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Tweens/Teens and ipads etc - AIBU to think they're getting worse.

(41 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sun 10-Feb-13 19:35:29

I feel like a 70 year old on a rant but I'm starting to feel that many older children are losing the ability to entertain themselves and make polite conversation.

I took a group of children on a school trip to a restaurant last night (ok, not a high end one, a tacky chain but still a restaurant) and one of the children got his ipad out as soon as we got there. I hadn't even thought to ban them from bringing them to a restaurant because I didn't think they'd think to either! I didn't want to ruin his night by coming down heavy on him but I did ask him why he thought he needed it. Reply: I thought the food would take quite a long time to come. I told him yes it would but couldn't he spend some time communicating with his friends and he looked baffled and told me he was playing a 2 person game!

Aarghh, that's not communication!

My children are younger so I'm not sure how normal this is but what do you think, AIBU to expect 11+ year olds to attend a social occasion without being plugged into technology?!?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 19:02:33


The expectation is that children are incapable of making conversation. Idiocy.

Arisbottle Mon 11-Feb-13 18:58:08

I suppose it may depend on how often you eat out. We eat out at least once a week, as a family we will often discuss the news , do a crossword , play a game as we eat out, particularly a lazy Sunday lunch

mrsjay Mon 11-Feb-13 15:35:22

I know cj I knew what you meant but it does seem that people in general seem to be stuck to their screens these days I am a bit guilty of it myself sometimes if im out and about I sit on facebook when im on the bus or in the car as a passengers im not looking and driving grin

andubelievedthat Mon 11-Feb-13 15:32:53

when i started dating my current fella, on 1st official,real, agreed, date he produced a mobile to, i expect check his message(s), i got up to leave ,after quickly explaining to him that if i were so bloody boring i may as well leave(he was not expecting an important communication) so, apologies ,phone switched off ,happiness all round, with my daughter ,she brings herself to the table ,the electronic toys are put away.imo people at a table communicate with each other as regards children being bored ? are children not to be taught that bordom exists ,is a part of life,and manners are an asset?

scaredysquirrel Mon 11-Feb-13 14:42:50

I agree - I have teens and younger children - we have a rule, no phones or electronic devices at the table.

But i have to say, adults are fairly rude too. It is rare I go out with a group and they don't all plonk their phones on the table. They aren't quite as bad as the teenagers as they do manage to avoid being on them constantly, but they all check them. and it's the same at work too - at any meeting I go to, people put their phones on the table. most check them through the meeting.

ChristmasJubilee Mon 11-Feb-13 14:36:31

mrsjay I suppose I'm saying people shouldn't judge if they don't know the circumstances. My ds3 (6), on the other hand, has no problem sitting chatting although he does have trouble sitting quietly!

mrsjay Mon 11-Feb-13 13:57:31

there is always exceptions to everything CJ but most of them cant seem to go 5 minutes without wanting to look at a screen

ChristmasJubilee Mon 11-Feb-13 13:55:05

Ds1 has ADHD and his medication affects his appetite so he often waits and takes it with his meal if we are eating out. He is now 17 and can sit and chat but until a couple of years ago there was no way he could have waited 20 mins for a meal without his DS or i-pod.

mrsjay Mon 11-Feb-13 13:52:21

listen to me 'young people' I feel like my granny blush

mrsjay Mon 11-Feb-13 13:52:00

I think young people socalise through twitter these days even if they are out in the pub hmm

tinygreendragon Mon 11-Feb-13 13:50:12

I used to manage a pub that was popular with 18-21yo students. All too often I would look around the room and see groups of 5-6 friends sat at a table in complete silence with their heads down looking at a screen. This is not to say that this age group are the only ones guilty of this, I'd also notice groups of adults doing this also.

Trying to promote your business as a lively, friendly bar with good music and good food when everyone is sat with their heads in their screens is not an easy task when the place is as silent as a library.

mrsjay Mon 11-Feb-13 13:48:49

My dds do it but they can text and facebook from their pockets hmm

mrsjay Mon 11-Feb-13 13:48:20

And as for posting FB updates from a meal out

checking in and posting pictures of puddings and cocktails really gets on my wick , SO n SO is at with X Y Z look heres our starter angry

OldBeanbagz Mon 11-Feb-13 13:46:01


As a family we have plenty of gadgets but they're not allowed at the table at mealtimes and i wouldn't let me DC take them out to a restaurant either. I might check my emails if i was out for lunch though.

And as for posting FB updates from a meal out hmm

mrsjay Mon 11-Feb-13 13:44:03

YANBU i glare at my teens if they bring out phones if we are eating, they dont have tablets but the mobiles drives me mad, I have seen children with Ds consoles as well i am humphy about that too, if your preteen cant cope with a meal out then dont take them imo

IfNotNowThenWhen Mon 11-Feb-13 13:41:22

My parents took us to a fab chinese restaurant about once a year. It was the only time we ever went to a restaurant, and it was exiting! There were tables that turned around! Chinese people! (sorry, but in the wilds of 80's Yorkshire this was v. exiting) Strange food!
The idea that any of us might have been bored would have been unthinkable.
I think maybe kids today <gimmer> are treated too much to these kinds of experiences (and I include my own in that) and that they are so blase about restaurants etc that they can get bored.
But really, that is just tough shit isn't it?
If your child needs electronic distraction in a restaurant, then they shouldn't be taken to restaurants.

Jins Mon 11-Feb-13 13:41:08

We were at the dinner table.

It was quality family time tbh. I'd probably do it at a restaurant as well

VivaLeBeaver Mon 11-Feb-13 13:38:12

Me and dd will sometimes play monopoly together on the ipad while waiting for a meal to come at a restaurant. Not every time and only if its the 2 of us but sometimes we do. We spend plenty of time communicating.

moogalicious Mon 11-Feb-13 13:34:48

Agree Jin but not at the dinner table/at a restaurant!

moogalicious Mon 11-Feb-13 13:33:44

Stairtail how old is your DD?

I would expect an 11+ yo to be able to go out for a meal with his friends and make conversation. My dd is 10 and I don't need to take gadgets for her.

Jins Mon 11-Feb-13 13:30:56

We played a game together as a family on DS2s IPad last night. It put me in mind of my childhood when we all played cards or Monopoly after we'd eaten.

They aren't all bad

GreatBallsofFluff Mon 11-Feb-13 13:29:08

I remember being 8 and going out for a meal with my mum, her boyfriend and my sister. I was really into reading the Sweet Valley books at the time blush and had taken one along so that I didn't get bored. As soon as it was seen by mum and her boyfriend, they promptly told me off for being rude and bringing it. Since then I have never taken anything like that out for a meal again. I allow DD to if it is just her and a whole load of other adults (basically my family as she is the only child) but if it is just me and her going for a meal, then I won't allow her to.

Madeyemoodysmum Mon 11-Feb-13 12:23:23

Yanbu. I allowed it Sunday but only because my dd has a irritating cough and it was helping distract her from coughing and annoying the other diners. Normally though I say no.

Arisbottle Sun 10-Feb-13 21:29:50

We often get an iPad out when we go for a coffee or lunch and we all do the crossword together, I am sure people are judging us, luckily I don't give a fuck.

Startail Sun 10-Feb-13 21:28:24

I love DS's and ipods, they make meals out with DD2 bearable.

It's not simply she has zero tolerance for waiting for food, she isn't very bothered about eating either.

She'll eat half of something tiny and boring of the kids menu and then start getting restless, if DH, me and DD1 want to enjoy something interesting that needs savoring, not a burger in Mac Donald's, plunging DD2 in is a must.

Actually she gets fidgety in Mac D's too, she simply eats like a mouse and finds all food except ice-cream boring. She's not being naughty or rude, well she is, but not deliberately. Meals just aren't an important part of her day.

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