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Playstation/Gameboy for 5 year old boy - I want to resist!

(44 Posts)
jodee Sat 12-Mar-05 21:00:28

DS is 5 in a couple of weeks and DH thinks it would be a good idea to get him a Playstation. DS has played on his cousin's one (who is 8) and points out all the PS games he would like in the Argos catalogue. DH seems to think if he doesn't have one, he will turn into a geek and not be one of the in-crowd! He's only in Reception, sheesh.

Pros and cons please, from wise mumsnetters' experiences!

lavenderrr Sat 12-Mar-05 21:03:29

personally I think he would be better off without one.....my ds has never had one, all his friends have them in their bedrooms and he's still popular...at the end of the day, children love playing outside, using their imaginations....what other things does he like doind...is he creative, like building things, like sports, there are lots of things you could get which would give him far more fun imho...

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 21:12:36

I'm holding out at long as possible (ds is 6). He does have FIFA 2005 (football game) which he plays on the computer - thought that was a good compromise for now.

Niddlynono Sat 12-Mar-05 21:13:44

My cousin's DS doesn't have a Playstation but he does have a drum kit so he's not considered a geek.

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 21:15:17

And he will never never never have one in his bedroom (but then I'm a mean old witch).

jodee Sat 12-Mar-05 21:23:06

Thanks for replies so far - Lav, I think that's what DH is worried about, ds will be the unpopular kid if he doesn't get one.
Flashingnose, can you give me some info on the FIFA game please? That would probably go down well, I guess I would need a joystick-thingummy (can you tell I don't have a clue about these things?!!)
What about a gameboy? We've got a holiday booked in the summer, DH thinks it might keep him entertained in-flight?

I need a good long list of cons to counteract the pros...

roisin Sat 12-Mar-05 21:24:54

We don't have one - dss are nearly 6 and 8. I guess if I'm honest they are geeks, but that's kind of part of their personality, having a PS2 would not make any difference to that!

My determination to hold off has actually increased in time for a number of reasons:

I know that ds1 in particular has a rather obsessive personality, and would certainly play on it excessively, and we would have battles about groundrules.

In terms of 'keeping up with the Jones' peer pressure at school, sometimes it is easier to not join in at all, than to partially join in. i.e. This year gameboys are in, but next year it's no good if you have a gameboy it has to be a PS, then the year after an X-box, then a PS2. Having the old version can be worse than having none. And the same applies to the computer games (and trainers, football shirts, and lots of other things).

At heart I cannot see any possible benefit of the things, except to keep children quiet and occupied. But my boys will happily spend hours reading books, so don't need an electronic babysitter.

roisin Sat 12-Mar-05 21:26:46

Also vast quantities of the games available are hideously violent and aggressive, and it's hard to hold-off against these for long.

AND they're really expensive. Think what you could do with the money instead!

I'm a mean old witch too

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 21:28:49

Only trouble with a Gameboy is it's much more difficult to control how much they're playing it. I know DS would be on one constantly - he's that kind of child.

this is fifa 2005 . You can play it via the keyboard (which ds mastered) but DH bought a controller thingy which has made it easier. Only thing is you can't play a two player game but he and his friends just take turns. It's worked well for us .

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 21:31:05

roisin, yes ds has "an obsessive personality" too, which is why I'll resist for as long as possible. He's allowed on the computer for no longer than 30 mins a day and I set the kitchen timer - as long as he knows the rules, he's OK.

miggy Sat 12-Mar-05 21:34:04

my boys have gameboys and I do find them very useful for travelling-car/airplane etc and also on holiday, for long boring restaurant meals etc. Thats really the only time they use them, thery just forget about them until I round them up ready for next trip. 5 might be bit young though, ds2 started about 6 but only because he had an older brother. That said, the period before they find reading a joy, is the most succesful/useful time to have these things because as roisin says, once they love books then they will read at these times instaed (as ds1 does)
Be careful if buying gameboy as lots of new models with bigger better screens are about to come out.

roisin Sat 12-Mar-05 21:36:38

Same here flashingnose - 30 minutes with a timer. But he still from time to time comes across something particularly riveting (which compared to a PS2 game would be about as riveting as watching paint dry!) and we have a few arguments again about 'finding a good place to stop'.

Currently it's "Spybotics" on the Lego site, a few weeks ago it was a healthy eating fruit&veg site!!!

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 21:38:10

DD1 is very much more "take it or leave it" with things - I'd have no problem with her having a Gameboy when the time comes (she's only 4!).

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 21:38:52

Although will still resist madly (along with TV in their bedrooms but that's a whole new thread...)

miggy Sat 12-Mar-05 21:38:53

For games on the computer-Neopets is a great site-free, huge range of games and adopt little creatures to feed and care for (they never die though!)

arizona Sat 12-Mar-05 21:44:19

I would say hold out as long as poss. Personally think that children find it more difficult to concentrate on other things (listening at school, independent reading for example) beacause they're so used to the stimulation of ps2/gameboy etc, not much else can compete.I have exactly same dilemma about ds being left out but think that if they have other interests in common with their friends (beavers, football or whatever)they should be ok.Sorry if I'm generalising there!

jodee Sat 12-Mar-05 21:45:28

Roisin, thanks for those points, esp. number 2.
Thanks flashingnose, I'll maybe try and steer DH towards that way of thinking (and buy an eggtimer at the same time!).

Thanks for that site too,Miggy, will check it out.

shimmy21 Sat 12-Mar-05 21:46:41

Our dss (6 and 8) have an x box mainly because it was given to dh free and much against my better judgement.

Pros: they love it more than anything else in the world, all ds1's friends have got the same games (the Incredibles at the moment) and they spend hours acting out and swapping tips. Ds1 would definitely be left out if he didn't have some sort of games console. It is great as a reward.

Cons: the games are bl**dy expensive (you're looking at 30 to 40 quid for a new one.) The boys are addicted and it has to be rationed strictly or they would literally be attached to it all their waking hours, so it causes a lot of arguments when it's time to switch it off for food, going out , homework etc and a lot of the games are violent and nasty even though I never let them play on games which are rated for older ages (even a game for 3+ gave them both nightmares and was very nasty -pushing zombies into a furnace was involved )

IMO hold off for as long as you can but by 7 or 8 if your ds says he's getting left out, he probably is.

jodee Sat 12-Mar-05 21:47:12

Hi Arizona, good point about the common interests with friends, esp. team sports.

HUNKERMUNKER Sat 12-Mar-05 22:03:19

Sounds to me like your DH might want a playstation

We already have a PS One, a PS2 and a GameCube DS is 11 months old and we've had all of them since before we had children - lol!

Niddlynono Sat 12-Mar-05 22:21:32

Hunkermunker - we've got PS2 and Gamecube from before DS as well. One of my lasting memories of breastfeeding (other than the sore nipples) was sitting on the floor feeding DS on my lap while playing PS2. Unfortunately I can't get away with it now he's older.

Hate the thought of DS becoming hooked on them though.

serenity Sat 12-Mar-05 23:09:12

Why do I click on this threads? I think I'm just a bit of a masochist at heart.

Right, neither DSs have a games console however between us me and DH have a PS, a PS2, an X Box and a Game Cube, which DSs are allowed to play. None of us are violent, maladjusted or addicted....

Violent games - they have age ratings, if they want to play something unsuitable, you say NO - it's not that difficult. There are other games about, Game Cube in particular is great for family type games.

Pros - well my kids are great with sharing and turn taking, they have good hand eye coordination and excellent concentration. DS1 in particular loves rpgs (role playing games - like long interactive stories!) he has to read quite difficult things to keep up ( I got fed up with narrating it for him ) which imo has contributed to him being in the top reading group in his class. I hope it has the same effect on DS2! Good discipline tool, 'cos it's easy to take away if they are a pita.

Cons - can't think of any that wouldn't apply to anything they like a lot. Oh I know, we have them in the front room so if they are playing I can't lounge on the sofa watching TV, but then I just MN instead

Last point about the games being expensive. They are if you buy them new, but shops such as Game and Gamestation do trade-ins and so sell 2nd hand games at a reasonable price. Ebay sell new and used games at a good price too. I can't remember the last time we spent £40 on a game, DH says he usually pays about £15 at the most. It means that you have to wait a couple of months to play the latest games, but tough really!

Anyway, sorry for the rant but I get quite defensive about this topic - take it a bit personally I know! I don't think I'm a bad or neglectful mother for letting them enjoy games.

Games Consoles are great in moderation and I can't see how they can cause any problems unless you can't say no to your kids or control what you buy for it or what they play.

HUNKERMUNKER Sat 12-Mar-05 23:20:51

Bexibooboo I have similar memories of breastfeeding DS when he was tiny - tried it the other day and not a chance!!

WideWebWitch Sun 13-Mar-05 20:38:48

I think they're ok BUT in moderation. They can be horrifically addictive (says she, addicted to mumsnet, irony, irony) and my ds is only allowed playstation twice a week at agreed times and for an agreed length of time. I don't think it does anything for his mood tbh, even though he only plays football games (Pro evolution soccer) - we do sometimes have strops when it's time to turn it off, though it really isn't often these days. He has had access to one since dp moved in with us and brought it with him. Ds was 3 at the time and we first let him play at about 4. It resulted in some dreadful behaviour and so we got rid of it for about a year and let him have it again at about 5yo iirc. Looking back, he couldn't handle the emotions/addiction. Now though, I think it's fine - he loves it, it's restricted, but he'll probably leave home and play solidly for about 5 years Hold out as long as you can is my view, I would have done had I known then what I know now.

Demented Sun 13-Mar-05 21:33:02

My DS1 is 6, he has had a Gameboy for a few months, when he was given it he was also given a kitchen timer and made aware of the rules. He is allowed to play it three times a week for 30 mins, although this may be a relaxed a bit during the School holidays. At present he only has one game for it, Mario v Donkey Kong, a strategy type game, although at the moment he is doing odd jobs round the house to earn some money to buy a second game, his choice of game will be very closely monitored and he will not be allowed anything violent.

All in all I don't regret the decision to get him one, he asked for one after spending some time with two boys on holiday who had them, otherwise he would probably have been blissfully unaware.

It is very handy for removing due to bad behaviour and I have even threatened to sell it on e-Bay, made him pull his socks up rather sharply!

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