Anyone else NOT allowing video games? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-18-2006, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am only pregnant with my first, but DH and I have already decided we are NOT allowing video games, handheld or otherwise, including the "educational" ones. I was reading the paper the other day and it made me physically ILL to read about people standing in line for DAYS waiting for that new playstation 3 with some kids playing handhelds while they wait! Nope, not my kids....some friends at work even play and for HOURS one end!:
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:39 PM
 
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Well, we are probably 95% antivideo game.

Since relatives have bought some over the years, we do have them in the house, but they are very rarely played with.

The only times they come out are road trips & if someone is sick and really cant do anything else but is bored.
I think they are really useful for times like those.

We try to not totally ban anything, moderation is totally the key here.
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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I think this is a bad idea.

Video games in moderation have been shown multiple times to be good for development.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/2943280.stm

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/...?from=storyrhs

http://madisonian.net/archives/2005/...-good-for-you/
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:48 PM
 
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Here's a quote from a blog I found interesting...

Quote:
“Imagine an alternate world identical to ours save one techno-historical change: videogames were invented and popularized before books. In this parallel universe, kids have been playing games for centuries—and then these page-bound texts come along and suddenly they’re all the rage. What would the teachers, and the parents, and the cultural authorities have to say about this frenzy of reading? I suspect it would sound something like this:

Reading books chronically under-stimulates the senses. Unlike the longstanding tradition of gameplaying—which engages the child in a vivid, three-dimensional world filled with moving images and musical soundscapes, navigated and controlled with complex muscular movements—books are simply a barren string of words on the page. Only a small portion of the brain devoted to processing written language is activated during reading, while games engage the full range of the sensory and motor cortices.

Books are also tragically isolating. While games have for many years engaged the young in complex social relationships with their peers, building and exploring worlds together, books force the child to sequester him or herself in a quiet space, shut off from interaction with other children. These new ‘libraries’ that have arisen in recent years to facilitate reading activities are a frightening sight: dozens of young children, normally so vivacious and socially interactive, sitting alone in cubicles, reading silently, oblivious to their peers.

Many children enjoy reading books, of course, and no doubt some of the flights of fancy conveyed by reading have their escapist merits. But for a sizable percentage of the population, books are downright discriminatory. The reading craze of recent years cruelly taunts the 10 million Americans who suffer from dyslexia—a condition didn’t even exist as a condition until printed text came along to stigmatize its sufferers.

But perhaps the most dangerous property of these books is the fact that they follow a fixed linear path. You can’t control their narratives in any fashion—you simply sit back and have the story dictated to you. For those of us raised on interactive narratives, this property may seem astonishing. Why would anyone want to embark on an adventure utterly choreographed by another person? But today’s generation embarks on such adventures millions of times a day. This risks instilling a general passivity in our children, making them feel as though they’re powerless to change their circumstances. Reading is not an active, participatory process; it’s a submissive one. The book readers of the younger generation are learning to ‘follow the plot’ instead of learning to lead.”
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Old 11-18-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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i have a ways to go because ds is only 10 months, but i've been thinking about this lately.

i like the idea of limited time. i'm wondering how i can have it in the house and it not be a total struggle to keep it limited if he likes it a lot. if he likes it and it's there then he'll want to play it. and i don't want to be constantly fighting over game time. but i don't like the idea of a total ban, either. i dunno. i guess i'll cross that bridge when it comes.

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Old 11-18-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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I have a 7 year old son and we do not permit him to have a video game system or handheld. He is allowed to play games on the computer (although he rarely does so) and he can play videogames at friends' houses. I don't think video games are entirely evil, but I hate seeing kids glued to their Gameboys, waiting in line to buy PS2, etc. Families I know that have these things spend a lot of time arguing about the limits, etc., and although most parents start off with pretty strict limits they seem to give in over time. I try to keep in mind what I would like my family to look like when my kids are teenagers, and it doesn't involve my son in another room playing video games. I am really not strict about most things- my son can read whatever he wants, play on the computer as much as he wants (which is once or twice a week at most) and sometimes watches TV and movies that other parents would balk at. I am also trying to keep video games from being too alluring by not imposing rules on whether he plays when he is at friends' houses. Anyway, parenting is a work in progress, and maybe I'll change my opinion on this over time, but for now this works for us.
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Old 11-18-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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I love video games. : I own 5 systems that I have collected over the years and 2 handhelds. Now I don't spend all day gaming, no one in our family does, but we play games more than we watch tv. A lot of games we play are something we do as a family. It is fun to take turns solving puzzles and working together to get something done. We do not have any games that are not family friendly. I grew up on them and love them.

DD is pretty much free to play a video game when she would like. We do make sure that household activities are taken care of first. She plays maybe 2 or 3 hours a week, broken up into 2-4 sittings. I don't find that to be too much at all. Just my opinion.

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Old 11-18-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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We don't allow video games, computer, or TV to our DD who is 4. Various reasons, but primarily behavior problems after she has watch DVDs in the past; we're an outdoor type family and DH & I only watch 1 show / wk; I hate seeing the disconnection of kids, surrounded by other kids or family, when they have video games or IPods as their main focus, even in public places; and her school does not allow it. This may change as she gets older, but for now, it works for us. People are _shocked_ though when they will ask her about Dora or some other commercialized character, and she doesn't know who they are. We have a very full life however with lots of family time, outdoor activities, art projects, friends, etc, and all without the distraction and overstimulation of TV. You'll find the "right" amount for your family, and whatever decision you make, it will be the perfect one for you and your family!
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:28 AM
 
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As I was growing up, we were not allowed a video game system until we turned teenagers, and then we had to have everything done before we could play it.

I really don't thing we will have any type of video game systems in our house, DH borrows my brother's from time to time....

BUT...if you do have them, I think you should monitor your child's time on them. My brother got addicted one summer, literally and spent the entire summer laying on his belly on his bed playing video games, and then depression set in... because he was so addicted to the video games...Though my brother was old enough to realize his problem and went cold turkey...but boy they can be addicting.

I think you should do whatever you think is right for your family.
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:33 AM
 
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My kids like to play the games on nickjr.com when we are at my parents house...but otherwise we don't do video games yet.

I figure at some point when they are older, they may ask, and we may look into it...but it would be very limited. I can't stand the way some kids veg out in front of them. It just makes me sad
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:03 AM
 
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I'm very anti-video game. However, DB is practically addicted to them. We will have to find a middle ground. Our son certainly won't be playing anything age-innapropriate, especially the violent games. I can't stand the dazed, detached look people get on their faces when they're playing.

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Old 11-19-2006, 02:46 AM
 
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Well, that would be impossible in our household because DH is a game geek.

Both DH and DS love their video games. But - we do monitor DS's usage. We dont allow him to play any video games during the week, only on weekends. And that works for us.

I myself don't play video games at all, but I can sit in front of my computer for HOURS on on end...
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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I think they are really, really bad for young kids. They have really affected my nephew's social development. When out-of-town cousins come to visit, he'd rather be sitting in front of the screen.

That said, I did have an Atari when I was about 11-12 and enjoyed it. If one of our kids really wanted a video system at that age, I'd consider it with some strict limits. I think there's a huge difference between a 12 year old playing games and a 4 year old doing it.
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:36 PM
 
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but it's not because I think they are time wasters or anything it's just they are too expensive! I saw an ad for a game that was $79.99!?! Wow! That's like a week worth of groceries for us and we're a family of 6 that could economize more than we do!

*We had an Atari when I was young and I remember it was fun! My brother played with it more than I did.

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Old 11-19-2006, 04:10 PM
 
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I'm not really "anti-video game"... I just think that in a lot of cases, people abuse them. My oldest son discovered a pac-man game at school and really liked it, so we borrowed it and copied it to our hard drive. Every couple of weeks he'll play it for maybe 15 or 20 minutes. After that, he's bored and wants to do something else. I have seen cases when children much younger than my son (who is 7) are playing more than an hour a day of various games on elaborate systems that are sadly housed in their BEDROOMS, which I think is a little wrong. I think that video games, as long as they aren't violent, and television as well, are not inherently dangerous or harmful, it is WHEN THEY BEGIN TO TAKE TIME AWAY FROM HEALTHIER ACTIVITIES (such as reading, playing outside, doing artsy stuff....etc...), that they begin to pose a threat to child development. It's like junk food... a cookie isn't going to poison a child, in most cases, in my opinion, but when a child is eating cookies before supper, and then not being hungry for nutritious food, it can be a danger.

I guess I just think it's all about balance. And what's right for my family may not be right for all. Also, as a past poster mentioned, video games are crazy expensive in many cases. You won't catch me paying a thousand bucks for a PS3 on ebay.... better things to do with that kind of cash!
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:02 PM
 
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I think of them as pretty similar to television. We have too many OTHER things we want to do and want our kids to be doing, so we watch very little TV/ videos and play virtually no computer games- my 6-year-old some gets at most 2 hours of each a month, I'd say. Also, if it were REALLY important to him to watch a particular program or play a particular game, we'd probably let him (assuming it didn't completely go against our values).

And I think that stating "my kids will never have that!" before even having a child is a bit, um, optimistic.
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:03 PM
 
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I was not allowed to have video games as a child and I can't stand to play as an adult, I don't get why they are so interesting, I'd rather read a book. DH played lots of games before we got together, his ex got all the equipment, andI managed to talk him out of getting more. I think everything in moderation is ok, but I can think of better uses for my time. That being said, DH has bought dd1 a couple of little computer games that she'll play a couple times a month. I try to really limit those.

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Old 11-19-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntLavender View Post
but it's not because I think they are time wasters or anything it's just they are too expensive! I saw an ad for a game that was $79.99!?!
Yeah, this is my strongest sentiment about video games. That, and I am alarmed when I hear of grown men (and women) neglecting their families to play games. Sounds like they can be as addictive as crack for some people. I don't think it is a good idea to introduce them to my dc.

That is an easy decision for us, of course, because neither of us play them--and we couldn't afford to begin!

Dd does have a bunch of hand-me-down computer games (freddy fish, and the like). She might play them once or twice a month. She just isn't that interested.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:17 AM
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My FIL is donating his PS2 to the kids and I'm fine with it. I won't pay for it, but I'm not going to tell the kids no. I think they are great entertainment and good for development (the right games). Will they sit there all day...no, will it replace other healthy activities...no, it will be a means of suplimental entertainment for them (and most likely dh). The girls have game boys and play with them off and on. They don't really like to sit there for hours playing. Usually they play them when they have a friend over and even then it's only for a short spell. I'm not worried about games at all. We are a healthy active family and having video games in the house won't change that. I know there are kids who go over board with the games, but as parents we can control that.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:20 AM
 
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Our family definitely has issues with video games. I really don't like seeing kids glued to their GameBoys while there are other people around them. It seems rude to me. Our daughter has played a few education games at the library (she hasn't figured out that she can do this at home yet!), but I don't like how she acts after playing for a while. She just seems overstimulated to me and slightly obsessive about it.

I've also done some reading on brain development and technology; I have concerns...mostly I'm concerned about children interacting with technology and not so much with people around them or their environment. It's a bit sad that there are children who have never walked in the woods or played in a stream...they learn about these things through the intermediary medium of the computer.

Now, having said all this, I don't think all techno stuff is evil. I think balance is important in everything and that each child AND each family has its own set of circumstances. I've just stated some of ours!

Just stick to you gut, and you'll find what works best for you! Good luck.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:24 AM
 
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OK when DH moved in (before we were married) I told him no video games, not enough money and I wanted us to spend quality time together (that was 13 years ago and there has been no purchase so far). I have not thought about it for DD. She is 3, and I guess there is stuff out there aimed at her age level. We live in Japan so obvioulsy the gaming industry is HUGE here. I see kids at the local park all taking turns on a gameboy....

I won`t say a total ban for DD, but then again I don`t know where the money would come from... the systems are expensive and even though you can rent the software for the games here it still seems expensive.

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Old 11-20-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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We have 2 DSs, ages 4 and almost 3 and there are no plans at all for them to get any kind of game system. I can't say we'll never have one but I too am concerned about many aspects of them. I do allow them to use educational software on the computer. So far, it's only been Starfall.com for my older DS and only about a 1/2 hour per week if that. I'd much rather they build with their blocks, play with their wooden train set, put on a puppet show, etc.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:09 PM
 
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I think they're fine for older kids. I can't really get into them but I may be too old Or maybe not, as my husband is older and he likes them.

As for isolating-I used to do the same thing with books and I still would if I could get away with it. I see that as a parenting issue. Why can't the parent or other authority figure step in?
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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We don't have video games right now, but I do think balance is important. Equally important is recognizing that even though you guys are taking a hard stance now, you don't have children yet, which is when it is easy to take a hard stance.

All kids are different and all video games/computer games are different and things might look differently to you when you have a school-aged child. Just a thought...

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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Old 11-20-2006, 06:13 PM
 
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We actually have a playstation here : , my DH was in law school and when he was growing up his parents never let him have a video game system. So, he just hung out with his cousin and played his Atari all the time. Anyhow...he wanted the playstation when he was in law school. So we have that, and maybe 20 games I got cheaply/used. It was fun for occasional use. We still do play it a couple times every other month or so. He likes playing the racing games in particular....I like Crash Bandicoot .

We're not gaming sort of people though, more reading sort . I think that in moderation it's fine.

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Old 11-22-2006, 02:09 PM
 
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I have a Nintendo 64 system that my aunt gave us last year. It has family friendly games only. I don't see the need to buy anything more sophisticated. I have bought a few games off ebay and extra controllers, too. We play it about once a week if that. My kids like to play it on Saturday mornings so we can sleep in. There is no educational value in it but since it's not an obession or addiction in our house, there's no harm in it.

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Old 11-23-2006, 02:54 AM
 
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I wouldn't even let DH have one for years. : My ex-bf, who I was with for nearly 3 years, was seriously addicted to computer games, so I have "issues." DH finally bought himself a PSP earlier this year, but very rarely plays it when we're home together. I can't imagine letting dd have/play video games ... until she's a teenager, then only MAYBE. Then again, I'm of the "no TV in anybody's bedroom" mindset, too. I just think that it's creepy how much time people spend playing video games ...

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Old 11-25-2006, 10:44 PM
 
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Well turnipmama, if you and dh have decided together against videogames, then it shouldn't be a problem. You just don't buy them, and that's it! Although, when your child gets older, you might have to accept the fact that she might play at a friend's house.
My son is 6 and I recently started begrudgingly letting him play The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker for an hour and a half on Saturday nights. I would never have bought him a set, it's just that DH already had the set and the game, and has played them in front of ds before, so I felt it would be unfair and cruel to completely forbid my son from playing. So, my hour and a half concession is in response to the fact that my dh was not on the same page from the beginning. However, I don't think it's good at all for kids this young. My son tries to negotiate the limits, keeps thinking about the game long after it's been turned off, etc. And for a while after playing, his imaginative play revolves around whacking monsters.
If you never have one in the house, she really won't know what she's missing. And for some reason girls don't seem to be as suceptible as boys.
And, when she gets to be 13 or so , you may revisit the subject and maybe you'll reconsider. Or maybe not. Either way is fine.
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Old 11-25-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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I'm pretty anti-video games. I talked my mom out of buying a V-Smile for my 5 year old. But, she is getting a plug and play game for Christmas. That is ok, I can easily take it away if she becomes obssessed with it. Dh has a gamecube that hasn't been played in several months. We're more of a reading family.

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Old 11-28-2006, 02:38 AM
 
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No video games here. I argue with my mom about this all the time. She bought the Vtech video game with some games (even though I asked her not to : ) and it just sits there. She's already talking about getting the boys handheld games for the car. I have told her no many times. She keeps bringing it up. I finally told her she could buy it as long as she gives me the reciept so I can return it.
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