Monday, August 9, 2010

Question of the Day

This question might ruffle some feathers, but I'm going to go ahead and ask it anyway.

I see a lot of kids these days who are always glued to some sort of electronic device. IPods, PSP's and other heldheld electronics. I've seen children with them in church, at the table in a restaurant, in the cart while their parent is grocery shopping. Each time I see it, I'm just kind of floored. Now, don't get me wrong, once I have children, I'd let them have electronics, but I like to think that I would limit them to a certain time and place. Like the car ride home, for a limited amount of time at home and other situations, but I can't help but think sometimes it's used as a filler to keep kids quiet and out of their parents' hair.

If you are a parent, what is your policy on your kids and electronics? Are there places you think it's inappropriate to allow them to use the electronics? If you don't have children (like myself) what are your views on this subject? What would be your policy with your future children and electronics?


d.a.r. said...

I think they make it very convenient to not have to parent--no need to teach them to be quiet, have manners, etc. Just shove a game in their hands and voila!

I realize that sounds harsh, and I am sure there are occasions where it is totally appropriate to let them play hand held games. And times when it is completely necessary for mama's sanity. But, I think that (like all things) moderation is key. And so is knowing when/where is the appropriate time and place for those type of things. Video games in church? Really bothers me. Video games while waiting for a table at a restaurant? Maybe not so offensive.

Tori and Chad said...

I would never allow a child to play with one at church. Traveling? Of course. Waiting for a restaurant? Borderline.

I think it's disguisting. LOL We went to a BBQ a few weeks ago and one kid sat there and played with his thingie mabopper the entire time. Didn't even eat. Just played.

To me the same thing goes for adults, put your freakin' phones down for church and dinner. I'm lookin' at you, Kim Kardashian!

Kasey said...

My son is still pretty young but he does like video games. However, unless I set boundaries for him, he would play for HOURS without stopping and that is just unacceptable to me. So I let him play with the Wii or computer for about 30 minutes at a time and only if he is being well behaved. But not when we are out or about or anything like that.

I have let him play with my iPhone while we are in waiting rooms. But I can count on one hand how many times I have done that.

But at church?! Completely inappropriate and will never happen with my kids.

[ker-AND-uh] said...

We didn't have video games to play when we were younger. At least not portable ones. And we were limited on how long we could use it. If the weather was nice, we had to be outside. My son is only 6 months old, but he won't be getting a ton of video games when he's older. I think any portable ones would be used for traveling. Definitely not in church. And not even waiting for food at a restaurant. My husband and I believe in talking and getting to know each other as a family. So that's what we'll be doing in place of video games! lol

Emily @ Longley's in San Diego said...

This is a topic that drives me crazy as well! It's not just the kids attached to these things, it's the adults as well. We have no gaming consoles or any hand held gaming stuff in our house because when we did have that stuff my husband was just about zoned out to the world and addicted to it. He misses it sometimes, but he much rather spend all is time outside working on his car. Or just being a NORMAL person ha. So when we have kids it's going to be the same for them.

Julie the Army Wife said...

Well we aren't that into video games here yet. We have a few of the Nintendo ones, a Leap Pad thing and a PSP but they only really use that one for movies. They will go months without using them. Usually they use them at home, in the car and traveling.

I will sometime pull out the ipod for movies if we are going somewhere that might be hard for them to sit sill for long periods.

I don't remember how I felt about this issue before I had kids but now I think there is a time and place for them.

Natalia said...

An Ipod for planes and long car rides but our house is video game free, they can have Nintendo, the ORIGINAL, just like I had! :-) Possibly some computer games...But we prefer board games, word games, puzzles, reading, some movies, lots of sports and having real conversations!

The Longs in Italy.... said...

I get fired up sometimes with this topic!

I think people need to make their kids GET OUT and play. Using their imaginations without video games! We did not have all that back then! And if your kid does play limit their time and place. Church-heck no, the table-heck no but in the car-ok!
My brother-in-laws kids are 4 and 5 and have their own DS's and it drives me crazy. Kids that young do not need to be playing video games.
And don't get me started on adults that play hours and hours!

Adrienne said...

I do not have children but I am in complete agreement with you. I would definitely limit the amount of time on the electronic device and all of that! I think it is ridiculous how some parents are doing things now-a-days but whatever works for them I guess?????

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

I agree with you that there has to be a limit to electronic interaction.

I feel like I need to decrease my consumption so that when I have kids I'm not acting like a hypocrit telling them they can't have their toys while I'm on my iPhones.

Linda said...

Guess I'm mostly in the minority here.

I will say that there IS a time and a place for the use of these games. I've seen a lot of "kids need to get out and play" comments. Let me tell you, my kids are ALWAYS outside! Unless I keep them in, and let's face it, when the temperature in the south reaches over 100° and you have that 110° heat index, I'd be a more neglectful parent by forcing my kid outside than letting them stay inside and play a game.

I DO use it as a babysitter sometimes, I admit it. I've worked to teach my kids manners, but my son has some limitations with control (volume control, personal space, etc) that are not "fixed" by good parenting - he was deprived of oxygen during birth and this is what he is. When I have had a piano lesson and he was home, I let him play his video game.

When we are on long trips, we let the kids play, along with watching a movie.

You can't get on someone about a video game if you're using the TV to babysit your child...just sayin'. For my son, playing games has helped his eye-hand coordination, and his attention span has increased. This, to me, will outweigh any of the comments I'll get back.

lala [mrs. new guy] said...

oh, in my head i think to myself that MY children will only want to read books. the TV will bore them, they'll only want organic vegetables for snacks, they'll beg me to play outdoors and to learn about rocks and animals, and they will wonder at all the strange hobbies like computer games and website design their friends have.

maybe i'm not the best person to ask.

Mel said...

I don't have kids - but I am the oldest of five and in my house the rule was that it was put away at dinner time (whether at home or in public.) Same went for church and various other places where those things were simply not allowed. The most important was dinner though, because it was rare to get quality family time so when we did your attention better damn well be on it.

Plus...what do kids really NEED with those things anyway. Nothing.
(Another thought - they shouldn't have them at all - cell phones at least - until they can pay for it themselves.)

April's Flowers said...

Kids today are growing up surrounded by amazing and fun technology - I say let's embrace it. But I think there is a time and place for video games and ipods for kids. Like traveling long distances for example....

And come on people, PLEASE keep the psp out of the church house for crying out loud. Talk about disrespectful. :/

Amanda said...

It drives me crazy when I see my SIL's son play his DS in church or at dinner in a restaurant. I think these electronics have a place and a time, but they also need to be put away at some point.

Sarah Ann said...

I'm honestly afraid to see how bad things will have gotten by the time I have kids and they're old enough to need distractions (or want them for that matter). I got a cell phone when I was 15. I'd say that's pretty reasonable for when I was a teenager. My kids? I have to admit, maybe a little younger just because I'd feel more comfortable knowing how they were and what they were doing. But 7 year olds? Please. That's just poor parenting.

family of 4 on the move! said...

My kids have all the devices I am sure that are even out there! I love my psp simply because it is small and comes in handy when sitting in the doctors office and my youngest is bored..she can watch a movie or play a game.
We do NOT allow them at the dinner table at all! We don't allow them out when they should be socializing and as odd as it probably sounds we do not allow them to bring them while traveling here in Europe. There are so many beautiful sights that they will only be able to see here in Europe so I want their full attention on the surroundings while driving here and not a game!
The only device I will allow on vacay or trips is the ebook reader! Sometimes sitting in a foreign hotel it is nice to read a book and unwind from the day.
Waiting room..YES!

Mom in High Heels said...

HUGE pet peeve of mine. HUGE. I Hate electronic games when they are used just so parents don't have to interact with their kids. Grrrr. Indy has a Wii that he is allowed to play with only on Sat and Sun (and only for a limited amount of time. He has no hand held games. He does have an iPod shuffle, but he only listens to it while he's playing in his room and occasionally on long trips.
I would never (ever, EVER) allow his to play a hand held or listen to his iPod at the table or at a restaurant. He's expected to engage in conversation or draw/color if it's provided. Even if we're going to an appointment he is allowed to bring a small toy or book but nothing electronic. He's gotten very good at entertaining himself because he has to. He can't rely on electronics for entertainment.

♥ Annie ♥ said...

Children with cell phones blow my mind. I'm talking children under 10! I'm afraid that if and when I have children I think I'm going to have an issue with the overuse of electronics. When I went to my hubby's deployment ceremony there was a little boy playing with his nintendo ds with the volume on during the national anthem. I believe there is an appropriate time and place, and children do not need every electronic out there. I think children nowadays are given far too many luxuries without actually having to earn them so they never learn to appreciate what they have, rather they expect it.

Dana said...

My son has a Leap Frog Blackberry and absolutely adores it. He's allowed to have it in the car - but not if he's been misbehaving - and when he's at home playing, or when I'm dragging him all over Post to run errands. He understands that the Blackberry does not belong at the dinner table, but I will give it to him while he's waiting or when he's finished eating. I figure, he gets so much playtime at home with me and on the football field on Post, if he likes the BB too, it's fine. But he does understand why Mommy "trades" him with snacks or coloring for the BB. There's a line, easily crossed. But I will say that playing with that BB has strengthened his knowledge of the ABC's!

Amie said...

Our kids all have a DSi, that pretty much stays in the car. They play it while traveling, or waiting for one of the other kids to get done with (insert whatever practice here).

Sometimes we do let them take them into restaurants, just really depends on how busy it is and how long we think the wait will be.

However, my kids know that once our food arrives the games get put away, we don't have a fight from them because we are strict on playing times.

indiana.girl said...

I've thought about this a lot. I think any kind of electronic device before five years old is just wrong. Even if our future kids are given something like a LeapFrog, I'm throwing it away. I want them to learn hands on, with actual stuff, not images on a screen. I want my children's imagination and attention span to have a chance to develop, you know? After that age, one hour of computer/gaming time a day. No cell phones until they are at least twelve or thirteen and then it's one of those that let me know who they call and when.

(I told you I thought about this a lot! :)

The Mrs. said...

Mine played with his DS today while we waited for the dr's. I should add that we were in the waiting room for 45 mins. And I will also admit that I have let him play it in grocery stores sometimes but thats only because sometimes I need some peace and quiet. I wish I didn't use it as a distraction sometime but I do.

There are certain places off limits, church is the first and foremost one that comes to mind, but honestly, in the grand scheme of childrearing, DS playing during time in a waiting room is low on my list.

But this has made me think of a blog post so thank you : )

Dana said...

It's simple -- monitor and moderate .. . . except, of course, for 24 hour transatlantic travel journeys. In those cases, let the kids stay glued to any and all screens for as long as possible.