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What would you do?

(28 Posts)
clearsommespace Sun 18-Sep-16 14:59:45

DH offered to run a board gaming session for DS and some of his mates (13 /14 yrs old). It's a collaborative zombie theme game, takes about 20 mins to set up and 1h30 to run.
DS got his mates over today. Two boys went out to the trampoline once they had escaped the zombies. The remaining two guests were in the game until the end, about 10 mins later and helped tidy up. During the game they were ALL on their mobiles, not taking pics to post online but playing other games when it wasn't their turn. It is generally considered good form to watch what the others are up to when it isn't your turn, but they are all new to the game apart from DS. When it was finished, DH told me that he wouldn't be doing it again because they weren't paying attention.

We haven't told DS yet. They boys are all still here. (Half on the tramp and half making mug cakes in the kitchen.)

I think DH should have told them to stop playing on their phones if it was bothering him, pointed out that it is impolite. I think it would be reasonable now to say to DS that if they want to do it again, ok but they need to leave their phones in a basket (like everyone does when we eat). They all seemed to enjoy the game and it's a shame not to encourage then in shared activities that don't involve screens. That's what I would do if it were me. I think it's an opportunity to educate.

I'm just wondering how other parents would react and also how your DCs would feel if told that they had to leave their phones alone in such circumstances?

ssd Sun 18-Sep-16 15:05:48

teens on mobiles all the time is a normal thing, they get educated at shcool, at weekends they want to do their own thing and if it wasnt spelled out no phones during the game then its not fair to throw a hissy fit when they use them

and anyway, since when did playing a zombie board game =an opportunity to educate confused

clearsommespace Sun 18-Sep-16 15:25:12

DH didn't throw a hissy fit, he just said he wouldn't do it again.
I didn't mean the zombies were educational ( although the game does involve a lot of problem solving grin)
I meant that it could be an opportunity to explain to teens that different generations might be put off by the constant attention to phones and that if someone is taking time to do an activity with you, you could think twice about whether it is polite to be on your phone at the same time.

clearsommespace Sun 18-Sep-16 15:29:06

I think I mistranslated 'educate'. Perhaps 'teaching opportunity' would be be better. You know, how when a little kid spills something it's a teaching opportunity (how to avoid it happening again, how to clean up).

ssd Sun 18-Sep-16 15:33:11

tbh, it just sounds like its something your dh and ds might enjoy more than the other boys

clearsommespace Sun 18-Sep-16 15:36:19

Yes maybe they won't even want to do it again. Perhaps we'll wait and see if they actually ask DS if they can do it again.

LadyPenelope68 Sun 18-Sep-16 15:38:59

Sounds like your DH was taking it too seriously. Sounds normal behaviour for teenage boys to me.

clearsommespace Sun 18-Sep-16 15:43:54

OK, thanks for the input. DS isn't like that with his phone at home and usually when they are here as a group or one by one, they are doing a phone/tablet based activity or an activity where phones get left behind for phone safety (eg nerf battle).

MyWineTime Sun 18-Sep-16 17:20:03

Your DH taking it all FAR too seriously there!
He should be happy that the kids wanted him involved in a game.
They were having fun - that's all that matters.

harderandharder2breathe Sun 18-Sep-16 19:31:07

If he didn't ask them to stop then he should give them another chance where he tells them to put the phones down, then if they ignore him it's different, but s lot of teens would need to explicitly be told no phones even when it's not your turn

clearsommespace Sun 18-Sep-16 19:51:10

Yes that what I think harderandharder. They aren't mind readers and their parents may have different expectations from us.
We'll see if they are interested in repeating the experience and raise the issue then. The game works better when everyone participates in everyone else's turn.

Mywine, it's a game with a gamemaster so we think they should be happy that someone was prepared to do that for them.

3catsandcounting Sun 18-Sep-16 20:44:44

I think your DH is probably taking it a bit seriously, and I speak of someone with a DH who would be exactly the same.
DH, DS16 and even DD18, play these convoluted games for hours. It's their thing.
DD is a normal clubbing, drinking, cool teenager, but these games... different story!

It was a bit rude of the other boys, but I would have said at the beginning, "right lads, we need your concentration here, so phones away, or you'll miss things!"

My DH has a shed with massive swathes of polystyrene and MDF landscapes featuring trees, shrubs, miniature houses and painted soldiers in battle.
I once made a tiny country inn, fashioned from a matchbox, with a thatched roof made of straw from the hamster cage.
I thought the village community needed it!
DH thought I was taking the piss.

Dreamfrog Sun 18-Sep-16 22:32:13

That's fab cats.
Phones in a basket is a bit much even for your own kids. They may tease your son about being treated like he's quite young. Just ask them not to use them.

3catsandcounting Sun 18-Sep-16 22:37:25

dreamfrog - I thought that about 'phones in a basket' too! My two are far from perfect teens, but they've never needed a basket.

clearsommespace Mon 19-Sep-16 05:13:54

OK so you don't think it would unreasonable to ask them not to use them then.

Re the basket, that's just a habit we have, we have a place where phones go when we are eating. I don't see why that's treating them like little children. If they are left on the table, they get in the way (barely have room for the dishes as it is ) and they could get things spilt on them and it is pointless taking that risk when the phones aren't in use. So if someone turns up to a meal with a phone or book or e-reader, it goes in there. (I'd be happy with phones in pockets but my DC hate using pockets)

NewIdeasToday Mon 19-Sep-16 05:20:16

Teenagers are surgically attached to their phones in my experience lately. If you don't want your son to get teased at school I'd let them get on with it. You have to remember whose benefit this game was meant to be for - your son and his friends or your husband?

ssd Mon 19-Sep-16 08:12:52

is it a game like warhammer? I always wondered how these games work!

I think you might find the boys will come back for more of the game, after all they probably had a good time, it just sounds a bit like your dh was a bit peed off they weren't into it as much as he is....then again he'd better watch, he might get some of them hooked and you'll never get rid of them grin

ssd Mon 19-Sep-16 08:14:46

oh and I wouldn't worry about the basket thing, if your ds gets teased just tell him to say his mum bought a basket for the mobiles as they were always getting lost....

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 19-Sep-16 08:25:03

Did he wasn't them all to sit there in silence completely agog ?

The behaved like teens do these days, they may well have been posting on social media ' omg having such a good learning about zombies' ( translate that into teen speak)

It sounds a great day to me- bit of gaming, making mug cakes and going on the trampoline!

I think your dh sounds churlish tbh and unfair.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 19-Sep-16 08:25:36


TheLastHeatwave Mon 19-Sep-16 08:36:04

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to say 'no phones' during the game.

You're either playing or you're not. It's really annoying trying to play a game when people aren't paying attention to what's happening when it's not their turn & having to tell them when it's their turn, then they try to work out how other people's play has affected their turn & it's rude & annoying.

I think your DH was understandably a bit pissed off, but he should have just said 'phones away boys, you can't play properly & use your phone'. But he didn't. It's a tad petty of an adult to say he won't do it again, when there's an easy alternative. They're young teenagers, they still need teaching socially acceptable behaviour.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 19-Sep-16 08:39:14

But it's really boring watching someone else play a video game!confused

clearsommespace Mon 19-Sep-16 09:17:03

LastHeatWave, this is what I feel and if they ask to do it again, and DH still feels the same way (maybe he just said 'I'm not doing that again' in the moment of frustration), I will raise these points with him.

From what I gather, it's a bit like Warhammer but not as complex/nerdy. You need a crowd for the Zombie game and I will be roped in if necessary.

Dame, noboday asked anyone to watch anyone else play a video game. Not sure where you got that idea from?

They weren't posting on social media (a bit of that would have been ok) but playing video games on their phones when it wasn't their turn. It's a collaborative game and in this kind of game, when it is not your turn, you don't sit in silence but offer your opinion on what the active player should do. Players work together and have a limited numer of actions, so you could agree that 1st player does X, enabling 2nd player to do Y meanwhile 3rd and 4th player can go do Z when it's their turn. So it's a PITA if two player come up with a plan and then the others go 'eh, what?' because they were trying to play a video game at the same time.

TheLastHeatwave Mon 19-Sep-16 10:11:58

run a board gaming session

it's a game with a gamemaster

Presumably the people who think its OK for kids to be on their phones whilst someone is hosting a gaming session for them also think it's OK for their kids to be on their phones whilst at clubs, sports, birthday party etc. God forbid should they be expected to actually fully engage with something else for an hour & a half.

11yo now takes her phone to school, so of course the novelty of using it on the way home in the car means that all communication has ceased 😁 But she'd put it away if asked, no problem, & she would have been a bit embarassed to have to have been reminded about her manners if you'd had to ask her to put it down while she played the game. However, at the moment she wouldn't even think about the phone if you were playing a game with her her obsession isn't anywhere near as bad as mine

clearsommespace Mon 19-Sep-16 10:56:26

Haha. DS does an activity to which he needs driving twice a week.

We agreed he can be absorbed in his phone the way there or back but for the other leg he will put his phone away on the offchance that he might want to converse with me. grin

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