We are a no-tv, very limited film (as in 2X a month or so) family and have always been. We've also not given our kids much access to the internet or computers or computer games or handhelds, etc. I was quite happy with all this.
After much thought my dh and I gave our older 2 boys a netbook as a joint birthday present. We thought it would help them enjoy writing more, and also that they would be able to skype with their friends overseas and practice their foreign language (which they spoke fluently while we lived abroad. they are now losing fluency and interest despite a weekly lesson in the language and some cds).
Oh how I wish I hadn't done this. They've had the thing a month now. My oldest is happy to write on it and really is able to take or leave it. My second guy is obsessed. He wants to play games (nice math, lego, 39 clue games but still) all the time. He's horribly sad when he can't. he bargains with me over computer time all the time. (He is practicing piano and doing his chores with much more vavooom now
). Their old friends can't really get to the phone at a reasonable time for us and them because of the time changes.
worst of all #3 and #4 are begging for time on the computer too.
It's all a big pandora's box. They used to read, play, fight and play outside for hours. Now there is this other thing that they are doing and I think it really is interfering with their real lives KWIM.
I do set limits, but it is still a flashpoint for sadness, disappointment, frustration.
What do you think?