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What do you do with your kids?

45 replies

plumpmom · 29/12/2019 16:40

AIBU in wanting some screen free time in my house? My kids are constantly on games on the PlayStation and my DH isn’t working so he’s sat on it too. It’s like living in a gaming cafe. So I’m wondering what do you all do when you’re at home all day long together?

OP posts:
plumpmom · 29/12/2019 19:08

To the OP who asked why would I let them game all day, it’s because my DH is doing it too. So it means telling an adult what to do. They are all playing together and loving it. All the time and then I’m the fun destroyer. My DH doesn’t react well to me saying please switch it off. It’s incredibly stressful and difficult. His constant gaming habits have transferred onto my kids.

OP posts:
LadyAllegraImelda · 29/12/2019 19:15

You'll just have to spend more time on mumsnet Grin

We like playing board games as well and usually say shall we play one later (e.g 4hrs later).

LadyTiredWinterBottom2 · 29/12/2019 19:21

We find free museums etc to visit, go to the seaside for a walk, play games, make stuff..I'd they are all occupied l read or watch netflix. I sometimes play but only when they want to laugh at how bad l am

BriefDisaster · 29/12/2019 19:25

Mine are 3 and 6, they have been getting a bit more screen time than usual because it's the holidays (and I want some peace) but other than that we have been out on bikes/scooters, visited the park, played a billion board games, jigsaws, nerf fights (a particular favourite).

Still a week to fill before we are all back at school and work though and running out of ideas. Softplay or trampoline park next week probably.

Sh05 · 29/12/2019 19:32

Depends on ages. If they're primary age then we used to buy cheap craft material from the range and do lots of painting
Now they're older they read slot. Last holidays we bought a 1000 piece Jigsaw which everyone loved building together.

ProfessionalBoss · 29/12/2019 20:12

These are the things I do with my nephew, as I don't always want to be playing with him on his consoles...

Bake cakes and cookies, make meals and "party" snacks, arts and crafts, (including but not limited to painting ceramics), play board games, I teach them to play the piano, watch movies, talk about the topic which interests them, (dinosaurs for the last few years), listen to music, (sometimes involving dancing), make jewellery, about to start making fizzing bath bombs and candles, go out for "nature" walks, visit playparks, go to soft play, inflatables, trampolines, go see a movie at the cinema, go to an amusement/theme park, go to the zoo, safari or sanctuary, go for a random drive, or take the train somewhere different for lunch or dinner...

Granted it may be easier to motivate a child when it's not a parent, but the possibilities are endless if you put some effort into planning in advance...

oobieloo · 30/12/2019 00:13

DP and DS have spent the last three or four days on DS new games console. DP has been "helping" DS.

We've been stuck inside for three days straight because they didn't want to go out they wanted to play instead. I said okay I'll just go food shopping on my own then shall I and DP said okay he'll text me if there is anything he needs...
I went with the baby and came back to the same thing.
Tomorrow DP expects me and the kids to follow him around whilst he does some DIY at a relatives house. No, he can watch DS who can sit on his console and I'm off out with the baby somewhere nice.
Fed up with feeling like I don't exist.

xJodiex · 30/12/2019 01:50

Back in the day (90s) I had a sega mega drive, only allowed on it maximum 2 hours a day, then was told to go out to my friends/out on my bike/ etc.

user1473878824 · 30/12/2019 02:07

“Right. We’ve all been on screens for X hours. Everyone off for snacks and an hour reading.” You’re the parent.

MsMellivora · 30/12/2019 02:46

I game the most in our house while DH and DS game a little.
DH and I went for an hour long walk and then we all had an epic monopoly game at the dinner table after we finished eating that lasted almost three hours which I won. I really could have gamed all day as I am in the middle of a time limited quest in one game but I’m not selfish and actually want to spend time with my loved ones. I then gamed for about 4 hours. While DH watched football and then played his own game.

Rumplestrumpet · 30/12/2019 03:07

plumpmom I feel for you, that sounds really upsetting. I think the problem is clearly with your husband, who is being incredibly selfish, and you need to tackle this privately away from your kids.

Have you tried talking to him about it ? Suggest you find a time to bring it up in a calm way, setting out in factual terms the harm it's doing to the family and the kids as individuals (there's loads of evidence of harm from excessive gaming, have a Google), and propose a time limit that you both agree to and then stick to.

If there's an alternative activity you know he enjoys could you suggest that? Of course it shouldn't all be about him, but if you're currently in a bad situation it might be a way out?

Good luck

BoomBoomsCousin · 30/12/2019 04:09

My kids and DH play a lot of computer games. It doesn’t make me feel like a nobody but them playing computer games doesn’t make them obnoxious or oblivious which I think some people can be when they game a lot, so maybe that’s more of the issue? I don’t see why computer games by themselves are any different to any hobby or interest they might have. I remember by brother was obsessed with football when we were kids and that was a bit obnoxious - but it was the way he got irritated if anything interrupted him, not the fact he liked football.

Anyway, even as a gaming household we do a fair amount of family things too (board games, laser tag, go to the beach, watch a movie together, cook, etc.) and sometimes we all play a game together - but not often. Almost all our meals bar breakfast are taken together at the table and we connect a lot then. We have a no screen time for the kids after 8 rule so that they are more likely to be able to sleep (but they’re only 10yrs old, that will change at some point) and in the holidays we insist of heading out to do something at least every other day - this normally gets lots of moaning until we’re out and then they enjoy themselves.

ScotsinOz · 30/12/2019 05:01

We live in Australia and it’s been over 40 degrees Celsius on and off for weeks, with the added smog in the air from bushfires raging all up the east coast, so we’ve been trapped inside a lot more than usual (and it’s the children’s 9 week summer holidays).

Normally we swim in pool, go in spa, do bike rides/scooter/walks along lake or beach and play at park, baking, board games (monopoly, trouble, Pictionary, hungry hippos, scrabble - basically every board game ever invented, we own pretty much everything), game of cards or dominoes, any Children’s University work that needs doing, children must read min 30 mins a day (I get a quiet cup of tea during this time), puzzles. As it’s been so hot we’ve been going beach swimming late evening and then walking in the water (air us still bad though).

We like getting out so do activities like trampoline parks, high ropes courses, mini golf, bowling, going to the movies, lunch or dinner out. If my husband’s at work the children like meeting him for a “business” lunch and they basically boss him around for an hour or so! They also do school work books in the holidays as they get bored if there is no structure. My daughter is really into baths with bath bombs at the moment too.

We have 3 games consoles (2 prior to children, PS4 since then), but they are really used. If they do want to play video games it’s in my old Wii and they play the sport ones and use the Wii fit. My children are nou/girl 9 year old twins, so probably easier to stop on electronics than a teenager.

ScotsinOz · 30/12/2019 05:03

*boy/girl twins!

Pipandmum · 30/12/2019 05:08

My kids are teens. In the last ten days we've been skating three times, to see Disney on Ice, the Nutcracker Ballet, to the mall twice, and the cinema as a family and out for a couple meals, weeded the garden and emptied out the pots (had to pay my son to help me do this) plus of course had guests around Christmas day. The skating was cheap but the shows were expensive, but there are way cheaper alternatives. But it involves you (or partner) joining in. I didn't just shove my kids out the door, I did the activities with them. And your partner needs to lead by example - your kids aren't going to stop staring at their screens unless he does

happycamper11 · 30/12/2019 05:28

DC are at their dads this week so will have almost certainly be glued to screens but judging by my Facebook memories this week historically we have been horse riding, sledging (has to travel, we never get snow here) walks on the beach, walks in the country, visit friends, cinema. We have a historic Scotland card so next week we will go and visit some sites

Sofast · 31/12/2019 08:18

@allyg1185 I got called it by the leader of the art type class I took my 4yo to when she was a baby. I love glitter and mess and doing things with the kids, baking, crafts, general messy play

I have friends who wont have glitter and play dough in their houses but bring their kids to mine for messy fun and I love it

speakout · 31/12/2019 08:22

A big problem here is your OH.

He is setting an example.
If he ditched the screen and initiated aternative activities your children will follow.

I wouldn't live with a man who was so into gaming.

imip · 31/12/2019 08:34

My Mum was addicted to games (yes,pong!) so it put me right of it in the 80s.

You could do something similar but different to wean them off? Go to cinema and then lunch? Go ice skating and then linch. Plan it out so they know it is coming up. Do it every second day, give them a day on between. We regulate screen time here to 2-3 hours a day in the evenings. I have to really plan s the days, but they are used to it and look for other things to do. I have 2 dc with ASD and 2 NT, it can be quite hard to occupy them. But they key has been the routine of screen time.

Obviously your DH is a factor here. So, it’s why I suggest weaning off slowly.

PanicAndRun · 31/12/2019 09:34

Play with toys, play boardgames, mess around, go out, cinema, play together on one device or other.

DD will always pick playing or doing something with us over a screen .

TBH a lot of the replies sound like adults that aren't able to entertain themselves,so they have to drag the kids away from whatever they enjoy to keep them company.

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