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Am I overreacting?

(24 Posts)
AstaChronic Mon 11-Apr-16 20:39:15

To set a bit of background, I WOH full-time and don't get to see much of my 6yo DS during the week. DH, whose work is more flexible, is the primary parent.

We have a family iPad which is used pretty much solely by DS, although set to my Apple ID. Downloads and in-app purchases are password restricted, and DS has to ask me or DH if DS wants either of these things.

I had said to DH that I did not want DS accessing anything that was age-inappropriate or apps that allowed him to contact/be contacted by other players, and as far as I was aware, DH adhered to this (especially after an incident where he didn't and I walked in to hear someone talking over a game DS was playing (albeit on a console) saying something really rude over and over again - "I'm a n****r, I'm a n****r" ...!) Recently, DH has allowed him to download games set to 9+/12+ - when I voiced concern, DH assured me that they were fine, and I (stupidly) trusted him.

I took today off work to spend some time with DS during his Easter break. While we were at home, he was playing a game on the iPad and he casually mentioned his 'friend' in the game, which startled me. When I asked him a few questions, it transpires that the game allows messaging between players and he had received an invitation from someone "asking to be his friend". I think DS could sense my discomfort and he quickly said he never gives out his name or where he lives or goes to school. I explained to DS that I didn't think it appropriate that he had access to games which allowed messaging and that I would have to go through each app on the iPad and delete those that I thought he shouldn't have access to.

DS put on a brave face but was in tears and clearly upset that he would be losing access to some of his games.

When I confronted DH, he said he wasn't aware that the app allowed messaging. When I asked further questions, it also became clear that DH had not read through any app descriptions before downloading them for DS. DH has said that, going forward, he will do so. However, my main problem is that, despite this, DH insists that he could not see why failing to do so was a problem in the first place.

As a result, I've taken the iPad from DS until I have had a chance to review every game and delete those I disagree with. I've also said that until DH realises why and admits that letting a 6yo have almost free reign on apps is a bad idea, I won't be allowing DS to use it when I'm not around as, with an attitude like that, I can't trust DH to not do it again.

DH thinks this is a massive overreaction on my part, I think because DS is very sensible and tells us everything, including if something makes him uncomfortable. I don't care - he is 6yo! It's not up to him to police his use on/of the iPad!

I'm mad at DH but more mad at myself for not checking as well. DH is more IT-literate than I am (he's a bloody IT consultant!) and I had assured myself (even after the previous incident) that I could trust his judgement when it came to things like this.


Crabbitface Mon 11-Apr-16 20:46:34

No i don't think you are, but i feel really sorry for your son who is effectively being punished (in only being allowed to play games when you are around) because your husband has been an idiot. Could you afford to get your son a more inexpensive tablet or 2nd hand DS that you could buy games for but have no ability to purchase from online.

VimFuego101 Mon 11-Apr-16 20:50:02

YANBU, your DH was silly not to monitor what apps were being downloaded. Can you instigate a rule that your DS can only play with the ipad in the family room? That's what we do; DS is not allowed it in his bedroom.

In the longer term, your DS will eventually want to use apps that allow him to message people (like FB/instagram). So you may want to think about how and when you and your DH will allow him to do that and how to monitor him using them safely. Even though at 6 it's perfectly sensible for him not to be contacting other game players, it's still good to discuss online safety with him.

wheresthel1ght Mon 11-Apr-16 20:50:33

Actually I think yabu. It sounds like your ds has been sensible and assuming now you know there are some that allow messaging you vet the messages periodically then I can't see the harm.

Lots of games for kids ie minecraft allow messaging. My dsd is 10 and uses them, she plays with her step sisters and school friends.

Why are you so against it?

Spandexpants007 Mon 11-Apr-16 20:55:24

Yes you need to be careful. It's basic child safe guarding

Teacaddy Mon 11-Apr-16 20:57:29

Yanbu, and your DH's safeguarding judgement is highly questionable.

RTKangaMummy Mon 11-Apr-16 21:08:40

YNBU imho but my DS is nearly 21 years, so didn't have to deal with this when he was a child

Maybe change the iPad password so that DS can use the games you have pre loaded but that DH can't download new games if he doesn't understand child safety on Internet (even if he is an IT guy)!!!

Could that be a compromise but I don't know myself if that will stop new games being downloaded

You could also change the settings on the router to control DS account so that he can't PM people

ollieplimsoles Mon 11-Apr-16 21:12:41

Yabu both of you,

If you let your child make the most of technology by using ipads to play games, you need to know the ins and outs of it first to make sure its safe by your standards. Why didn't you look into these games and check there was no contact between players before letting him play it?

SquinkiesRule Mon 11-Apr-16 21:22:35

YANBU, Your Dh isn't taking his childs safety very seriously and is being lazy. He needs to step up and put in some work. Saying that a 6 yo is responsible and can be trusted is a cop out and poor parenting. 6 yo don't have enough experience of the world to do this.

PaulAnkaTheDog Mon 11-Apr-16 21:41:01

Your husband was daft but you sound ridiculously overbearing.

DH adhered to this - I don't know anyone who would talk this way about their partner.

ohtheholidays Mon 11-Apr-16 21:57:56

No of course YANBU but your husband has been!

We won't let our nearly 15 year old have access to games that are 18+ you husband really needs to get on board with you,nealy all schools now have specific lessons where they teach about keeping yourself safe online.I honestly can't remember any of our 5DC having one of those lessons before they were nearly 9 so hopefully your husband is amongst the minority that thinks a child of 6 years old can be expected to set themselves limits and be as responsible as a much older child would be expected to be.

Your husband needs to realize how easy it is sadly for a young child to be groomed online especially through games and social media. My DH is a Police Officer and has friends that have to work on cases like that and I used to work with schools and SS,the damage that those cases can leave years later for the whole family are truely awful,it's honestly not worth taking the risk OP.

shinynewusername Mon 11-Apr-16 22:28:03

Completely understand why you are angry with your DH - you have every right to be. But I can't see how your approach is going to work. He is the SAH parent; you have to be able to trust him, which - in this case - means convincing him that your DS should only use age-appropriate apps, not taking the tablet away. Confiscating the iPad is pointless, belittling to your DH (not that he doesn't deserve it, but it will be counter-productive) and may make things worse - as no doubt your DS will now be wanting to use your DH's smartphone instead.

OutToGetYou Mon 11-Apr-16 22:33:13

You sound like you think you are DH boss, not his partner.

Change the password and oversee all downloads yourself. Or get a nanny who you will be boss of.

Hamiltoes Mon 11-Apr-16 22:38:00

Can I make a suggestion/ reccomendation?

We decided against an Ipad for this exact reason and instead got DD5 a kindle fire tablet. It comes up often for a really reasonable price when they do their flash sales etc (I think we paid £40ish)... Its been through absolute wars and still going strong.

For £1.99 per month she gets unlimited access to pre-vetted, child friendly games, tv shows, films and books all on her own profile (no adult content at all). The parental controls are excellent and I can even set timers for how long she can go on per day, and as she grows the timers can be changed so it only allows access to games after say 15mins of reading.

Maybe its something you could think about because as PP mentioned, its sounds a bit like your son is missing out from what is essentially something outwith his control.

I like the kindle because its hers. She doesn't need to feel like I'm there hovering over her and checking everything shes interested in. She can download what she wants and delete what she wants, it's essentially a "safe space" and takes the worry away.

CantChoose Mon 11-Apr-16 22:39:50

Sorry but I think you are massively overreacting. YANBU to be annoyed but I think your reaction is a bit overkill to be honest.

Ameliablue Mon 11-Apr-16 22:40:16

Can you not just change your password so your oh doesn't know it rather than punishing your son by stopping him using the iPad when you are not there?

MyKingdomForBrie Mon 11-Apr-16 22:43:10

Why don't you just disable the wifi, most games don't need it and no one can message him. He can then have the wifi switched on only when he is supervised to pick out games.

Madhouse05 Mon 11-Apr-16 22:58:22

As Mykingdomforbrie said simple solution is to turn off wifi. But seriously, how much time does your 6yo spend on an iPad/tablet?!... I would be more worried about the overuse of the 'electronic nanny' than anything else in this scenario. Please don't get me wrong - I LOVE the gadgets when I need a moment/space but really worry that if they start off 'living online' that's where they'll end up (dystopia style). Think YANBU and should def take it away until OH and you are on same page!

catewood21 Mon 11-Apr-16 23:05:22

YABU and you need to stop dictating how your DH parents your DS when you are not there! You don't like it -you look after him!

MattDillonsPants Mon 11-Apr-16 23:08:03

You will need to explain WHY the games are not suitable to DS and this means an uncomfortable conversation about people not always seeming who they actually are.

AstaChronic Mon 11-Apr-16 23:09:06

DH and I have discussed this again and reached an agreement on how to move forward. Thanks to all for your advice/suggestions.

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 23:13:36

AstaChronic you are not being unreasonable. It is clear your dh cannot see the dangers. The clue was there when he felt a game for a 9+ or 12+ was suitable for him. There is a big difference between a 9 year old and a 6 years old and a massive difference between a 6 year old and a 12 year old!

i also think it sounds like your ds has a bit too much time on the apps. I know it is hard my son is 5 and desperate to go on the PC to go on Cbeebies games or play minecraft on his sisters tablet. It is hard.

I worry that all this time on devices stops them exploring and doing genuinely creative (mind-expanding things), I worry for my own two kids (5 and 11).

If your dh is at home all the time with your child or more of the time than you then it doesn't seem unreasonable for you to expect him to be on top of what he is doing when he is with his sad.

wheresthel1ght re "Lots of games for kids ie minecraft allow messaging. My dsd is 10 and uses them, she plays with her step sisters and school friends.

Why are you so against it?"

Are you really not sure why a parent would not want their six year old being potentially contacted by strangers on a game? You are using this for games with relatives, can you limit who can contact your child on this - genuine question, I really don't know! blush

Italiangreyhound Mon 11-Apr-16 23:15:11

... with his dad

wheresthel1ght Tue 12-Apr-16 10:49:41

There are plenty of ways to protect your children without an outright ban which imho is a massive over reaction so yes I would like to know why she is so against it

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