video games/computers

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shefrn1's picture
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video games/computers

so here's a question (thanks rox for reminding me Wink )

how long do you let your lil's play video games/computers?????

mine ask to play ALL DAY LONG especially tyler..from the time he wakes at 5am it's either 'can i play with your book reader...can i play on your phone...can i play wii' and usually i fight about it it 'no tyler maybe later...no tyler maybe later' because he's addictied...and then it becomes a power struggle between the 2 of us because i said 'no' he will not get to play it just by whining and crying kwim

well today since he was up all night and i was tired i kind of just went along with them and let them do what they wanted...lyssa played on the computer for a while while tyler played on my nook and i got to clean the entire kitchen and do some wash...then tyler played on the computer while i read some books to alyssa then alyssa played on the computer while i did some puzzles with tyler.......

omg it was an almost fight free day....it's kind of making me think that i should have just been doing this from the beginning but then again i don't want them addicted to the computer and what not but i think it is inevitable

any thoughts on the subject!!!!!

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I limit screen time, any kind of screen time. Now, I am lax when they (or I) am sick. We watch movies between books etc when we are sick. But otherwise, they get one show each in the morning (so 40 minutes) and the same in the afternoon. We have Friday night movie night, where we watch one child movie and Saturday mornings I allow them to watch until 9:30, so how much varies by how early I have to get up Smile I am usually up by 8. I occasionally allow Alicia to play a game on Fisherprice.com, but otherwise they don't play computer games. We have a Wii, but we only really use it when my DSDs are around. Alicia is wicked good at the balance games, lol. I know DH allows DJ to play with his cell phone sometimes, but its generally not allowed and neither of us have any apps for kids.
Nicole

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i'm very lax.......i don't care.......if they are having fun with the wii or coloring on the ipad.......why would i stop it?? they lose interest long before it becomes an issue.......my tv is on all.day.long ........it was like this with sarah and max.......and they are ok....

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What works for us is this: the boys are allowed to play at 5 o'clock every day when I'm fixing dinner (assuming we're home). They need each other for the latest Wii games, and Max starts school at 8:00 a.m., so mornings are out. Also, I have the after-school-care kids, so they don't play when they are over. On weekends it is more of a free-for-all: Wii during the day and movies in the evenings, barring outings or visitors (they don't play when extended family is over).

But Theo is a real nut after playing, I don't know if it is pent up energy or what, and getting him to stop is a horrible battle...so I find it useful to use whether or not he can have Wii time as something he needs to earn, it helps motivate him with his self-control. Anna also has to be able to have a turn, which can also be a battle...But Theo and Anna have learned to play imagination games all morning together without relying on movies or video games, which is really really nice. For now. These matters tend to be fluid, lol.

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I do try to limit screen time to a point, but I'm not overly zealous about it, some days we watch TV and play on the computer and some we don't, so I figure it evens out. Most mornings I let them watch a show when they wake up while I have a cup of coffee and wake up (I'm not a morning person). Then, during the day we have the TV off. After nap time Nicholas will sometimes ask to use his Explorer or play a game on the computer so I let him for a bit, but he's over it within about 15-20 minutes and off and running again. They also usually get to watch a show while I make dinner, by the end of the day William is usually pretty grumpy and that keeps him from having a meltdown trying to share toys or play a game. If we are at the doctor's office or stuck waiting somewhere I'll let them play with my phone for a bit, but they don't usually ask a whole lot and we have a Wii, but again, they don't really ask to play it so I don't suggest it. There are some days when we're home all day that we'll have the TV on more and watch movies and things like that, but my kids have never been big TV watchers, which is why I think I'm pretty lax on it.

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My kids really haven't gotten into games yet either. We do have a computer for the kids (an old laptop), but it rarely comes out. Pax likes to play Starfall and they'll use Kidzui on occasion, but I'd say less than once a week. It helps that the computer is old, slow and frustrating! lol They've never played Wii or Kinect without us, we'll do it as a family maybe once a month. Sometimes when we're out and about I'll let them use my phone. They aren't allowed near DH's phone or any of our Macs or the iPad (although DH will occasionally play games on the iPad with Pax).

We've really limited TV lately too. A friend of mine who's a former teacher and now a school counselor was explaining to me that TV in the morning is really bad for behavior. I can't remember her exact explanation, but basically she said that it sets up their brains for the day in a way that makes it difficult to concentrate and make good choices. Before this, Pax and Tia used to watch Sesame Street every morning while I checked in online and they ate, but since we quit that I've seen a tremendous difference in Pax's behavior. He really is able to focus better and is MUCH less hyper when we skip TV in the mornings. We do still watch a movie in the afternoon fairly often (because my pregnant self hits a wall!), but long-term we do better on the days they watch nothing. A quick show used to be part of our bedtime routine too, but we've since cut that out as well in favor of more reading.

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Colby has about zero concentration still for most things, except things he shouldn't be doing. We don't have a wii or Xbox or whatever, but he will play on the iPad and phone. But just like with anything else he'll play with it for 10 minutes or so and be done, move on to something else. I'm the opposite, I'm asking him if he'd like to sit a for a while and play on the iPad, and he's telling me no, he'd rather push a box around lol! I really think it depends on the kid....if they seem to be acting withdrawn and all that because of games, that's one thing, but if they are still themselves I wouldn't worry so much.

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I read an interview with Mo Willems, the author of the Pigeon books (and Knufflebunny) and he was talking about how our kids are the first generation to really grow up with constant technology and the way he looked at it was that if the kids were actually doing something interactive with the technology, then he didn't have a problem with it. I was the passive technology that he had a problem with.

That made total sense to me.

Unfortunately Miles is much more live than I would like (he likes to watch other people play video games) so we don't do much video gaming. He loves to look at toys on my iPad and is getting remarkably good at typing. And he's getting good at letter tracing games (which has translated into writing his name on paper, too - doing on the iPad gave him the confidence boost he needed).

I have a laptop and he can't really get the hang of the track pad so he's never on the imputed, really.

As for TV, I would love to cut it out in the morning, but it's the difference of a peaceful shower or one interrupted by millions of questions, just like the rest of my day. And usually a movie in the afternoon which takes the place of a nap.

I'm about to start a course on TV and the American family so I will let you know what I find out, lol!

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We do use the computer a fair amount, BUT I won't let them hang out on it all day. Basically, Sophie (5 year old) does an online learn to read "game" in the morning after breakfast. She loves it and is usually on there for about an hour. Every 5 new lessons that Sophie completes I will let her earn additional "game time." So, on those days she will play for another hour. Nadia is usually around at the same time watching. Then, most days I will let Nadia play around on Starfall after that for 30 - 45 minutes. Odessa (7 years old) does a computerized flash card set everyday. Nothing fancy though, it's really just flash cards. I do let Odessa have game Fridays. Basically, she can play any sort of online games she wants for a couple hours on Friday afternoons. I guess this is pretty much it for the most part as far as computer time. We don't have anything like a WII. We do have an iPad, but for now mostly just dad uses that. I guess the biggest thing I have found if you want to limit time is to have a set routine and stick to it. My kids know exactly when they can use the computer and when they can't. Before I started game Friday's for Odessa she use to ask everyday if she could use the computer. Now she knows she has a set time and is okay with it... well sometimes she asks, but she seems to know what the answer will be and doesn't push it. Smile As for other screen time. MOst nights they watch a video for an hour or so before bed. They do not watch any kind of tv. Again with the video time, they know it's the same everyday, so they don't even think about it the rest of the day.

Oh, and I will say that when my kids were younger... and there was less of them, I used the tv/dvds a lot more. Now, they have each other to play with, so there is a lot less screen time.

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I was going to add along the lines of what Laurie said...a lot depends on the ages of the kids in your house. My 7 and 5-year olds can play Wii games together where my 3-year-old really isn't very interested. She will play something like Rudolph, where you shake the controls and toss presents from Santa's sleigh, but after a few minutes of that she is done.

And I really do notice that behaviour is better for Theo when he doesn't watch or play anything. This is true for him, whereas I haven't noticed a difference in the other two...A lot must depend on the personality of your kids too.

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I agree, it has to do with personality. Alicia will happily zone out in front of the TV as long as you'll let her, and DJ has recently gotten very demanding about watching...thus we limit them. I am trying do do without morning TV too...but like you Emily, its the difference between a peaceful shower or not, and at this point the shower is still winning. In a couple of months when we have the downstairs shower done, I will hopefully be able to shower without waking DJ...and thus we won't need the TV babysitter anymore!
Nicole

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emily.....sounds like an interesting class...can't wait to hear about it!!!!

thanks for your thoughts everyone

and i forgot to add that what they play on the computer is usually nickjr.com and for the most part are educational type games!!!!

shefrn1's picture
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ph and i have the tv on in the morning too.....agree with the peacful shower although to me it's a peaceful cup o joe before the sun comes up Wink

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Cohen plays Kinect Sports the most. He has a couple other Kinect games he plays, one is a Circus game, one is the Disney game but he plays the sports one the most. We let him play on and off throughout the day probably 2-3 hours total. I think he would play ALL DAY if we let him. I just limit him a bit so he'll do something else - anything else. I don't really mind him playing because he's burning energy, getting a little exercise and it's peaked his interest in actual sports. As far as games on our phones we limit that to educational games and his Leap Frog Explorer is educational. It's whatever you're comfortable with. I just feel like there are plenty of other things Cohen enjoys playing with and he gets so caught up in the game he just forgets about the other stuff. So we make him stop and find something else just to think about something else. He then usually plays with his trains, puts puzzles together, we play a board game or he just reenacts the video game with props. LOL! Smile

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I see so many older kids/tweens who are addicted to devices (nintendo DS's, phones, ipads, etc. ) and won't interact with adults or even other kids, so I am trying to avoid that by not letting them get into it from a young age. The ipad, phones, video games, and computer are a treat that we do a few times a week for maybe an hour tops.

They do watch TV in the mornings, but thankfully I haven't seen any affect on their behavior. We watch Spanish cartoons in the morning usually for 90 minutes, but they actually stop paying attention after the first hour. They may watch another 30 min in the afternoon while my Mom tries to cook if I am still working. Or they may get 30 min in the evening before bed if they're being physically rowdy, just to help them sit down and calm down. But we don't do the afternoon or evening show every day, only as needed.

Once Alanis is in school full days she won't have time for any TV in the morning so I'll probably let her watch 30-60 min once she gets home to relax and that will be it. I intend that to be the rule ongoing for them as they grow older (though Leyla will probably still watch a little bit in the mornings while I make breakfast). We'll see how that works as she becomes busier with school, homework, and activities.

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Tyler LOVES to watch YouTube videos of someone else playing video games - he claps and cheers. He'd watch it all day if I let him, I think. He also really likes NickJr.com and DisneyJr.com - I usually allow him to play those while Lana is taking her afternoon nap. It gives me at least an hour of quiet time to get some work done. We used to have total meltdowns every time I told him he was done - so we took a long break from the computer until it finally got through to him that it was a treat...and if he cried and whined when it was time to turn it off, it wouldn't get turned on to begin with. I am amazed at how easily he gets both using a mouse and the track pad on a laptop!

Other than that, he plays his V-tech Mobigo whenever he feels like it. It's helping him with his letter identification and he likes the variety of games he has.

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"toothy35" wrote:

i'm very lax.......i don't care.......if they are having fun with the wii or coloring on the ipad.......why would i stop it?? they lose interest long before it becomes an issue.......my tv is on all.day.long ........it was like this with sarah and max.......and they are ok....

See mine is on all day long too. We have tons of air traffic due to the air force training and the sounds of jet planes gets quite loud and annoying. The sonic booms are like almost weekly and some weeks they are a daily thing. NOTHING can cover up the sounds of the booms.....they even shake the house sometimes....wow....

I have tons of educational games for the kids and they love to play them....I have sight word games, letters, numbers, coloring, shapes, and a few others. If they are learning it is fine with me. I know where they are, they are staying out of trouble, and they are entertained in a way that is teaching them.

As long as they are playing nicely and happily, they are fine, but if they start fighting or whatever it gets turned off for the rest of the day....

I had the TV on with Zack when he was little too and he turned out fine as well....he just is starting that teenage, I dont give a care and dont want to talk to anyone, attitude.....that is quite lovely let me tell you.....

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I'm pretty lax. But Delaney really only plays the ipad or kindle fire. And usually only for 30 min. tops at a time. Sometimes I wish it was longer Smile She hasn't gotten into the Wii. Sometimes she plays the DS, but she's not very good at it. And we haven't even started on the computer.