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To think there's a happy medium re children playing out or being glued to x boxes

(64 Posts)
lydiarobinson Mon 15-Jun-15 11:02:58

At this time of year you will often hear complaints about children being still outside playing noisy games or generally bothering the neighbours until quite late at night. One common response from parents is 'it's better than them being inside glued to their x-box' as if that's the only alternative.

Surely parents have some control over how much time can be spent on x boxes etc? What happened to parents playing board games or cards or paper games with their children for an hour before bedtime. Or even encouraging them to read a book if a parent is genuinely busy or exhausted.

But are some people so unwilling to engage for a short time with their children at the end of the day, or read with them, that the only alternative to their young kids still wandering around outside after dark is to have them sitting at home staring at a screen.

AIBU to think it's a pretty crap excuse to not call your children in at a reasonable time?

FriendofX Mon 15-Jun-15 11:04:43

YABU. Do you have a small baby who is being kept awake?

WorraLiberty Mon 15-Jun-15 11:06:07

I think it's just something people trot out really. I'm sure most people don't mean it literally.

The thing is, everyone's idea of late at night seems to be different.

Some people whose kids go to bed at 7pm, expect all the older kids to go indoors.

I suspect they'll think differently when their kids are a bit older.

lydiarobinson Mon 15-Jun-15 11:11:29

I was thinking of children still out at 9.30ish.

SurlyCue Mon 15-Jun-15 11:15:09

YABU. Do you have a small baby who is being kept awake?

Did you read the OP at all? confused

FriendofX Mon 15-Jun-15 11:15:38

In the summer, my children are still out at 9.30ish - it's the summer! Should there be a curfew?

BastardGoDarkly Mon 15-Jun-15 11:17:02

Weeell, my ds plays at the park until around 7 in these light evenings (he's 8)

But when you say children, how old do you mean?

FriendofX Mon 15-Jun-15 11:17:10

Yeah, SurlyCue, I read it. The OP is being grumpy about children playing outside. I want my children playing outside whenever possible.

SurlyCue Mon 15-Jun-15 11:20:05

Umm i think OP was asking if there wasnt a happy medium between "glued to xbox" and "out til late"? Of course there is. There is nothing wrong with saying that.

meglet Mon 15-Jun-15 11:24:12

'board games before bedtime'? are you Mary poppins?

in our street the kids stay out until it's time for baths and bed. I'm not going to battle with a child inside the house any sooner than i have to. when they're outside I'm tidying and organising.

lydiarobinson Mon 15-Jun-15 11:25:11

There was a crowd of boys aged about 11 out until nearly ten playing football and shouting etc the other night. My neighbour complained about it and that was the reply she got. But I've heard it before as well and often seen it as a response on forums such as this one. It just struck me really that it's not an 'either' 'or' situation and it's possible for children to play out until nineish and then go home and do something other than stare at a screen.
I suppose I'm thinking back a few years when it was quite common for families to play cards or scrabble or somesuch before bed on Summer evenings after they'd finished playing outside. Or the children would be allowed stay up later than usual and read.

SideOrderofChips Mon 15-Jun-15 11:25:28

I get grumpy about kids playing outside. Because i am sick of them kicking their football in my garden and expecting me to retrieve it every single time. Or hearing them screaming running around at 9 at night when my children are in bed trying to sleep.

You want your kids playing out as much as possible? Keep them in YOUR garden so they don't annoy other people.

MamanOfThree Mon 15-Jun-15 11:25:31

I'm a bit at loss to your OP tbh.
To the question in your title, yes there is a happy medium to find between out at all hours and spending all your time on the xbox.

But your op is about something different. It's about the fact you can see children late (?) at night outside playing, that they are disturbing people (you?) and that you don't like the 'excuse' (better than the xbox) that you feel is a just that a poor excuse.
To that my answer is:

What do you mean by late at night?
How old are the children you are talking about?

Do you have yourself a child that would actually be happy to play board game/cards for an hour each evening when they could be running around with friends instead?
As in, do you have a child that wants to be outside and you have to move the earth so that they stay inside (not on the xbox) instead?
Are you genuinely bothered by the noise of children playing? Surely, its OK to have some noise around until about 9.00pm?

notaplasaticgnome Mon 15-Jun-15 11:27:11

meglet why would you have to be Mary Poppins to sit down and play bananagrams or frustration with your kids for a while before bed?

What a strange

MamanOfThree Mon 15-Jun-15 11:27:17


I have never ever palyed cards or board games as a child. Nor would I expect all children to be back in the house 'to read'.

Are your children doing that lydia, ie reading quitely until they are told to go to bed or spending an hour playing cards with you?

notaplasaticgnome Mon 15-Jun-15 11:28:47

posted too soon. What a strange response.

Maman the OP made it perfectly clear she was talking about children outside until well past nine o'clock.

SurlyCue Mon 15-Jun-15 11:33:07


Playing board games is Mary Poppins' territory?

Hardly. My two happily get out the guess who or snap cards or jigsaws of their own volition in the evenings after their baths. I never need to suggest it. They also both read in bed for a while once they go up. There is no wrestling required. They are 6 and 10.

notaplasaticgnome Mon 15-Jun-15 11:36:26

My kids often get out board games, some are the traditional ones like Ludo and Scrabble that we used to play, others are new games on the market. They also like playing cards, especially if an adult plays with them. And they are currently hooked on the paper game 'consequences'. My nieces and nephews are the same. They all love to read as well, bar one nephew.

They love playing outside but once they're in for the evening there's lots of indoor stuff they enjoy doing. And no, we don't all go around in starched aprons and button up shoes.

FriendofX Mon 15-Jun-15 11:38:45

My kids love playing board games too. But that's generally for rainy days. Sunshine = get outside.

notaplasaticgnome Mon 15-Jun-15 11:43:02

We're not talking about sunny days friend and that's not the topic of the OP. We're talking about kids still out making noise at 9.30 - 10.00 at night, and some parents implying that the only alternative is to have them inside stuck on their X- Boxes.

HFarnsworth20 Mon 15-Jun-15 11:43:51

I sometimes wish I could get mine to sit still long enough to play on an Xbox ;)

Mine (both preschool) like to tear about outside, make puzzles and play with toys. They get books every night when I get home from work, but DC2 is much more of a TV watcher than DC1.

meglet Mon 15-Jun-15 11:45:04

the reason I'm not playing board games before bedtime is because I have to sort out the house and get organised for the next day. I'm a LP with a job so board games wait for rainy weekends.

notaplasaticgnome Mon 15-Jun-15 11:45:59

I thought it was because you weren't Mary Poppins Meglet.

Anyhow, what has that got to do with the topic of the OP?

FriendofX Mon 15-Jun-15 11:47:04

We are living in the Age of Inside. Never before have people spent so much time indoors. Truly, you need to increase your tolerance.

It is different if it involves swearing or violence, but in general just playing is part of life.

SurlyCue Mon 15-Jun-15 11:49:35

I'm an LP too. Full time student with part-time job. I am usually folding dry and hanging wet laundry whilst theyre playing their games. I dont ever join the games in the evenings. I do at weekends. They dont play them every evening as they have clubs on some evenings.

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