I'm constantly at odds with my 5 yr old son daily about the t.v. and the computer and recently he's increasingly verbal about wanting a video gaming system for his birthday. I don't like any of these, especially for use on a daily basis. I know I'm being hypocritical about the computer as obviously I'm using it now but I do use it sparingly and I think make good use of the time I spend with it. I am really against video games of any kind, even non violent, educational types, for children. I don't want to get on my soap box about my opinions about these things but I would love ideas about how to handle this with my son. I admit I am so tempted to go dictator and ban him from it all. I'm afraid that will have the forbidden fruit effect. I want to give him some freedom to make the right choices with them because that seems more practical to me, I can't hide him away from a society that has to have internet connections on their cell phones and apps to get the weather or leave a tip.
The problem is, he is addicted, alraedy, it is sad and worrisome. The second he comes through the front door he turns on the tv or asks to use the computer.I will give him a time limit on the computer but he wont get off. It's all he wants to do, it IS all he talks about tv shows and computer games. It is what he acts out in his play. I don't know how to or if I should give some choices with him being so hooked. The other thing is he's an only child and I'm sure if he had siblings to play with he wouldn't be quite so quick to turn the to screen for entertainment but there isn't anything I can do about that. I'm not even sure how to talk to him about this. He asked me the other day why I hate television. Sigh. I told him I don't hate it, but they show a lot of things like fighting that are against my values and it's mainly used to sell people things that they don't need. I kind of lied to him, while I don't hate it, I did sugarcoat my feelings a bit.
Do I forbid it? Do I lighten up? Do I give him more choices? I just don't know. Any thoughts or advice?