I want a screen-free childhood for my kids!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-08-2010, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
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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.

Not fun.

What do you think?

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#2 of 5 Old 04-08-2010, 11:18 PM
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How long as it been in your family? My brothers got a nintendo 64 one christmas. It was a huge deal and everyone was obsessed but after a few weeks it was forgotten. If its been around more then a few weeks then that's a little bit tougher. Maybe set very strick limits and don't waver. I'm sorry. Thats a tough one.

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#3 of 5 Old 04-29-2010, 02:36 AM
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hmm.... that's a real tough one. It was a Christmas present. You may just have to live with the consequences of that and perhaps limit it much more strictly than you have. I would be very tempted to just do away with it and say "sorry, this is NOT working" But that could have consequences for your relationship with them. I don't know how i would have reacted or felt if my parents took away a present they gave me...

I think you CAN keep your younger ones from using it though. It wasn't bought for them..

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#4 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 07:34 PM
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It'd be a real shame if it accidentally got broken, something got spilled on it, or it got dropped

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#5 of 5 Old 05-09-2010, 07:52 PM
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I think it's perfectly ok as a parent to conclude that you made a mistake, and to rectify that mistake. You can limit it to certain hours or certain days. If that doesn't work, and you imply that it doesn't, you can take it away. You are the parent, this is your call.
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