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AIBU to want children to play on anything other than xbox etc and enjoy it?

(73 Posts)
Lazymazy1 Wed 28-Dec-16 23:26:06

Ds (9) obsessed with his tablet / console,
Loves his mates, but anyway, in my mind it's not a positive childhood to spend all his time on them.

His mates come round practically sulking as I encourage them to play other stuff, real games/ card/ lego etc.
My ds understands as I keep boring him with it but it's so hard when mates can not be happy unless they're playing xbox...

What do you all think? Do you limit the time, stick to your guns, or think there is nothing wrong and let them get on with it?

bobbinpop Wed 28-Dec-16 23:28:23

I have DDs 9 and 9 and it's a constant struggle. I stick to my guns, though, and insist that they're not allowed on tablets/friends' phones when they come over. I'm also moaned at. Easier in the summer though smile

lovelearning Thu 29-Dec-16 07:03:58


exLtEveDallas Thu 29-Dec-16 07:08:18

I don't have an issue with Xbox use, but that's because the only games DD has are active ones for the Kinect - dancing, surfing, skiing etc.

However neither do I have an issue with iPad/tablet use with friends, if they are playing joint, connected or 2 player games then I see no difference between playing cards/guess who/monopoly/scrabble on a screen or the kitchen table.

user1482840083 Thu 29-Dec-16 07:11:27

Well I come from a videogame family. DH loves games, DS (24) loves games (now works as a programmer for a game studio in California) and DD (14) also loves games and wants to follow in her brother's footsteps when she grows up.

Despite this, I and DH ensured that there was balance when DS was growing up and we do the same with DD. Fortunately, both our children love playing sports, so despite their love for digital pixels, you would find DS playing football at the park or DD playing basketball with like-minded friends. One thing my late father told me was the importance of having balance in life. It's so simple, so obvious, but so true. I think there's nothing wrong with children playing games (DS would have never had the wonderful career he has had he not played them) but you can't have kids playing them 24/7. That's a no no in our house. Despite the sulking, you should absolutely continue to encourage your children to find other recreational pleasures.


WhooooAmI24601 Thu 29-Dec-16 07:27:21

I don't limit Xbox time but DS1 (11) does a sport activity every night after school so I don't need to. I tend to go with a reward system; you want to play on the Xbox, you help clear the dinner table first, you do your homework first, you walk the dog first, you do something to show me you're engaging in real-life too. But yep, he plays on it and loves it and gets emotional when he can't. I

I'd stick to your guns in terms of limiting how much time he has on it. As User says, it's balance.

thebear1 Thu 29-Dec-16 07:45:05

Ds is nearly 9 and would be in front of a screen all day if on his own, when friends come round he is a little better. But it feels like a constant battle to try and limit his use.

Lazymazy1 Thu 29-Dec-16 08:27:18

The back of my mind is his friends won't want to come over.

his friend yesterday didn't want to do anything , considering its just been Christmas with the deluge of tat toys .

Pressurised from family- who also suggest they're spoilt. so many more pressures than when I was little .

Sounds as though you have more active/ sporty lifestyle- are you in UK?

Are your friends like minded and agree to limit or don't see anything wrong with being on it all the time?

DontOpenDeadInside Thu 29-Dec-16 08:59:25

My DDs (8 and 6) were on the PCs an hour after opening prezzies on Xmas day shock Yesterday I told them they were not to go on them at all and they actually spent time playing with their new toys and had a great time. I really need to limit it but yesterday I actually got a turn on The Sims as they weren't on the PC, and time really does go quickly. I went on about 2, and came off at 9 (stopping to make tea) and it didn't seem like I'd been on 2 minutes.

Saukko Thu 29-Dec-16 09:00:13

As a gamer myself, I simply didn't buy the children a console. I wanted them to have a childhood filled with other things, and then perhaps later, once skills like reading and building Lego and playing outside were firmly established, introduce gaming as a side-hobby, a minor interest, and not something all-consuming.

My reasons are personal. My parents did not want me to have friends or to play out in case I 'got into trouble', I was forbidden to have friends round or to go to their houses, I was not allowed to go to their houses nor they to mine. They bought me a console because they openly wanted me sat indoors doing nothing else. "Safe."

It was a hard habit to break.

So my kids might get to have a go at a simple child's game on the tablet, or poke at a phone game on the bus, but no, no hardcore proper gaming until... well, I don't know. Not yet.

Truth is, when you're a kid, you feel lonely and awkward and games really do offer 'a better life' than reality. Everyone's your friend, you don't have to worry about physical attractiveness and it isn't raining. You can easily learn a skill, display it and be praised. Hard work is instantly translated into reward. You are admired. You are accepted. It is honestly just so much BETTER than reality. Hells, these days I wish I could just sink back into a gaming world and ignore all that's going on around me. To have my free brainspace occupied by gaming strategy means I wouldn't have to worry about politics :D

So... yeah, sorry, solution is don't buy them a console.

Second solution is start to withdraw it. Only at weekends, for example.

RubyWinterstorm Thu 29-Dec-16 09:05:52

For the few hours my DC have friends over they can play what they like, even if it is 3 hours on the PS

My DC get exercise every dsy (dog walks, loads of sport) and often end up going to the park anyway.

On cold wet winter days they sometimes just want to play computer games and watch youtube vids when their friends are around

I don't think it is a big deal

AQuietMind Thu 29-Dec-16 09:06:30

Well this year my boys 9 and 11 did not get 'toys' for the first year ever, I think it's a waste of money to buy them something they don't want to and don't play with. They are gamers so they were bought games and gaming devices.

RubyWinterstorm Thu 29-Dec-16 09:07:53

Saying that, they did not have a console until they were 11 and 13 (secondary school age)

I guess I am less laid back than I make out to be grin

PNGirl Thu 29-Dec-16 09:21:55

I was an only child and my mum and dad bought me an Amiga 500 when I was 6 and a PC when I was 11. I used to love disappearing off into different worlds and it was great alongside being a bookworm for creativity. I do dislike the general sniffiness about consoles like it's some sort of mind-sucking newfangled evil when my generation were playing 25 years ago.

If we have children there will no doubt be a small toddler sat on the floor next to him in front of the TV as he works in the industry.

PNGirl Thu 29-Dec-16 09:23:49

Er "him" being DH.

PNGirl Thu 29-Dec-16 09:28:10

Also bear in mind if he is an only child his mates being round is the only time he can play on it with or against someone.

itsmine Thu 29-Dec-16 09:29:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theladyloriana Thu 29-Dec-16 10:11:44


As a gamer myself, I simply didn't buy the children a console. I wanted them to have a childhood filled with other things, and then perhaps later, once skills like reading and building Lego and playing outside were firmly established, introduce gaming as a side-hobby, a minor interest, and not something all-consuming.*

Most sensible advice I've ever read about console use. Thank you saukko flowers

Cagliostro Thu 29-Dec-16 10:16:41

YANBU, it's tricky

pipsqueak25 Thu 29-Dec-16 10:22:08

i'd cut some slack with him when his friends are round, and have set times for screen when he is on his own.
there is so much techy intervention in modern life it seems to be taking over but if gaming is what they want to do on visits why not ?

RandomMcRandomer Thu 29-Dec-16 10:24:36

We are a gaming family but we also play board games, lego, DDs play ponies and we all read. Balance is key and as gaming parents we also model that ourselves.

deblet Thu 29-Dec-16 10:27:00

The thing is we played with other things in the good old days because we had nothing else. I am 50 my husband is 56 my sons are 24 and 13 and my daughter is 12 and we all spend most of our free time on electronic gadgets. All my kids have their own PC's, tablets ,DS, and phones. We do try other things we go for walks we have weekends abroad etc but chill time at home is on media. I think if you continue to bore your son's friends when they come round he will eventually lose his friends because they won't want to go to the batty Mums house. Let them play when they are there.

Lazymazy1 Thu 29-Dec-16 11:14:37

Sounds as though your childhood isolation still having an effect on you now? Or maybe I just don't get the escapism of gaming.

Think I want to find out, are most kids obsessed?
One friend came round started playing frustration and he did, indeed get frustrated, started crying as he was losing . I think know it's this and what Saukko was saying earlier about needing to escape etc

chocoblock Thu 29-Dec-16 16:11:49

I wouldn't worry my son was glued to his play station and x box growing up didn't do him any harm, still had friends round to play them with or online, still got good grades first class hons degree and is doing his masters and is teaching.. just need some rules about homework revision etc and encourage some after school activities or interests, after seeing what goes on with kids walking the streets these days far safer to be at home gaming..

My DC are ipad/console/TV mad. But we put in quite strict restrictions during the week (in term time) they are not allowed any ipad/console/tablet/TV at all (sunday 5pm - Friday 5pm). During the weekend we are much more relaxed and they probably have 3-4 hours on the Saturday and then another couple of hours on the Sunday. We also do family stuff together at the weekend which is more often than not active such as swimming, walk, bike etc. So I don't see a problem with them having down time on electronic devices.

If they have friends around we definitely let them play together on the console as DS loves playing the games with someone and neither DH nor I enjoy them!

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