my son just got an ipod touch from a family member as an early xmas gift. Before that, our big xmas gift was going to be a wii with a couple of games. Now I'm looking at having to manage not one but TWO new game systems at once and i'm feeling overwhelmed.
We homeschool, mostly unschool, so I need help setting fair limits on the itouch without stepping all over his need to feel powerful and in charge of his new toy. Right now our coop classes have ended and we have very little on our official schedule so there's a lot of time available for touching his itouch. I have talked to him and expressed my concerns and said the following:
I would like him to be in the same room as me when he's using it -- he had some games on there that were for 12+, all of which were games where you hack the people you meet to bits. No blood, but still. enough already. I emailed him some different games and deleted the more gruesome ones, much to his displeasure. Not very respectful, more of a knee jerk reaction on my account, but what's done is done. I'm just not ready to lost my boy to a screen all the time and I figure if he's present in the room while he's gaming, he's still absorbing the environment and is still more a part of the family than he is when holed up in his room gaming.
Also, since it has internet access, I have concerns about where some of those clicks might lead. Doesn't seem to take many clicks these days to end up at some unsavory stuff not too 10 year old friendly.
I would like to limit his time on it to 1 hour per day. We have always limited "screen time" (dvds or computer games) to 1 hour. They would often go over, but I felt that if we bumped it up to 2 hours, we'd end up on there for 3 ya know? I would just rather be making an exception than have them plugged into a screen for 2 hours a day, which is 14 hours a week. Seems like a lot of time.
I offered for him to put an app on there that you set the timer and it tells you when your time is up and the parent has to enter a passcode to stop the alarm from ringing. Seems draconian, obnoxious and a whole host of other things that aren't my style, but frankly I'm tired of being naggy mommy and would like something like that to make it easier. He feels violated, that that limits him (ha!) and is adamantly opposed to it. So now what?
Have any of you grappled with this issue? How did you resolve it? Frankly I don't want him to have the darn thing, and I feel that the things I'm asking for are reasonable. How do I make myself comfortable with this, but also honor his need for autonomy and acknowledge that he's growing up?
Thanks for any advice.