Am I the only parent who won't allow an xbox, DS or playstation in the house?

(510 Posts)
MINIBondGirl Sat 05-May-12 16:10:21

Am I being unrealistic in this issue as I only know a very few parents who feel the same? Having seen other children playing on them (sometimes looking like zombies and getting headaches) I am really put off. I know some parents restrict usage and don't allow unsuitable games but a lot don't.

As my boys are 4 & 7 I would rather they played outside, used their imaginations and concentrated on school for now.

Realistic or not?

elah11 Sat 05-May-12 16:16:44

Its certainly realistic at 4 and 7, it gets much harder as they get older and 'everyone else' has one. Maybe do what a lot of parents (myself included) do, allow the games console (when they are older) but restrict the time, type of games etc. My 6 yr old doesnt play any games console, she has no interest, and even my 10yr old ds2 has very little interest, ds1 on the other hand is 13 and we set strict limits otherwise he would be on all day.

MoaningMinnieRisesAgain Sat 05-May-12 16:19:00

I think it is one of those - your children, your rules things. My DCs are 3 and 5, they have a DS each, they have used them for about 2-3 hours this year .

They are out in the park virtually every day climbing trees and looking for ants - do I worry if they have half an hour on the DS - not at all. Many days they only see about 30mins of TV. Very occasionally the TV is on for hours.

All a matter of balance. I don't fancy the Xbox or Wii much but they are not old enough to know what they are or nag me for one yet grin but maybe that is because I am an old gimmer and computer games weren't really around when I was a teenager/child.

As long as they are doing other things as well, playing outside in the mud, going to the library, making things and mess then each to their own.

Coconutty Sat 05-May-12 16:19:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smurfy1 Sat 05-May-12 16:21:49

DSD has a DS and a Wii but I can count on 1 hand how many times the wii has been used and the DS is only touched when in the car for long journeys she is much happier outside or drawing/ baking with me and she is 10, although I think peer pressure is as immense as it was back when I was that young (dreamily remembers when)

wfrances Sat 05-May-12 16:34:35

we have every machine under the sun,duplicates of some(with having 4 children)
but that doesnt mean theyre always in use.
everything in moderation,and i would police it if i noticed any unhealthy habits.
most used is the wii but thats games like rock band -singing/dancing .
i have no problems at all with that- its nice to see them playing together.

crunchbag Sat 05-May-12 16:35:56

I doubt it very much that you will be the only parent not allowing the above and at this age is still very realistic, it's unlikely they go out and buy it themselves.

I don't have a problem with game consoles and quite like playing on the wii myself smile It's all about moderation.

cory Sat 05-May-12 16:50:55

Not unrealistic for the time being. Sounds absolutely fine.

What would be unrealistic would be not allowing for the fact that as your children grow they will become increasingly like you: it will seem strange to insist that an almost grown child should spend all their time on healthy outdoor activities if you are, for instance, in the habit of unwinding by mumsnetting...

But there is plenty of time to adapt. My dcs did not have television when they were the age of yours. Now, with one child hoping to do A-level drama and English Lit and completely immersed in her local drama club, it would be totally unrealistic to expect her never to watch a play. But that didn't mean she had to start at the age of 2.

PotPourri Sat 05-May-12 16:53:13

they can have stuff but not use it all the time. I think there comes a point that they need to have some exposure though or they look like idiots in front of their friends (like that or not, it is still true).

You're doing the right thing to encourage them to play outside adn use their imagination though - keep that going. Maybe if you got a DS for yourself and then allow them to have a short go now and again...

40notTrendy Sat 05-May-12 16:56:05

It's what I'm aiming for!!
However, we have recently been to a couple of friends who have wii/x-box and had really good fun.
It has got me thinking that I might be being a bit pedantic.
If we got one (and there's no chance at the moment as we're skint!)) it would be a family toy, and we'd have it in the lounge. As I see it, it's playing inappropriate games or too much late at night that causes issues. If it's in the lounge then those issues are easily controlled.

wannaBe Sat 05-May-12 17:02:43

at four and seven it's fine. I was hmm when ds was four at the number of parents who were buying games consoles for their three four, five year olds. consoles that cost hundreds of £s so not only because of the game but because of the sheer amount of money people are prepared to spend on such young children. I recently read a thread where someone had bought an iPad for their four year old. shock if people are buying such expensive things for their kids now, what on earth will they be buying when the kids are ten, eleven, sixteen? It's this expectation that children should have everything as soon as possible...

But it's all about moderation really. Nothing wrong with kids having access to games consoles, as long as there's not A, an expectation of having to have them, or B, it's age-appropriate.

Hulababy Sat 05-May-12 17:06:09

It's up to you and as realistic as you chose it to be.
But not all children who have them become zombie like when they use them. DD has a DS and we have a Playstation, but tbh she doesn't use either much. She uses her iTouch a little more but never dor hours on end. Have never had to restrict time or anything. So ime it is not given that an electrical game console will mean they don't interact and everything from there on in.

And ime they certainly don't stop DD from play outside, interacting with her friends, playing with toys, using her imagination nor concentrating on school.

And I don't think DD is unusual. Many of her friends are the same.

FartBlossom Sat 05-May-12 17:10:04

I know a few parents who have said that they're not going to allow consoles in their houses. Their children are still pre-school though so dont know if that will change.

DS(7YO) and DD1 (4YO) both enjoy the programs on the computer at school and pre-school. DD2(7MO) likes to try to hit the laptop when she is next to me and Im on it, but apart from that none of them have ever appeared interested in anything related to the consoles. DS would rather stay outside all day and look for aeroplanes and DD1 is more than happy playing with her doll or watching TV.

We have, however, got a collection of consoles, but they are all DH's apart from the Megadrive which is mine and are kept in the living room. When the time comes we will look for age appropriate games and keep them in the living room with us.

youarekidding Sat 05-May-12 17:13:20

I have a 2nd hand Wii that I got when DS was 3yo. We played games together - Wii fit and Wii sport as I use it for excercise. He now has a few more games but they are not overused. Sometimes on a very wet weekend he'll play for a few hours over the 2 days and sometimes not play for weeks. He has a DS (again ebay 2nd hand cheapy) and enjoys playing this for downtime sometimes and using it to chat with friends, on long journies etc.

It's never stopped him being an outside boy, in fact it's nice for him to do after 3-4 hours out in muddy woods, he can do it alone whilst I clean up etc.

kid Sat 05-May-12 17:14:35

My DS and DD have a wii which they hardly ever play, a DS each which they never play and an xbox which DS would live on given half the chance.
He does suffer from migraines but the hospital who are monitoring it say its not linked to or caused by the xbox. Even so, we only let him play on it for 2 hours a day. We let him chose how he uses those 2 hours but thats his limit.

DD has no interest in the xbox but does like to play schools on the computer.

ChippingInLovesEasterEggs Sat 05-May-12 17:15:12

As my boys are 4 & 7 I would rather they played outside, used their imaginations and concentrated on school for now

They can do those and have a DS you know. It is not one or the other.

Some children have problems with 'control/addiction' and then the parents need to step in but most children are able to take them or leave them along with their bike, lego, paint etc

tightwad Sat 05-May-12 17:18:11

No you are not the only one.
I feel quite strongly about this tbh.

ds is nearly 9, and we gave in a got him a ds last Christmas after he told us he was the only kid in his class that doesnt have one....he has used it on a fairly long car journey and a couple of times since...thats all.

We are kind of quite unusual in that we dont own wii's, x boxes etc etc.
tbh, ds just istn intersted, he is an outdoorsy kid.

Nephew and cousins all have one and there is very little social interaction from these kids as they are boggle eyed on games for the majority of their time. Not what i want for my child.

dontlaugh Sat 05-May-12 17:19:17

I'm coming from a slightly different angle - we positively have an addictive gene in our family, this has shown up time and again with regards to different issues; alcoholism, gambling, and yes you guessed it, gaming. I am aware that at some point I will have to purchase a console, however, based on our past experiences in my own house growing up it will be with strict limits as I now know that my family are prone to addictions and gaming fits the profile beautifully. We had a SNES (please tell me someone remembers them!) and tbh I wish it had been dumped as the amount of time some of us spent on it definitely stopped us from reaching our goals, both academic and physical (sports).
So to summarise, no, you're not being unreasonable, but there comes a point where we have to teach children how to deal with issues like this, which means probably buying the console, and I suppose in my own case I am more wary than most as I will have a battle on my hands to teach appropriate usage, due to the addiction possibility. I can see already with one child an obsession with iphone games which we're already having to control.
This recent research really made me realise I wasn't dreaming about the addiction issue: Brief synopsis of study. It was based on drug addicts, but addiction is addiction (in our family anyway).

southeastastra Sat 05-May-12 17:23:09

i have no problem with parents not letting their kids use consoles, but such comments as children who play are like 'zombies' and 'boggle eyed' really are ridiculous

hmm sweeping generalisations

TeaTeaLotsOfTea Sat 05-May-12 17:29:44

I have to say DS does have a few consoles but he is still very active. Fanatstic swimmer, plays football bmxing and trampoling with his friends and does all the sports clubs at school. Consoles are mostly played with when its absolutely bucketing it down (playstation) we're out shopping long train journeys (dsi) and its family fun time indoors (wii).

I'm strict about games and time played etc.

I don't think they have to be banned altogether just used in moderation pretty much like everything else.

NiceHamione Sat 05-May-12 17:31:42

As others have said as long as they are used in moderation there is no harm and it would be a shame for a child to miss out on something that was fun so that you can be some kind of perfect parent .

My children tend to play with theirs when friends come over so they are not goggle eyed anti social and grey kids.

FallenCaryatid Sat 05-May-12 17:33:18

Mine didn't have them until they were 9 or 10 I think, but it's really more about the amount of access and how long they play rather than a blanket ban on technology.
So my two both know that an hour and a half on the laptop and then a break is good, and that an entire evening spent doing only one thing lacks balance and perspective. That includes reading BTW.
Your children are still very young and you can control their environment fairly easily, teaching them moderation and choice rather than banning access will be more use in the long term.

LineRunner Sat 05-May-12 17:35:29

I think we got the first console when my DS was about 9 and DD 10. DD's not interested in consoles at all, anyway. DS is 14 now and uses it after school for a couple of hours, but not into the evening.

He also does homework and some sport. He talks to me a lot, too.

I suppose it's about boring old balance.

I'm also conscious that when he goes off to university he can spend all day on a console if he really wants to, and I'd rather he got into a reasonable routine at this age.

FallenCaryatid Sat 05-May-12 17:38:35

My DD went off to uni and left her Wii behind. smile

LineRunner Sat 05-May-12 17:39:49

Funny, I got my DD a Wii and she never uses it.

DS uses an XBox.

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