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AIBU to say "no" to more gadgets for 9yr old DS

(67 Posts)
Dotty342kids Tue 29-Jan-13 11:00:58

So, my DS is 10 in March.
He has had a Nintendo DS for 2-3yrs, we have a family Wii, and he has access to the family laptop for supervised internet access, games etc. He also has an MP3 player for music.

For his birthday he's asking for an Ipod or a Playstation 3.
I feel really sad that he just wants more gadget type things and when we chatted about it this morning he is very much feeling that "all" his friends have X boxes, Playstations, Ipods etc and therefore he's missing out.

We could afford a gift like this but I just don't want him to have any more of these types of things. I should say too, that he does struggle to entertain himself and will rely on screen based things if allowed to so I do limit him to approx an hour a day of tv/laptop/Wii time.

AIBU to refuse to buy him any more of these types of things? He did say he'd like to text / message his friends so I may consider a very basic phone (without internet access).
How do you handle boys, in particular, and their love for all things gadgety / screen based? Am I just being old fashioned?

2madboys Tue 29-Jan-13 11:07:54

For phones we have a rule that they are allowed when moving up to secondary school (repeat after me, ad nauseum, 'I want a phone, not I need a phone'!). We bought our DSs ipods for Christmas but they are the music only ones, they both play instruments and we want to encourage this. They can be used for backing tracks, etc. They would love an x-box but we only have a Wii. They are aged 9 and 12.

thekingfisher Tue 29-Jan-13 11:09:17

I think its a really tough call my ds is 10 in june so in a similar boat... he got an ipod last year for his b'day which he uses for games/music and the odd email ( i have a linked a/c sp I can see everything he sends/receives) and we have had a wii for yonks - as a family we have 2 ipads which he uses for movies if we are travelling on hols for example.

We caved this xmas and got an xbox as he really had moved on in a lot of ways from the wii.

It is in a completely different league to the wii and he plays fifa13 as if it is going out of fashion but we do have a limit. No xbox/games allowed during the week. He has a pretty bust weekend with school and sport activties so he is allowed up to 2 hours at the weekend but often doesnt use all this up.

I have had to allow some self-regulation as this is the way of the world. It doesnt mean he has to play awful violent games and I am very strict in content.

However for all this we have friends who really dont have the iPod/xbox/ipad type stuff and are not harmed as well we have friends whose kids are allowed unlimited access....which doesnt seem that great

I think you have to agree a middle ground - can you discuss with your son what he thinks is appropriate - we did rules for use ( and withdrawal of use) with ds which has aorked well at an age where they are looking for a bit more control. It is also good to take it away as a penalty for poor behaviour etc etc.

thekingfisher Tue 29-Jan-13 11:11:14

meant to say no phone and he won;t get one until senior school - when i asked him who he was going to call ( none of his friends have one) he said Granny! grin

YorkshireDeb Tue 29-Jan-13 11:12:03

I'm a long way off having to make this decision for myself (my ds is 4 months) but if it's the quantity of gadgets that worries you could you persuade him to give up/eBay a gadget he's not that bothered about to then replace with a new one of his choice? X

BambieO Tue 29-Jan-13 11:14:01

That's a good idea yorkshire

YANBU at all!! My DS (10) is well into his gadgets. He has a nintendo which he hasn't played in about a year, an iphone (which he was given by my company when they upgraded to the next one) and he got an x box for christmas. He has access to the family lap top but it is so old it needs coal shovelled into it and he gets no pleasure from that smile

To be honest, the only one he really loves in the x box which in the week I limit to 1.5 hours per day. He likes to watch his iphone for videos etc but generally isn't too bad.

The gadgets in themselves are ok but it is the way they are monitored. My DS would happily be on his x box all day long during the weekend and when we make him come off it he mopes around. They seem to lose the ability to do creative stuff which I have to say really pisses me off.

Oh, forgot to say, when we bought him the x box we then sold the wii as there was no way he was having 2 consoles.

Dotty342kids Tue 29-Jan-13 11:17:51

Yes, I did mention that if he wanted the PS3 then that would mean getting rid of the Wii. Trouble with that is that we have a younger daughter who would then lose out so that doesn't seem entirely fair!
Like the idea of no "gaming" during the week, that seems like one way of doing things.
Am I right in thinking that you can turn off the internet access aspect of Ipods? But then there's probably no point and he may as well just have a phone that's not got internet access.....!

No, you can't really do that then can you....I have only have the one so it wasn't an issue for me but if there had been a younger sibling to consider then we wouldn't have sold it.

My DS is angling for the x box to be in his room as we have it in the dining room but that ain't happening, lol.

He is ok with 1.5 hours in the week but I stick to that. I set the oven timer and when it goes off he has to stop!

I don't know re internet access on ipod. DS has an i phone which works through the wi fi so I just turn the router off....I imagine the ipod is the same.

PuffPants Tue 29-Jan-13 11:27:32

Why of they need phones at secondary school? Who are they ringing? However did we all survive getting to and from school without needing to text our parents en route?

Taffeta Tue 29-Jan-13 11:29:07

DS (9) got an ipod touch for his 9th birthday. It has no Internet access, any games or music he wants go through me via my ipad/laptop.

TBH, whatever you get them, they always want more. After years of resisting a console, we got a Wii U at Christmas ( we also have DD (6) ), and within 2 weeks of getting that he started saying he wanted an Xbox. Jog on.

You have to restrict it, I agree. It is very useful for journeys, DS has at least 4 journeys a week with football at the moment, the agreement is he reads his book one way and has the ipod the other.

The ipod is good value IMO as the games are a snip, and it has camera, has music etc etc. Watch the age recommendation for games. He'll get a mobile when he goes to secondary.

Taffeta Tue 29-Jan-13 11:32:37

PuffPants - We survived without phones but it was a nightmare if something went wrong, eg you broke down.

I suspect most people went to local secondary schools ( I could certainly walk to mine ). My DS will have to, as a minimum, travel 6 miles to his on one, two buses and possibly a train, depending on which school he gets into.

I don't relish the thought of him doing this in 2 years time on his own with no form of communication, knowing the unreliabilty of public transport.

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 11:33:55

The thing is ten year olds aren't into Wii's - they are a bit old hat now - they mostly seem to be on x boxes and play stations.

I limit screen time too.

Puff - My DS will be getting the bus too and from senior school when he goes and I would feel more comfortable if he were able to reach me if need be.

I know we didn't have them when we were kids but times are changing. Should I not have sky tv because when I was a kid we only had 3 channels??

Horses for, a phone is not a necessity but it will make life easier.

Sulawesi Tue 29-Jan-13 11:36:19

I find this so hard. I have two boys, similar ages and they are obsessed with any type of electronic gadget and would play from dawn until dusk.

It makes me really sad as I have to force them to read or do much else, so depressing but you can't make them interested in other stuff.

They are at a good school where they do a fair bit of sport, art, drama, food tech etc so I guess that helps off set it but I do wish for children who just wanted to ride their bikes and read Enid Blyton until bedtime <deluded>.

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 11:37:04

The other think is the xbox seems to be very much a shared console, ds has his mates over and I often have to step over them as they are draped over the front room grin I much prefer this to a solitary thing like an i pod where he would just play by himself.

Ds has had a phone since he started walking to school at 9. Basic phone, no internet and gets topped up with a fiver every term and is ONLY for texting/ringing home in an emergency. It has been really useful when he has been let out of school late.

Taffeta Tue 29-Jan-13 11:37:15

Its difficult though when they have younger siblings. Why should everything revolve around them?

We got the Wii U as a compromise. DD can play NintendoLand games on it, DS can play Fifa 13 and we will get some sports ones soon that the whole family can play.

Any other stuff he wants he will have to make do with his iPod.

<folds arms>

Dotty342kids Tue 29-Jan-13 11:41:09

Sulawesi, I know exactly what you mean! I was explaining to him this morning how when I was his age I'd come home and either do colouring, reading, jigsaws or play with friends. He looked horrified at the idea of life without gadgetry!
There are times when I'd def like him to have a phone and be contactable as I'm just starting to let him meet friends to go swimming etc. That may be the route to go down until I can't fend off the games consoles any further.

Taffeta Tue 29-Jan-13 11:41:36

Sulawesi - I so hear you. Oh for a bookworm boy! My DS is football obsessed, no idea where he got it from, DH and I detest it. He reads a little about it, but mainly wants to play it, in RL, or on the Wii U/ipod.

You're right, you can't make them interested in thigs they aren't. You can expose them to stuff and hope they show an interest.

I think back to my childhood, hours and hours roaming free on my bike. So sad they don't have this freedom, its whats missing IMO.

stclemens Tue 29-Jan-13 11:43:25

mm my DH is the same, loves gadgets and so does DD - she is already lusting after a new Ipod (as "it comes in different colours mum") - but I have said to wait. I think you need to think whether some of this is just nostalgia for the days when we only had two channels on the black and white TV and we were forced to entertain ourselves with bits of wood. As they grow up they will play games regardless, what matters is the discipline to not let it take over your life (as MN testifies there are different definitions of this).

Personally think it might be worthwhile upgrading the Nintendo to an ipod as they are more versatile and games are much cheaper.

But funnily enough the most popular gifts the kids got at Xmas were the card games (I got Monopoly Deal and Uno) and the little hand held crossbow (Petron - worth looking if you want something non-gadgety: this one)

valiumredhead Tue 29-Jan-13 11:44:15

The thing is limiting screen time - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Ds can go on it for a certain length of time and when it's off he has to find something else to do - which is usually reading. The xbox is hardly on at all in the Summer but it the winter it's great when the kids are stuck inside a lot.

Sul - another one who totally agrees.

When I was a kid I was out all day on my bike, loved reading and colouring. My mum didn't let us watch tv in the day time, we had a t in a wooden cabinet and she used to slide the door across and lock it so we couldn't watch it.

Sadly times are so way would I let DS out from dawn to dusk without a clue where he was (but hey he does have a phone so he could call me) and although I don't agree with being a sheep, gadgets is what it is all about and it is what they are all doing.

sixlostmonkeys Tue 29-Jan-13 11:47:35

Imo there is nothing wrong with 'gadgets' (apart from the price)
gadgets are a way of life now, and the updates are speeding up all the time. Being familiar with 'gadgets' can only be good.
My ds has always had gadgets (maybe not up to the minute ones but that's due to cost) he is 16 now and uses various gadgets to 'create'. Add to his list his cameras and lenses he is able to spend hours 'creating' all sorts of great stuff.

Like anything else they need to be monitored. An obsession with a particular game is as bad as an obsession with any other toy.

I say, get what you can afford, keep them safe, tell them why you need to keep them safe. Talk about what they are doing/playing. Take an interest. Play the games with them. Playing a xbox game with a child is just as good as playing monopoly.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Tue 29-Jan-13 11:47:56

How do people afford all this stuff? shock

<mutters about peer pressure and commercialism and materialism and the death of the Great Outdoors>

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