So... DSD got a smart phone for x-mas from her mom. This girl is already screen obsessed as at her moms house that's pretty much all she does. Now if she was out doing classes or other activities from home a lot I could see getting her a phone so she could touch base with a parent but that's not the case. She's 8 .
I mean... REALLY? It's not that I'm against using them Sometimes. I let the kids play some Wii or use my itouch to play games and such but it's not just an 'always available thing' I've already banned bringing her DS Nintendo to my house at all because that's all she will do if it's here, is there anyway I can ban this too without just seeming like the bad guy?
Or at least can I get a little love and shared frustration?
Ak Hippie mama Yamia DSD '03 DS '07 DS2 '09 & DS3 '12
Holy crap, thats young for a smart phone. Im assuming mom didnt ask if you and dad wanted her to have it?
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
No totally didn't even mention it in passing . Me and DH are totally united in the 'kids don't get to own their own cell phones until they have jobs' front. :/
Ak Hippie mama Yamia DSD '03 DS '07 DS2 '09 & DS3 '12
I share your basic feelings about kids and technology. That said, all 3 of our older kids have cell phones!
DH gave DSS a super-basic one when he was only 6, for staying in contact with whichever parent he was away from. (Super-high-conflict divorce, Mom lives across the country...) As our kids got older; it became more common for their friends to have cell phones; and DSS's mom upgraded his to include internet, it seemed increasingly unfair that my (older) sons didn't have phones. We started by getting them a basic one, to share, when they entered middle school. By high school, we gave them their own. It really is convenient, to be able to contact them, if a practice is cancelled, or they stay after school for a study session. And AT&T has a very affordable unltd. internet access fee, if you have "dumb" phones - so that's the only kind we have.
Still, I frequently take the kids' phones and put them away for a while, when it seems like they just can't get off of them (or if they go straight from computer to TV to texting). They need to do other things and they need to interact with the people they're with. It irritates them when I take their phones, but they understand why I do it. It's not a punishment, but a redirection. They know when they moderate their own technological behavior (and can spend time and have conversations with their family members, without constant texting or web surfing), no one will moderate their behavior FOR them, by taking their phones. It's a learning process.
Be careful, since the phone is from your DSD's mom. If Mom expects to be able to talk to or text her on it, it might seem hostile for you guys to outright ban the use of it, in your house. (Even though I realize hostility is not your chief objection to it.) If you object to kids using them in your home, you could at least put it in a place where, if she wants to call her mom or check for and return messages, she can.
But I have to say, it is much nicer when divorced parents consult and are considerate of each other, in matters like this, instead of taking advantage of every opportunity to be the "cool" parent, by providing whatever the other parent won't buy!
I think I post something like this after every bday/holiday, lol :) I'm a little nervous to see what new (expensive!) gadget dsd comes back with after Christmas with her mom since we haven't seen her yet.
While it drives me a little crazy to see her dragging her cell phone all around the house with her, she does leave her other gadgets at her mom's (as far as I know) so it hasn't been as much of an issue as I had feared.
I think it is perfectly acceptable to set limits on her use of the phone at your house-i.e. you may answer when your mom calls or call your mom at xyz time, but otherwise the phone needs to be put away in a safe spot.
I don't believe that kids that age need access to all that screen time, especially free range of the internet on their phone!, but I am also concerned about being responsible for a very expensive phone/piece of technology at my house, KWIM? So if it did become an issue, that is probably the angle I would take to avoid coming across as being critical of mom's choices re: technology.
When my step-daughter arrived with an iPod touch and a cell phone at age 8, we put it up on the counter where we charge all the other phones and iPods. We are certainly not a tech-free family-- the adults both have smart phones, we have an iPod, a Kindle, video games, etc, and some of the kids have their own hand-held video games. But screen time is pretty limited and kids need to ask before using the computer, Kindle, iPod, etc, including technology that they "own" like the hand-held video games. It's the way it has always been, so it wasn't a surprise to my step-daughter when the same thing applied to her new technology. Honestly, she doesn't seem to miss it at all when she's here. She hardly ever asked for it-- she almost always got it when she did ask, so it wasn't an issue of her not bothering to ask because we were just going to say no, but the kids also all know when are generally appropriate times for it and when aren't.
One thing that I try to do (and nag my husband about) is that the adults need to watch their screen-time access, too. It's not really fair for us to play a computer games when we are bored or text at the table, then tell kids that it isn't appropriate for them to do the same thing. So, while I tend to check my phone for messages throughout the day or use my smart phone to look at the weather or directions somewhere, I try to model more reading, crossword puzzles, craft projects, cleaning, conversations with others, or inviting others to play a board game or cards.
Ugh. My DS just got an iPad from ex for Christmas! Luckily for us, it was actually a gift that ex purchased for himself under the guise of it being for our 6yo (yes...SIX!) DS, as it stayed at his house which is 16 hours away. So DS will only have access to this "babysitter" 9 weeks a year and he KNOWS not to expect something like that at our house. We have laptops, ipods and an ipad but my DH is a freelance graphic designer and I'm a freelance photographer. DS very, very occasionally uses the iPad at our house and he's used the laptop for school stuff (we HS part-time). I think the frustrating thing for us is the realization that DS's dad only buys these things to use as a babysitter for DS. Come on...you only have a kid for nine weeks out of the year, you live in one of the most beautiful and active states in the country and you can't do something with your kid other than put him in front of technology?? *sigh*