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Is 5 too young for a nintendo ds

(29 Posts)
billyog Mon 12-Sep-11 10:05:55

When my mum asked my ds what he wanted for his birthday he said he wanted a ds. I didn't know he knew what one was, in fact he didn't even know what one was but his friend in school has one so probably heard it there. I told mum he was probably too young and i'd see if there was a more age appropriate alternative but before I had chance gd had gone out and bought the ds. Dh was not happy but I didn't want to make too much of a fuss and appear like an over anxious parent by asking them to take it back so it arrived in the post complete with super mario came. He LOVES it. Its scarey how much he loves it. He would play it all day every day if allowed but current rules are 15min on sat and sun but for the rest of the week he just talks about it and asks 'is it the weekend yet?'. My husband and I are not computer games people, never were so we might be over reacting and I konw he would certainly be introduced to the gaming world eventually and we would have got him a ds at some point but I just keep feeling 5 is too young. Perhaps if we didn't restrict it so much the novelty would ware off a bit and it is proving to be a rather useful bargaining tool. I'm sure when ds is7 and dd is 5 I won't have this anguish. But I am tempted to put it in a high cupboard for a couple of years. Any thoughts appreciated.

omnishambles Mon 12-Sep-11 10:07:51

Yes its too young - they want to play it all the time and its a real pain - wait until he can read.

Let him do some free games online or cbbc games instead for now.

SoupDragon Mon 12-Sep-11 10:08:20

No, its not too young if you choose your games carefully.

I do think that just 15 minutes on two days is a bit OTT on the control though!

MadreInglese Mon 12-Sep-11 10:09:03

yes too young IMO

(but I parent like a dinosaur)

ravenc Mon 12-Sep-11 10:15:21

My eldest dc got her ds at 5 every one at school had ,now she has dsi but she is 9 now, Youngest got ds last xmas she was 3 and loves hers just upgraded to a dsi for this xmas she will be 4.

snazaroo Mon 12-Sep-11 10:17:16

dd3 is getting one for xmas, she will be 5.5

I think absolutely fine. Rules are very little play during a school week and absolutely no secret playing in bed under the covers looks hard at dd2 and dd1

I don't limit at the weekend. My experience is that they are obsessed for a couple of months then they lose interest.

WowOoo Mon 12-Sep-11 10:17:42

We got our 5 yr old one for hanging around at airports in the summer. It was brilliant!
He hasn't really been on it since as he knows it's for special occasions only. Will get it out again to keep him occupied at a wedding in a few weeks time.

mumatron Mon 12-Sep-11 10:21:41

5 is fine if you get the right games. My dd1 was 5 when she had her first ds.

15 min is way ott imho. Let him have a bit longer and he'll get bored quicker.

As long as he has time with other toys and books I cannot see a problem with him having an hour or so on it.

They can be a lifesaver for long car journeys.

DeWe Mon 12-Sep-11 10:26:38

My girls got them aged 9 and 6, and my ds got his a year later when he was 3.6.
I have to say that the ds for my ds (!) was a brilliant investment. If I'm at watch week for the girls, or waiting round for them, out comes the ds and it keeps him quiet and still which takes so much stress off me it's worth every penny. He only has a couple of games (and mostly plays one) but it was so much more worth it for him compared to the girls, who can read in similar situations.

sjuperwolef Mon 12-Sep-11 10:27:58

dd got one for xmas aged 5 3/4 and has a load of games but she rarely plays it, infact its been lost for about 6 weeks and she hasnt bothered to find it. even when she does play its for 20 mins at a push. she has a v.smile pocket thing too which she likes - its a bit 'babyish' in comparison - but i think its more educational.

dp on the other hand needs surgically removed from his ds at times hmm

razors Mon 12-Sep-11 10:28:04

My dd had hers from age 5. I'm with mumatron - my dd loves reading, playing out in the park and on her bike and scooter - as long as your son isn't on it all day every day I don't see the problem with them. There are fun games and educational games and brilliant on train and car journeys as it's easy to carry and doesn't take up much room in her rucksack!

Let him have more than 15 mins poor little mite! why are you so against computer games? It's hardly Grand theft auto! and good for co-ordination and quick thinking.

sjuperwolef Mon 12-Sep-11 10:30:33

ah yes, the long car journeys - we went from angus to pitlochry with no problems all thanks to the ds grin

billyog Mon 12-Sep-11 11:06:30

Thanks for all your messages. sjuperwolef, you made me laugh. I don't know why I'm so concerned about computer games, i'm certainly not as anal about the t.v, as i say its probably cause its new and dh and i never were in to them. He does love doing other things and plays very well on his own, outdoors, board games etc but getting him to practice his reading is like pulling teeth! Especially since going back to school, he didn't do much over the summer so maybe he's just rusty but he really doesn't want to do his reading. I say to him that if he can sit for 10 min and concentrate on his ds then he can do the same with his reading. Maybe i should wait untill he can read.

sjuperwolef Mon 12-Sep-11 11:36:12

glad i gave a giggle grin he wants more for xmas than dd - a new ps3, games, this, that, the next thing honestly!

DeWe Mon 12-Sep-11 11:39:50

Why don't you use the ds the other way? If he does his reading/homework without a fuss then he can have half an hour on his ds. You need to be strict on that, say he has to have done his reading before a certain time and needs to sit still.

I have found with both my girls that putting something fun to do when homework is done (properly) gets the homework done quicker and better than any other way.

It's taught my ds some reading words, although one of them is "zombie" so I don't think that's going to be very useful for his school reading books.

mrsbaffled Mon 12-Sep-11 11:45:54

I let my DSs play with mine. That way I can control it(!) There are some really good games for teeny ones. The peppa pig game is lovely - very simple (even for 3 year olds) and it helps with hand-eye coordination. I don't have a problem with that in moderation.

EllenRose Mon 12-Sep-11 11:50:11

DD had hers for her 5th Birthday and loved it. Plays on it for long journeys, particularly if her older brothers are plugged in to their iPods etc. Choose your games well, they do get bored of them quite quickly and then rediscover again some months later but no real harm if they are doing other stuff as well. One of her games allowed her to write / draw with it and she was practicing her 'tricky' words from school on it - new gen black-board smile

PurplePillow Mon 12-Sep-11 11:51:34

My dd1 (11) got her first ds at about 7 (she now has a dsi)

Dd2 (4) doesn't have one yet but gets to play on mine and she has her own games, peppa pig is her favourite atm, but there are loads of age appropriate ones out there and can be very educational as well as fun.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 12-Sep-11 12:05:02

I think it's far too young but then I'm really not keen on technology for young children. I may eat my words when mine are older, but my current position is more like 10.

Having said that, I think if you're going to let him have it at all, then you probably do need to allow more than 15 minutes. That's probably more addictive than longer periods.

SoupDragon Mon 12-Sep-11 12:18:07

I have no qualms about using the DSs as bribes or punishments. "do this and you can play on your DS" "stop trying to kill your brother/sister or you will be banned from all computer games for 24 hours."

billyog Mon 12-Sep-11 13:24:32

yeh, my mum said I should use it as a reward, e.g if you do your reading you can play on the ds only I kinda wanted to instill a desire to read/learn and not portray it as a negative thing eg if you read (boring) you can play your ds (exciting) perhaps i'm being too idealistic

Seona1973 Mon 12-Sep-11 13:24:42

dd had hers from age 4 and ds got his age 3 (got it for going on holiday to occupy them in the car/on the plane). I dont really limit time on them and the novelty does wear off except when they have a new game to play. 15 mins is not long and they would barely have started playing before they have to stop again. I am sure the DS helped dd with her reading and even ds (age 4) can recognise some of the words shown on screen. We are a computer game family though and have laptops, xbox, Wii, Playstation, etc too

Sleepglorioussleep Mon 12-Sep-11 18:41:21

I am a dinosaur. I am resisting the ds. Dd is five and every year we have the request to buy her one from the gp. None of her friends have them as far as I am aware. I don't need another thing to regulate, and I know I would be tempted to let her have it all the time as I have two other dc and quiet is precious. Her cousins lend her one when we see them and that's enough for now.

colditz Mon 12-Sep-11 18:43:47

not too young, and 15 minutes at a time at the weekend is exactly the right amount of time to cause obsession, so I'd loosen up a LOT if I were you.

greedygoose Mon 12-Sep-11 20:40:32

Yes too young...IMHO, dd is 7 and I have said no too.....meanie!

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