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To get a 7 year old his own laptop

(34 Posts)
SpecialAnonymousName Wed 05-Jan-11 22:17:03

<Cowers in a corner under a namechange>


So, it's what DS really really wants for his 7th birthday. At the moment, he probably spends maybe 6 hours a week on either cbeebies or Club Penguin. He got a digital camera for Christmas and we're trying to get him to make sure he uploads photos before deleting them (he gets much nicer pictures of people than I do, probably because people smile more for him grin). DH and I both work in IT, and we have a pc each plus work laptops plus cupboard full of old/slow laptops etc.

We would insist on him not having the laptop in his room, but only wherever we are.

He would only be able to use it when he would usually be allowed on a computer.

We would lock it down completely for internet access etc, and make sure we had admin override so he couldn't change his password to something we couldn't access.

I'm thinking we could spend £200 on a netbook and make him sooooo happy.

I'm also thinking a lot of our family and friends would be appalled...

Is it so bad? What do you think?

BluddyMoFo Wed 05-Jan-11 22:18:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AuntiePickleBottom Wed 05-Jan-11 22:18:54

give him one of the old laptops, then if he follows your rules then maybe buy him one

MrsRhettButler Wed 05-Jan-11 22:26:33

Dd had one aged 3 <shrugs>

Don't really see the problem tbh, not sure why your family wouldn't approve

Hulababy Wed 05-Jan-11 22:26:38

No, it's not bad imo. My 8y has a net book and has had it a while.

She has full internet access plus other various software available to her. She knows about internet safety and we have discussed what to do if inappropriate things arise. She knows that internet access beyond Club Penguin and some other sites we have in her favourites can only be used with a parent in the same room, and she always has to ask before going online. I can check her history and her internet access easily. Her email also comes to my iPhone so can be checked easily.

DD uses hers mainly for dwnloading photos from her camra and making powerpoint presentations using them, or for doing animation sequences using pivotstick software.

Why would family and friends be appalled? It is your money and your parenting decision. Do what you think is right for your child.

SpecialAnonymousName Wed 05-Jan-11 22:27:03

Well, I'm thinking cheapy netbook as the old laptops are a bit on the huge side, very slow to load stuff, only one has wifi and none of them have more than an hour battery life. They would be freecycled if DH wasn't also a hoarder...

Re the rules - DS wouldn't have an opportunity to break them grin. And with a decent battery life, we can 'look after' the charger for him so playtime has to come to a natural conclusion if he does try to overuse.

Does it sound apalling though? A 7yo with a computer?

FabbyChic Wed 05-Jan-11 22:27:31

If you can afford it yes. My children are far far better on a computer than I ever can hope to be.

They had them young too.

SpecialAnonymousName Wed 05-Jan-11 22:27:57

I suppose I'm appalled because I'm very judgy about kids with DSs (and DS isn't allowed one for at least another year!)

tethersend Wed 05-Jan-11 22:28:45

Yes, I don't see a problem with it.

Why is it any different from getting him a toy? (provided internet restrictions are on)

charliesmommy Wed 05-Jan-11 22:30:01

If it is being used for educational things and not just gaming then I cant see any harm in it.

SpecialAnonymousName Wed 05-Jan-11 22:31:03

Blimey! I really thought I'd get flamed! Shall go and surf netbooks now - thanks all smile

AuntiePickleBottom Wed 05-Jan-11 22:31:51

my son age 4 uses a pc in school SpecialAnonymousName so it may also be avaliable in your dc school

Rosebud05 Wed 05-Jan-11 22:32:56

No, I don't think it sounds appalling and think we may be there with our kids at about the same age.

The main two things that would be issues for us are that it might be difficult for dd to accept that although it's hers, her length of usage on it would be controlled by us ie she wouldn't have unlimited access to it and generally increase the amount of screen viewing in this house, which wouldn't be a good move in terms of actually interacting with each other.

Does he really need his own if it's only to be used 6 hours a week? (DH works in IT and he would understand the need for one's own computer more than me!)

arcticwind Wed 05-Jan-11 22:41:15

I think it is a good idea, particularly to go with the camera.

My dcs have had pretty much exclusive use of our 2 desktops since age 5 as dh and I both have laptops. Both are good at understanding the 'rules' and use it for all sorts of things - very useful for searching out answers to all those unanswerable questions they can ask!

Wirlies Wed 05-Jan-11 22:50:18

ARRRRRHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't you all see what is happening ?!?!?! A friend of mine bought her 6 yr old a laptop. Another friend of mine bought her 6 yr old an ipod touch and her sister an iphone.
what is happening to our world?
I'm not flaming you op, its more just an observation. What are our children's children going to get for their 7th birthday ? can't even imagine

PerArduaAdNauseum Wed 05-Jan-11 22:54:55

A wooden hoop and an apple if they're lucky [doomsday predictor]

mumeeee Wed 05-Jan-11 23:53:59

YABU. 7 years old is much to young to be nought a laptop.

Niecie Thu 06-Jan-11 00:08:04

YANBU - I wouldn't mind buying ours their own laptop then mine wouldn't be full of their games and they wouldn't want to borrow at inconvenient moments. They are 10 and 7. They do actually have a laptop to share that is DH's spare one for the office in an emergancy but it is underpowered for a lot of the racing games that DS1 likes so doesn't get used a huge amount, except for a bit of homework and looking up supercars hmm

I don't get the problem with children having things that 20 yrs ago we wouldn't have had. It is progress. We live in a different world where computers are central to the way we live now. There is no going back. We had things our parents could only dream of too. It was ever thus.

Hulababy Thu 06-Jan-11 14:59:55

Wirlies - just because a child gets some technology think for their 6th birthday, it doesn't follow IMO or IME that this will continue every year thereafter.

IME it varies lots - over the past 2 or 3 years DD's main presents have been DS, netbook, piano, Sylvanian Families, iTouch, more Sylvanians. So the technology is still there but not every time.

FWIW I had a computer fom being quite young - 9 or 10 I think, but it was only tht late because they hadn't come out yet. Once they did we had them. It really did me no harm. I learnt to use technology sensibly.

HaveAHappyNewJung Thu 06-Jan-11 15:10:51

I have to admit my instinct says no way - it is a little young IMO. If he's only spending 6hrs a week I would've thought your existing ones would be fine. Or perhaps you could recondition one of the old ones. Or get a second hand one off eBay?

My other issue is that netbooks are just that really - presumably he'll want other software at some point, like cd rom games. And for homework he may need a DTP or word type programme and that'd be so much easier on a proper laptop.

I think in your shoes I'd let him use a second hand netbook with the promise of a proper laptop in a year or two IF he looks after the netbook.

COCKadoodledooo Thu 06-Jan-11 15:36:34

I wouldn't have bought one for my ds1 (7 last month), no matter how much he begged. I don't see the need - if he needs to use a computer he can use my netbook or dh's lappy. Would he spend more than his current 6 hours on it?

oftenpurple Thu 06-Jan-11 15:43:33

I'd say no to my 7 year old, as say an hour a day is perfectly manageable on my laptop even though I use it for work 6/7 hours a day. It's a bit of an issue when both DD and DS want to use it but nothing wrong with waiting for your turn (except if I need it!).

My DS got a DS for his 7th birthday. Some of his friends had had them for years but I felt 7 was a good age. My 4 year old is very adept at playing on it though and is saving up her pocket money to buy one. A sign of the times I guess.

looplou Thu 06-Jan-11 16:05:32

Both my DC's have a laptop (6 and 9) and they use them for educational stuff, games and playing. I think ICT skills are a valuable thing to have these days as are looking after something - they play with other stuff when they want to and with the laptops when they want to, nothing odd about it in this day and age.
Make sure parental controls are on and we set a time limit on the network so they are not allowed on before 8am or after 7pm, no web cams and never unsupervised.
Works for us....but then again I am convinced that DS1 is a budding evil genius wink

iamamug Thu 06-Jan-11 16:47:36

My 8 yr old DS had a netbook for Christmas -he didn't ask for it,it was a surprise as I was fed up of him pinching mine. He was beyond delighted with it and we do watch what he is doing with it. Like other posters,it is mostly Club Penguin etc.
I think we just have to accept that technology has moved on so much that computers, iphones Ds's etc are normal things these days.
My favourite birthday present at his age would have been a new bike and I never had one as we couldn't afford it! Life is just different now... YANBU

whatkatydidathome Thu 06-Jan-11 16:51:44

ds (8) and dd (10) have one each as the squabbled so much. They mainly use them for things that actually do seem quite educational. dd has written loads of stories and ds is writing computer games - very basic ones but games none the less. I figured that Bill Gates hasn't done that badly for himself grin

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