Are we BU not to have any kind of games console?(61 Posts)
Unlike virtually everyone we know with children, we don't have a Wii, an Xbox or anything similar. I always though DD(11) was fine with this but she told us last night that she feels bored and left out when we meet up with friends because all the kids play on them and she doesn't know how. She made us feel like the 21st century equivalent of people who didn't have a TV when we were young.
The reasons we don't have one are that they are expensive, we don't want one in our small living room but haven't got room for a second TV elsewhere but mostly because I don't like the addictive nature of them - even really young children we know are obsessed with playing on them.
DD has her own laptop, phone, iPod and a DS so she's not being deprived in the technology stakes IMO. If we had a console I know she'd want to be on it all the time and quite honestly I feel she has enough 'screen time' with TV, Internet etc. DH and I don't play computer games (don't understand adults who do really) so she'd mainly be using it alone unless she had a friend over (that seems to be all the kids do when they go to each others houses now).
We do find it harder now she's getting older to know what to do on a weekend evening - we don't watch stuff like the X Factor etc which is all Saturday night TV seems to consist of, and we seem to have exhausted all the films and box sets that we can watch as a family. DD seems to think other families sit round playing games on their console but I can't believe that's the case and even if it is, it's not for us.
Really interested to hear how other people spend their leisure time and whether it does revolve around computer games. Also keen to know if it's just the children we know who seem so obsessed with them or whether they really are a 'most have' like a TV or stereo was for our generation.
"Not for us" as in adults not your daughter by the sound of things, I watch some rubbish with my kids on tv sometimes because that's what they like to do. Now I have an almost 15 year old she has atarted to geet more into period dramas & the like. TBH the wii is the only console we all play on.
We dont have one either. DS1 had an xbox - utterly vile thing - I was glad when it got the ring of death.
We did have a wii but it went in the loft because it was a nightmare for us as we could not get our eldest off it. (Has AS. Too much intense interest in the dam thing).
DH and I would not watch X factor etc by choice but the kids do love them so we watch them together. Kids also have ipods. Much easier to hide until homework is done than a console.
Would recommend Wii but it the others. Wii games are often physical and sociable and involve the whole family. Xboxes etc more insular and addictive
We do have a ps3 but it's in the cupboard and has pretty much been there since dc1 was born (6 years ago)as OH games were too violent for kids. Dc's do t even know it exists and I have no intention of introducing them.
If her friends have things like wii then they are very user friendly, my elderly parents have one as gives them a bit of exercise. It's not something she would need to practise on.
Surely you could have a game night on Saturday night of board games or card games instead.
We only have a wii. The physical games are great, and you haven't lived until you've had your ass handed to you on a plate by a 4yo at wii bowling
We haven't got a wii or xbox. The DC (age 4, 6 and 8) play games on the laptop and iPad. DS1 plays on his friends' wiis when he goes to their houses. Last night we all watched Splash together (except DS2 who was in bed) until DS1 and DD got bored and went off to play in their bedroom.
Tbh if they desperately wanted a console we'd probably get one. They don't seem to mind not having one.
Ee have a wii and one tv. Most of the games dd plays are the danncing and singing ones. They are very sociable and lots of fun.
Why dont you understandvadults who play? Do yoi lack imagition which is why you are scared of consoles. I love a good lego game with lots of ptoblem solving.
Consoles are hardly new! How old are you???
We have three. A ps2, a Wii and an Xbox.
Thevps2 is used primarily as a DVD player.
The Wii is used for just dance, which gets kids (and me!) Up and moving.
The Xbox is really only used when my son has friends over.
They were used more than that initially, but you can set sensible limits. They don't have to be available 24/7.
Also Wii here.
Alternatives for Saturday eve, board games, pamper eve, I take DC to library to choose a DVD, craft? Learn crochet or something.
We have a Wii. 11 year old loves Just Dance with her friends over.
I often watch crap TV with the kids to be sociable. Plus you can watch Netflix on the Wii.
We have a Wii u which is only ever used when we have people over. Not a rule, its just the way it happens. Eg Christmas we had an archery competition with BIL and nephews.
DS (10) got an XBox for his birthday. He uses it in fits and starts, when he wants to play Minecraft or FIFA with his friends and cousins online. He will buy Live membership for a month to play with them, and then let it lapse for a few months and not bother with it.
DH and I don't play computer games.
So in reality, the consoles actually encourage interaction with others here.
Ds got a wii when was 11. He is my only child and we have one TV which is in the small lounge. I like to see him playing on it and enjoying himself, I work on the computer, knit or read in the same room. We negotiate around TV programmes that are on.I also join in with him occasionally, it's not my thing but he'll soon be grown up. I also watch some TV programmes that I wouldn't necessarily choose, but we are spending time together and I'll have many years to watch only what I want when he has left home.
We won an X Box Kinect a couple of years ago. I could count on my fingers the amount of times DD has used it - we are just not a 'gaming' family.
DD is only 8 though. Maybe it will be used more as she gets older. Lots of her school friends play minecraft etc, but DD isn't interested in joining them for now.
depends on her social group.
now if your dd had fallen in with a group that go drinking down the park I would say yabu to buy her a beer.
on the other hand if her social group are a wii playing lot, I'd be pretty happy with that. if she doesn't she will feel a little left out and unable to host as well as friends.
of course it's up to you whether the evils of game consoles are worse than your dd dealing with feeling a little left out. I got a wii second hand with a heap of games for Â£30 so not really that expensive and really doesn't take up much space.
Tbh we do often sit around as a family and play console games eg Disney infinity and big brain academy. although I am slowly noticing modern board games like ticket to ride taking over. now the cost of them and the space they take up is mind boggling
Oh and re Saturday nights, it varies. We all watch the Voice and Strictly but not Britains got Talent, X Factor or any others.
We sometimes go out, or have people over. We never play on the Wii or XBox as a family unless we have other people over.
Dd has a wii u and it is fabulous, our first console of any kind. My friend bought her daughter a second hand wii with a load of games bundled in. All the games are active and social.
I have never understood games consoles until I played lego city undercover. It. Is great.
We have a wii and its pretty much only used when we have people over, And the kids (mine are 1 and 2 so they don't join in) and adults all play together so it's a very social activity really. Think there's a time and place for them
We have an xbox 360 that is a glorified DVD player and a Wii in the garage. DS is too young to use a console but I'm looking forward to playing the Wii Olympic Games with him when he's older. We only ever used it as a group activity and it's good for horrible weather.
We have a Wii which has been loved and used to death over five years. This Christmas we upgraded to the Wii U and its proven very popular so far. Dds are 8 and 9, don't go on it every day and we play with them on it too sometimes. The games can be very sociable and physical, and some are educational.
I think your main concerns can be eradicated though. The Wii has come down in price massively in recent years, I don't know how much they, but in terms of consoles, they aren't in the same league as the new Xbox or PlayStations. Also, people will be selling their Wii on pretty cheaply as they upgrade, we gave our one away to the people who live next door who have grandchildren to stay quite often.
And re worrying about her getting addicted, well it will certainly be a novelty for a while but it will tail off. And if it doesn't, you just limit her to half hour or whatever a day.
I don't think YABU exactly but you do sound a bit stuck in the dark ages for not considering it!
We have a wii and dss has games like super mario brothers and the lego games which are brilliant for co-op play. He doesn't have all the other gadgets you r child has and I can't see how they are any better than a console. You can better control the time spent on a wii and everyone can play it. I think you're being a bit precious. You can pick up s second hand wii for about £50 with games.
I will add it's about balance. it's a rare day we don't do some form of physical activity eg trip to the park or swimming.
I have a ps3, my dc are younger then yours though Op 8 and 6.
Yes they play on it sometimes but they play together in 2 player games or take turns. I find when they're on heir iPods they are much more goggle eyed iyswim. When they're friends come round yes they do play on it I suppose in your daughters point of view if she's going round her friends and that's what they're doing she will feel left out of she doesn't know where the x button is.
Can she not have a cheap console for next Christmas?
I have a few games but I haven't played on a game for years, ps3 does have other stuff on it apart from games we use love film a lot and it plays blue ray disks for the odd blue ray film, we also use it as a DVD player since the last one broke.
Thanks all, this is really interesting. I have to go out so don't have time to read in detail now but will browse all your responses later, lots to consider .
I think if she really wants it it's not an unreasonable request to get one for her birthday - on the understanding that the screen time would be instead of existing useage not additional. Now we're onto the fourth generation Playstation there's a huge backlog of older consoles you could buy second hand (maybe even free if a family member is upgrading) and the older games are also very cheap to buy.
Which to get depends on what all her mates are playing. Of course if what they're playing is GTA5 or COD then you're better off not getting one. I'm slightly surprised the girls aren't all about the phone games anyway - it would see a bit unusual for the girls to be console-gaming-mad.
Currently we don't have one but I am considering a wii or x box for the family sport and dance games next winter. Dc will be 3 and 5. I always had fun with dnephew on his. He is 15 now and more into bmx/skateboarding/rugby/kickboxing so no issues with him having a console from 3yrs old.
Better than sitting and playing on cbeebies.
OP we have even less than you - a PSP (ancient, donated by a friend), an antique desktop PC, and portable DVD players. I have 2 boys ages 4 and 8. (we have TV obviously, and I have a laptop for work and an iPad which they aren't allowed near as it's precious!) I've considered getting a Wii, but I just think the rows and scraps between the boys would make it unbearable. They play nicely all the time except when anything techno is involved.
Meh. We have almost every console going, at least every platform going, bar Apple due to my intense hatred of their marketing strategies.
My children spend little time on them unless the weather is so bad that their friends are not allowed to play out, in which case they will "meet" their friends on Minecraft/Skype/PixelGun/whatever.
They can take or leave games. I firmly believe that is because there is no limit on them, they do not feel the need to abuse them. We've often had "screentimed" friends being left alone in the house while mine play in the park because they've gotten fed up of Mario Karts.
I would give in and buy a Wii if the boys really really wanted one, but I'd have strict rules about it, and I suspect it would spend most of the time unused due to "bad behaviour bans"!
We have a Wii and an Xbox.
The Wii and balance board is fun, Mario carts and Wii resorts as a family or with friends can be hilarious. The DDs playing Super Mario together gets silly as toad is so cute.
I'm far less keen on the Xbox as there seem very few decent games for anyone who doesn't like blood, guns or football. The DDs have various Lego ones, which are very clever, but they still require a lot of just random smashing piles of bricks.
Forza's graphics are stunning, but you get board of driving in circles and DD2 gets fed up of just dance in 5 min.
In all honesty unless you are prepared to join in an only child will either get bored, frustrated or obsessed with completing things.
My two don't get obsessed because Lego and Mario have two player modes that make completing things 'easier' . However, one of the DDs is sure to get fed up with the others ineptitude before they've played for a Sicily amount of time.
The thing that is obsessive here is SIMs on DD2s lap top.
And one last thing, if your DDs friends are into mine craft, I believe (like Sims) the PC version is by far the best anyway.
I don't understand this when you clearly have embraced new technology with the list of things your dd does have - what differentiates the console? How much space do you think one takes up, it's like a large telephone directory. And can be purchased second hand from the likes of Game. You don't need one, but your dd has asked for one and you don't have a moral objection to screens I don't see what the problem is?
Entertaining them on a Saturday night, well that's another matter! (Cook together?) Watching parents make fools of themselves on wii sports or dance could be diverting I suppose!
I sympathise as I really, really don't 'get' computer consoles or whatever they are called. We did relent and allow our 11 year old to buy a second hand playstation - on the understanding that he saved up and bought it himself, but we are fortunate to have a second tv in a room he can use. However he has to be constantly policed as he would spend hours playing
rubbish games on it.
It is incredibly hard to 'relate' to something that is so alien to DH and I - to be fair DH does try and play the occasional game with him on it to be sociable.
I recognise that this is my 'problem' and it would be lovely if I could enjoy that sort of activity with my child - perhaps this is one of the down sides of not having a child until I was in my 40s . We do try and find the occasional tv programme or film that we all enjoy; I love cards and board games but I can see my DS (now nearly 13) raising his eyebrows when I suggest that sort of activity. Summer is much easier because we all quite sport and enjoy being out and about, DS is in a lot of sports teams etc.
Not really sure what the answer is .......... but looking back I don't think I spent Saturday evenings sitting with my parents, probably I was listening to Radio Luxembourg in my room .
I totally agree that limits increase not decrease obsession.
Although I have frequently been heard to say, that's enough SIMs go and play outside.
Fortunately DD2 has got madly into gymnastics and the second it's not raining she's on the trampoline.
We don't have a Wii, PS3 etc, don't watch X Factor etc either. DH does play some online games, mostly strategy ones like Shogun. Our DS is only 4 so we've not had the moaning about feeling left out yet but he does play some games on the IPad or the PC upstairs.
I don't know what we'll do if/when he wants to have what his friends at school has. I've played various games on X Box live (I think!) at my brother's house and they're fine and fun but didn't make me want to rush out and buy one myself. We tend to read a lot, watch other stuff on the TV and sew/make things in the evenings. Lack of consoles certainly isn't a lack of imagination in this house!
Lego City Undercover.
StarBall, Sims 3 was the bain of my life for several weeks while dd1 whined "My horse is deformed and it's all your fault. It's your pooter you should have known we needed a better graphics card, waaaaaaailllllllllllllllllllll"
We got a new graphics card. She helped install it. Sims 3 has never been played since
We have always had various consoles. I don't like them and could happily live without them but OH enjoys playing on them.
I have recently but a total ban on my youngest three playing on the x box (10, 6, 3).
I have had enough. As soon as it goes on DS2 starts shouting (he has SN) and gets totally over stimulated. They all argue while it is on and when I turn it off they all moan and cry for ages. They keep asking to have it put on every ten minutes.
So NO MORE. I can see no advantage in the bloody thing. I discussed it with OH. He is an adult so I am not going to deprive him of his equivalent of MNing.
The DCs are different matter. We have tried restricting it but they just obsess about the bloody thing. Since banning it they have barely mentioned it.
I don't think you are being unreasonable for not having a console but I have never enjoyed gaming. People who like them will possibly have a different point of view
We have a Wii and PS3. The Wii hardly gets looked at these days tbh.
PS3 is regularly used and we do play Buzz as a family quite often. We even have made our own quizzes for it in the past. The kids loved making their own and it was quite educational. I love Buzz and it often comes out whdn we have family and friends over too.
Dd also has some detective games we have downloaded and we all get involved in those too.
Ot does not have to be all violent shooting games. My 12 & 15yo also love the Little Big Planet games which are harmless fun.
We have never had to lay down strict rules with the PS3 about usage because we choose to keep it in the lounge. The fact you have 1 tv will be to your advantage ig you are worried about overuse.
MrsDeVere - a good point about the time spent mumsnetting - I 'judge' adults who play computer games but can happily spend a few hours on mumsnet .
Saturday nights recently have been spent with dp and the dcs playing with the fusball table (Xmas present).
There are times when I love having a houseful of boys as they were all totally engaged in it for about 2 hours last night [slopes off with a good book] :D
In terms of consoles, DH has a ps3 which the kids play angry birds on occasionally- probably about once a month. They enjoy it but they're not 'into' it. BUT saying that, they're 5 and 3...so I've no doubt consoles will become more popular.
I have a real
irrational dislike of ds's. they're designed to be portable and I see kids out and about glued to them constantly, even at the park/soft play etc. I'd much rather they were on the ps3 a couple of nights a week tbh.
If you are going to allow one type of entertainment based screen time then it is no different to another I would say. I don't think games consoles are that much more addictive than t.v its easy to watch t.v all day if you let yourself, or mumsnet. But I do know people who limit screen time and a few odd ones with only a radio! On Saturday night they would probably have friends round and have a meal together, then chat and maybe listen to music.
We have a Wii and an x box.
Wii is in a box in the loft and will probably never see the light of day again. We got one when ds was about 10.
Ds14 got it the xbox when he was 12. It gets a lot of use at the weekend, but only after homework has been done. He also plays football on Sundays, goes to the gym most days, meets up with friends at Costa.
I have never used any games console in my life...but I use the internet a lot. Agree..good point Mrs DeVere.
You mentioned the expense and I personally think its entirely reasonable to use that argument with your daughter.
She should be old enough to understand that when she got all the other gadgets that took money.
If the only issue is her not knowing how to play them could you have a quiet word with a friendly adult and ask them to show her so she can join it when at other's houses.
If the issue is bigger and around owning one then I'm afraid that if I didn't want one myself I'd be suggesting a mix of saving and money from presents to buy one at later date. It's an expensive item to suddenly declare a wish for a few weeks after Christmas.
I'd also be making sure she was aware of any limits on usage I'd be intending to make so she knew what the deal was before making the effort to wait for one.
Price wise, 99% of what tech we own was either bought a second hand but in mint condition or bought as not working due to a specified fault and repaired by us for a fraction of the cost of new and/or working.
There is only dd1's tablet and my phone that is new.
We have a very god relationship with the local second hand electrical shop
Hmm I worry more re the crappy TV, IPods,DSs and laptop(all of which are kept in my cupboard) than the XBox.Love our XBox.
It is all about parenting NOT technology.
We are a techy family(coder dad) and a bookish one.We lay down rules and the kids keep to them.
I have no screen time what so ever before school.After school they do a small bit of homework/piano practise if set(never more than an hour) and then they get an hour of screen time of their choice(TV which isn't crap,Ipod,XBox(Minecraft,Disney Infinity,Lego Lord of the Rings etc),Raspberry Pi or MacBook to do programming). Said screen time doesn't happen on Brownie/ Cub nights and often not so often during the summer months.
On Sat nights we often have either have a movie night or Xbox game night for an hour or two(Kinnect Adventures, a Sport eg bowling,ski ing etc).Love it and love the XBox as it's more social and active ie we can all join in together.
My kids read a huge amount before school,after and in bed.Sometimes 3 hours a day.They play the piano and adore Lego,SF etc.Having no more than an hour of screens in total means they are often bored and turn to other things.
All devices are kept out of bedrooms and any whining after switch off results in loss of time the next day.
* You* have to enforce rules,lead by example and stick to them however hard.It is not down to the tech itself.
We have a wii - £32 from cash converters with a couple of games and controllers.
we also have a PS3 (full price) the PS3 gets a lot of use as it is also a bluray player.. we play games on it sometimes - usually the lego type..
the wii gets used for more "fun" competitive games - when you have seen granny doing ninja fruit slicing with full vocalisation, you make memories you will never forget....
Yes seeing my dad rafting was priceless.
My parents went home knackered after our last games night.They're seriously thinking of getting an XBox Kinnect to keep fit,they loved it.
Checking e-mails on their IPods counts as their hour.
Dc 10,10 and 9.
I hate computer games with a passion they are just not my thing. However we have a wii and it is surprisingly good fun! I join in with the children and many wet Saturday afternoons have been spent playing wii Party or having a golf tournament . We have a small living room
too but it seems to work ok.
I really don't get all the angst over consoles. (Disclaimer: although being a much older mumsnetter - the name is a giveaway- I have loved computer games from the get-go.)
When my DC were young I limited TV time as I wanted them to have a balance. It was never ever on before school and it went off when children's programmes finished after school. You can do exactly the same thing with consoles. Just because they have one it doesn't mean they are on them all day and all night. Especially if they are in a family room, not their bedrooms.
I have an old PlayStation because I love platform games and I adored puzzle games on the PC - still do.
I also have a Wii because the sports and dance games are great fun and very sociable when friends come round (although we still play board games as well), and DGC are getting to the age where they can play too.
Don't knock it till you've tried it!
I 'judge' adults who play computer games
We use the Xbox as a media centre as well as playing games on it. We can watch Netflix & other channels through it, play downloaded films & watch DVD's.
I'd rather my kids spent an hour on a Saturday night playing that than watching the X Factor or similar TBH.
You do realise she can get up to more "evil" on her own in her bedroom with an Ipad than she ever can with a console right?
Moderation is the key, set realistic and reasonable boundaries, get her some headphones so you don't have to listen to it & all should be well!
We'll quite happily sit there reading/talking while one of the kids plays (silently) - if and when we want the TV we just kick them off....
As mad as it may sound I worry a lot more re my dc reading too much,spending too much time indoors and not getting enough exercise than XBox time.They spend far more time reading,playing with Lego etc and as slim as my dc are I still feel the need to drag them out on hikes as they have no interest re any sport bar cycling in their free time.
I often have to turf them out off of books,piano,Lego etc and never off the XBox as their screen time is limited,allocated and earned.
It should be a balance and I'm well aware my 3 don't spend enough time doing sport.
I 'judge' adults who play computer games
Why would you do this? Its just another form of entertainment at the end of the day. I have no interest in gaming whatsoever but then again my DH has no interest in MN! We have a PS3 and Wii in the living room that my DSs use and they also have an X box in their bedroom. They also like loads of other stuff and go out to play if the weather's half ok, its all about a balance. I laugh at all the games machines are "vile and evil" posts, there are some strange attitudes around MN at times.
Yes, I know I shouldn't judge people who play computer games but to me it is a really odd thing to do (and I know that many people judge my hobbies as really odd as well .) So yes, I shouldn't be judgemental, I suppose it is because I just cannot understand the 'appeal' of computer games.
I am disappointed that my DS spends so long on his PS3 (despite constant nagging and 'scree time rules) and I know I would be happier if he was reading a book, playing in the park, playing cards or board games with DH & I, etc etc. (And he does have lots of interests, very sporty etc, but in my opinion he spends far too long on computer games).
We have a ps4 for me and dh a iPad for DS and a wii for DS and a family ps3. We play games together tbh I really don't see the problem.
DH has a wii avatar that looks pretty like him.
Watching that on the screen dressed as a chicken and him flapping on the balance board is absolutely hilarious.
I need to lie to the Wii fit about how tall I am. It's version of me is far to accurately dumpy.
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