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Tweens/Teens and ipads etc - AIBU to think they're getting worse.

(41 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sun 10-Feb-13 19:35:29

I feel like a 70 year old on a rant but I'm starting to feel that many older children are losing the ability to entertain themselves and make polite conversation.

I took a group of children on a school trip to a restaurant last night (ok, not a high end one, a tacky chain but still a restaurant) and one of the children got his ipad out as soon as we got there. I hadn't even thought to ban them from bringing them to a restaurant because I didn't think they'd think to either! I didn't want to ruin his night by coming down heavy on him but I did ask him why he thought he needed it. Reply: I thought the food would take quite a long time to come. I told him yes it would but couldn't he spend some time communicating with his friends and he looked baffled and told me he was playing a 2 person game!

Aarghh, that's not communication!

My children are younger so I'm not sure how normal this is but what do you think, AIBU to expect 11+ year olds to attend a social occasion without being plugged into technology?!?

niceguy2 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:37:42


posted from ipad.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 19:39:59

YANBU. It's horrible to see, and it is getting more common (I run a restaurant).

sooperdooper Sun 10-Feb-13 19:40:03

I agree, I think phones/ipads/laptops are rude when you're eating somewhere

DomesticCEO Sun 10-Feb-13 19:45:46

YANBU! How sad.

GretaGip Sun 10-Feb-13 19:54:23

I really dislike to see a child with a gagdet at the table, but a book doesn;t cause the same angst in me.

Wonder why?

manicinsomniac Sun 10-Feb-13 20:06:59

hmmm, I kind of see your point greta but I would find a book rude and unnecessary too.

muffinmonster Sun 10-Feb-13 20:51:52

To me this is pretty anti-social. I think I would have done as you did and said something, but agree that you couldn't really get heavy about it in the circumstances.

I've more than once seen a couple I know in a restaurant with their son (aged 11 or so), who is plugged into a Nintendo or whatever; they get something like a one-to-one meal, and he's no trouble because he's entertained. I can see why they do it, but it's a very bad lesson to teach a child. Would never let my own DCs do it.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 10-Feb-13 20:56:33

If we're going out for a meal in a group with no other kids or as a family here we would like to sit and chat a bit afterwards we will take ds(7) tablet. He knows he'll get to play it after puddings, not at any point before. It means I cab get an extra 20 minutes to finish my bottle glass of wine.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 10-Feb-13 20:58:01

Saying that he'll sit doing the puzzles or colouring in restaurants hand out. As a toddler we'd go out armed with things to keep him busy. Is it really any different?

DialsMavis Sun 10-Feb-13 21:06:53

I agree, but last week DS pointed out that I am happy to let him bring a book if we are going for a meal/drink and there will be no other DC there but not his iPod touch. I had to admit it is just intellectual snobbery on my part. But out with his peers? No way smile

GloriaPritchett Sun 10-Feb-13 21:08:21

But MrsKeith you're talking about a child! OP asked about an 11 year old- I think by 11 you should definitely be able to sit and make polite conversation.

Smudging Sun 10-Feb-13 21:15:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smudging Sun 10-Feb-13 21:17:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

manicinsomniac Sun 10-Feb-13 21:20:41

yes, MrsKeith I think taking stuff to amuse a toddler or small child is very different.

I wouldn't even have been so shocked if it was one bored 11 year old and a group of adults (though I still don't like the idea) but this was an 11 year old surrounded by his peers and friends!

CloudsAndTrees Sun 10-Feb-13 21:27:50


My DC love their iPods, bit they know there is no way they are allowed them at the table.

It's caused a problem in the past when they've been out with their Dad and his GF and her children, because she allows her dc to use gadgets at the table whereas ex and I never did. It pisses me right off that we were made to look unreasonable in the eyes of our children because of someone else's lazy parenting.

Startail Sun 10-Feb-13 21:28:24

I love DS's and ipods, they make meals out with DD2 bearable.

It's not simply she has zero tolerance for waiting for food, she isn't very bothered about eating either.

She'll eat half of something tiny and boring of the kids menu and then start getting restless, if DH, me and DD1 want to enjoy something interesting that needs savoring, not a burger in Mac Donald's, plunging DD2 in is a must.

Actually she gets fidgety in Mac D's too, she simply eats like a mouse and finds all food except ice-cream boring. She's not being naughty or rude, well she is, but not deliberately. Meals just aren't an important part of her day.

Arisbottle Sun 10-Feb-13 21:29:50

We often get an iPad out when we go for a coffee or lunch and we all do the crossword together, I am sure people are judging us, luckily I don't give a fuck.

Madeyemoodysmum Mon 11-Feb-13 12:23:23

Yanbu. I allowed it Sunday but only because my dd has a irritating cough and it was helping distract her from coughing and annoying the other diners. Normally though I say no.

GreatBallsofFluff Mon 11-Feb-13 13:29:08

I remember being 8 and going out for a meal with my mum, her boyfriend and my sister. I was really into reading the Sweet Valley books at the time blush and had taken one along so that I didn't get bored. As soon as it was seen by mum and her boyfriend, they promptly told me off for being rude and bringing it. Since then I have never taken anything like that out for a meal again. I allow DD to if it is just her and a whole load of other adults (basically my family as she is the only child) but if it is just me and her going for a meal, then I won't allow her to.

Jins Mon 11-Feb-13 13:30:56

We played a game together as a family on DS2s IPad last night. It put me in mind of my childhood when we all played cards or Monopoly after we'd eaten.

They aren't all bad

moogalicious Mon 11-Feb-13 13:33:44

Stairtail how old is your DD?

I would expect an 11+ yo to be able to go out for a meal with his friends and make conversation. My dd is 10 and I don't need to take gadgets for her.

moogalicious Mon 11-Feb-13 13:34:48

Agree Jin but not at the dinner table/at a restaurant!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 11-Feb-13 13:38:12

Me and dd will sometimes play monopoly together on the ipad while waiting for a meal to come at a restaurant. Not every time and only if its the 2 of us but sometimes we do. We spend plenty of time communicating.

Jins Mon 11-Feb-13 13:41:08

We were at the dinner table.

It was quality family time tbh. I'd probably do it at a restaurant as well

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