a normal 10 yera old boy, and wanting what normal 10 yr old boys have.
Ds is not allowed on FB or chat rooms. He mainly looks at really boring Minecraft videos on youtube... <yawn> on his laptop which he has to use in the front room so I can peer over his shoulder occasionally.
No, my DS is not allowed fb or chat rooms anyway not that he has ever asked. He just likes his i phone for you tube looking at silly videos. He knows that the day I find anything inappropriate on his phone is the day it gets taken away from him. Mind you, he is quite a niave innocent 10 year old so I don't have to worry......yet!!
There was a very interesting news snippet the other night saying that crime amongst teenagers (older ones I assume) has dropped quite substantially in the Western world as they tend to be inside playing all the games and tiddling around on social media instead of being bored and looking for trouble on the streets. A little silver lining maybe.
Currently my DC's are obsessed with Minecraft which seems relatively harmless, but already they are talking of other children (or their older brothers/dads) playing COD and Halo - I just dread it so sad.
Halo isn't so bad, I don't know about 4 but the rest are ok - at least it is aliens and not killing people like COD.
My DS loves a variety.....minecraft is a big hit as it Halo and also COD!
Oh Valium those Minecraft videos! What on earth is that all about? If I ever hear another clip of that dreadful man droning on about locking bits of wall together it will be too soon!
I like him to play Minecraft in the week....seems more calming somehow
Betty does your 10yr old play COD and Halo? Are they awful or am I being over protective?
I can't even look at the screen for more than a second or my eyes go squiffy watching Minecraft - don't get the appeal at all
No COD in this house - I really put my foot down about that, poor ds was the only 9 year old not playing it when it was popular at his school - I positively embraced Minecraft as it was so tame in comparison
Sul - you will get a mixed response. I was always of the mindset that no way was he playing COD but he ended up playing it round some one elses house and then DH bought it for him.
I was initially horrified but we had a chat about it. He knows it is not a normal situation (I don't want him being blase about war etc), he knows it is make believe....the only thing I am not massively keen on is the fact that there is swearing but he knows not to repeat it and he hears worse in the playground I am sure.
It's up to you really. As I said, I wasn't overly happy but he is aware it is only a game. Most people on here though will tell you not to, you just need to make up your own mind.
Our compromise was to turn the blood off and play 'split screen' with at his mates' houses.
Halo is ok imo.
Some of the Assasins Creed is ok with the blood and language turned off - actually most of the language is in Italian <educational!>
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.
Do we have the same ds betty? I'm pretty convinced ds hasn't a clue either!
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 . I thought there was gratuitous rape in one of them though, scoring points for it or is that just an urban myth?
at educational Italian!
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
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.
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.
oh lord what is tea bagging when it's at home? My language is sort of earthy farmers type language rather than Bronx!
Apparently bollock sucking! I had to look it up!
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 if he heard that.
Sadly I do know what it is and had no need for google
Apparently it's what they do to the dead people once they have killed them on COD!
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!
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.
Ds had read all of Enid Blyton's
racist, sterotypical tripe by the time he was 8!
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
We live up in the woods but can I persaude DS to go and "play" up there? Nope!!! Sigh....
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.........
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.
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'. 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)
my son is about to turn 9, not 8
oh, that really made me laugh out loud (in sympathy, you understand ). 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
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!
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?
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!
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.
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.
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