Advanced search

AIBU mil buying ds an iPad?

(88 Posts)
Weebeastiebaby Mon 18-Jun-18 14:56:07

Ds is soon turning 3 years old. I allow him to watch some YouTube (nursery rhyme) videos on the smart tv and very occasionally play games on my phone. MIL does the bulk of our childcare for free for which I am VERY grateful as otherwise I could not afford to work. I know she’s lets him use the iPad when she babysits him and he has massive tantrums when the iPad is removed from him. I’ve also watched him be really zombie-like when on it. Oblivious to everything else going on, not communicating etc. I know not all kids are like this when using technology but my ds is. I therefore have decided not to buy him a tablet to use at home and allow him to use it at MILs as a treat. I made no secret of the fact I’m not keen on him using the iPad due to his behaviour but didn’t tell her not to allow him to use it.
However Dh has just told me that his mum plans to buy ds an iPad for his birthday. AIBU to feel like she’s deliberately undermining me? Im not controlling over any other aspect of his care while she has him but this has really annoyed me. I feel she’s doing it just to make me look bad as I am going to have to be the one to take it away from him or get rid of it. She also always buys ridiculously expensive presents when she knows dh and I can’t afford that kind of thing meaning his ‘biggest’ present is always from MIL and not from us.

I know I’m being U as it is very kind of MIL to want to buy ds gifts and she wants him to enjoy them but I can’t help feeling like my parenting is being undermined here.

liquidrevolution Mon 18-Jun-18 15:02:12


You are the parent, not MIL. If you say no then the answer is no. What does your DH think of the idea? Obviously the decision needs to be from both of you.

(My PILs also wanted to buy an ipad for DD when she was 2, I refused as I thought far too young and when she gets older and needs one 'I' will buy it for her. Fortunately they listened. That rarely happens though.)

Aprilshouldhavebeenmyname Mon 18-Jun-18 15:04:18

Thank her very much, take it home, and allowed ds however many minutes you deem appropriate, accidently forget to take it to her house if you feel she will be using it as a babysitter....

makeupandhandbags Mon 18-Jun-18 15:04:31

You can't win in this situation. If you go on the warpath toward her, it may cause a feud between you both, and a dispute with your husband. If you do not say anything, she will do as she wishes with your son. You have to have a think then pick the less unpleasant choice, and go with that. Good luck!

Weebeastiebaby Mon 18-Jun-18 15:04:33

Dh told me not to be ungrateful as it is kind of MIL to buy him a gift. He also thinks we can let him use the iPad with “limits” I think he’s too young to understand and know he will throw tantrums when limits are enforced. He’s also quite happy entertaining himself with toys etc, we don’t often go on longb journeys and I don’t feel he needs it. If when starting school etc he wants one or finds that all other kids have one I will get him one. I’m not against iPads.

Weebeastiebaby Mon 18-Jun-18 15:06:12

On a slightly more selfish note. I would quite like an iPad for myself as I don’t have a laptop or anything and would like to watch tv in bed. WIBU to accept iPad from MIL and then use it for myself 😂

Mousefunky Mon 18-Jun-18 15:06:40

I would be incredibly grateful if someone bought my DC something as expensive as an iPad instead of me having to buy one as I have. It’s beyond generous of her and I think you should gracefully accept but limit his time on it to whatever you feel appropriate. Instead of watching YouTube on the TV or playing games on your phone, use the iPad.

TERFragetteCity Mon 18-Jun-18 15:06:57

At 3? Good grief.

SleepingStandingUp Mon 18-Jun-18 15:07:43

I have a three year old and totally agree, MIL would be told please don't because he will NOT be playing with it until he is older. Same for little tellies for their room and phones.

Re biggest present, I wouldn't get caught up with who spends the most. She can sp she does but kids like the most random of presents and it's rarely linked to cost. DS biggest present was a slide of GP's but his favourite is the Thomas Track I got in the sale for £15

Pengggwn Mon 18-Jun-18 15:08:34

You'd definitely be unreasonable to accept it and use it yourself. Unless...

What about if you say to MIL: I'd rather you didn't as I believe he is too young. If she buys him one anyway, it's her own fault when it gets you!

PinkHeart5914 Mon 18-Jun-18 15:10:42

Well without her you can’t afford to work due to childcare and it’s not crack it’s an iPad. So your polite take the gift home and allow the child to use it to watch YouTube instead of using the tv as you do now, and everyone’s happy!

No difference from him watching nursery rhymes on the iPad, you allow it on the tv currently

Weebeastiebaby Mon 18-Jun-18 15:11:11

I just feel like it’s unnecesassy. I know I could set limits but I also have a baby ds and work 2 jobs (one full time and one part time) and I could live without the tantrums which will result from enforcing the limits.
At a family party recently ds was happily running around with other kids and playing with his toys. MIL out f nowhere pulled iPad out of her bag and gave it to him. He then sat in corner ignoring everyone until I went and took it from him and gave it back to her.... which then resulted in ds crying at having iPad taken away! If he had been bored and acting up that’s different, I would have been grateful for the iPad but he was playing happily. AIBU?

PaddyF0dder Mon 18-Jun-18 15:13:25

No way. He’s not even 3 yet! Way too young.

He should be playing with actual toys and games. Plenty of time in the years to come to be glued to a screen.

Weebeastiebaby Mon 18-Jun-18 15:13:32

PinkHeart5914 Watching them on tv is different I feel. He watches while I feed baby and we sit on sofa and watch together. iPad watching is quite solitary in my experience.

amyddss Mon 18-Jun-18 15:24:19

3 is too young for an iPad but that's just my opinion. Use it to your advantage if she's going to insist on getting him one. Give him time limits on it and when he's not allowed to use it it's all yours lol grin!!

Maelstrop Mon 18-Jun-18 15:26:20

Far too young, he should be running round, not staring at a screen already! Is it your mil's way of not having to run round after him when she child minds?

Weebeastiebaby Mon 18-Jun-18 15:30:17

Maelstrop possibly but I can’t say too much about what he does when with her. MIL also works two jobs (albeit ones with more sociable hours, hence the evening childcare) is a foster parent and has Dnephew living with her part time. She is under pressure too and I understand her use of iPad. I don’t have a choice though. It’s just not for me at my house.

DiegoMadonna Mon 18-Jun-18 15:33:22

I just posted this on another thread, but at least tell you MIL not to spend £300 on a tablet when you can get one for £30!

And if it was me I'd just accept the gift and then just hide it away (or keep it for myself) afterwards.

feesh Mon 18-Jun-18 15:36:13

What if she keeps it at her house for him to use while he’s there though?

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 18-Jun-18 15:39:37

Instead of feeling undermined, you might suggest to you MIL that she reconsider as “at 3 you wouldn’t let him use screens for more than an hour every few days, so maybe she should invest in LEGO/a climbing frame/whatever so he will get more use out of it and not associate her presents with the tantrums he has when it gets taken away.”

If she buys it anyway set whatever limit you feel is right. Enforce it consistently. But have something good set up for him for when his time is up, so it isn’t so much taking the tablet away as “Hey look DS, time for dinner!”

KingLooieCatz Mon 18-Jun-18 15:41:49

Too young.

Stuff like that can wait till they're begging for it and you can hold it out as a reward for year's teeth cleaning or something.

It really annoys me when people attach kids to tech when the kids were happy running around. A friend hands her kids a screen far too readily even at a play park, mine get's sucked into it too and an opportunity for small boys to let off steam out doors is lost to standing like zombies glued to a screen. One of my friend's kids will now cry real tears if she doesn't give him her phone to play with.

CocoPuffsInGodMode Mon 18-Jun-18 15:42:43

IMO items such as iPads, phones, consoles shouldn't be bought as gifts without consulting the child's parents. Irrespective of what other parents might think, it's for each child's own parents to decide themselves whether they're comfortable allowing their young dc access to this type of tech.

I would contact her before she buys it and tell her you prefer to wait until he's older before he's given this type of item. It's all very well doing the accept it politely and put it away, he's 3 so you can probably get away with that but if she decides she's getting him a phone at 6? She's overstepping and I wouldn't just suck it up because she provides childcare.

Ebeneser Mon 18-Jun-18 15:43:12

YANBU. My niece has an iPad. She is 7 now (had it when she was about 4 or 5 though), but was exactly as you described with your son. Total zombie when she's on it. My sister now limits her screen time as it was totally affecting her personality.
While having access to some technology at a young age can have it's advantages, there is plenty of evidence about in how harmful it can be;

GreatDuckCookery Mon 18-Jun-18 15:45:40

I'd be more concerned about the amount of time DS is on the iPad while in her care. Zombified age 3? I would be talking to her about that for a start.

LovingLola Mon 18-Jun-18 15:49:34

I'd be more concerned about the amount of time DS is on the iPad while in her care. Zombified age 3? I would be talking to her about that for a start.

So would I.
The World Health Organisation have included gaming addiction as a mental health disorder and it is now considered to be a disease.

Does she have any idea of the potential damage she is doing to your son? And what are your options if she refuses to listen to your concerns?
Would you allow her to care for him if she was a chain smoker for example? Or allow her to bring him in her car without a suitable car seat?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: