Games on DS or I-pad?

The lure and interest in computer games is increasing in our son (now 8) since my last post on this subject. He now has some older friends with DS’s and has played a few games with his auntie on her i-pad.

While we don’t want to say no outright to his getting a device to play video games on, we do want him to think it through before making his own final decision.

Here’s how our responses have gone.

You can get either a DS or an i-pod with your own saved-up money, but we’ve noticed that people who  have them:

  •  forget to do other things that they enjoy
  • don’t play with their baby sisters
  • don’t actually learn anything that is going to help them or make them happy later on

We also talked about all the things he likes to do and how he actually doesn’t have time to do all those things so if he has something to play video games on he will have even less time for them.  Also telling him about the fact that his father and I don’t have time for video games and itemizing the other interesting things we find to do (and that he also likes to do).

Whether he decides on getting a game device or not, we know at least that he is thinking a lot about managing his own time, making informed choices, and setting priorities.

One thing I just learned is that DS’s and other similar game devices display games that are very hard to stop after a short period of time; they lure you into playing a single game for 45 minutes or longer. Games available on i-pads and on a computer were created for short periods of time when you’re waiting in a dentists’ office or something like that so they are easier to interrupt and don’t last as long in any case.

This entry was posted in Child-rearing, Community, Creativity, Games, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Games on DS or I-pad?

  1. Scary. We have managed to avoid so far. We had a couple months of watching TV at their grandparents’ house though… even when it was only when Josh and I were out or in the upstairs apartment, it still turned into too much. Now G keeps telling us she’s scared to go to sleep in her own bed because of the scary things she saw on TV… sigh. At least she sees the link. Not sure where things will go from here. They have an older boy cousin (14 or so) who by choice would spend 100% of the time he is not eating, sleeping or at school on the computer playing video games. When he is not playing, he is asking when he will be able to play and/or complaining about not being able to play. His mother is even fairly progressive in her views about limiting screen time, but feels he spent so much time at his grandmother’s house indoors playing video games at a critical age that feels at this point there is no alternative without alienating her son… aah! Where’s the line?

  2. Blossom says:

    Hey there, I have two boys, ages 7 and 11. A couple of thoughts as you are making the very big decision to bring a video game system into your life: the handheld devices tend to be isolating and easier to lose yourself in. They also tempt us to take them along on outings and very quickly we’ve allowed them to have too much presence in our lives. You might consider a Wii or another system that plugs into a television so you and your husband can “enjoy” playing with your son. Also, he will not be able to manage his own time, so decide in advance how many minutes and what days of the week you will allow it. A timer helps but you will still find yourself waiting for him to “save” his level.

    Keep in mind, too, that an iPad and some DSs have Internet capabilities, so that may be something you’d like to avoid longterm.

    I wish you the best of luck with this. I have found it to be one of the greatest parenting challenges of our time.

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