Family · Lifestyle

Kid’s and electronics/social media

Hi guy’s, I thought I’d have a chat about my feelings towards video games, computers, tablets etc and social media for kids.  There’s a lot of pressure these days from a very young age for kids to be involved with all of these things and while I agree they can be useful and a lot of fun I also think that they can be very damaging.

We have a whole host of electronic gadgets and gaming consoles in our house and we’ve tried various ways of using them with the kids.  I find that even with just half an hour of gaming time our 10 and 12 year old’s behaviour really deteriorates.  They get so upset and angry if they lose a game and it causes no end of stress, we’ve had phones and tablets thrown down in temper and enormous melt downs when we remove the devices. Over the past couple of years we’ve tried all sorts of ways to incorporate these things as I do think they need some knowledge so that they can keep up with their peer’s but nothing seem’s to stop the anger and upset caused by these things.  We tried giving them free reign thinking that they would be bored in a few days but they just turned into zombies and we literally didn’t see them til we decided enough was enough.  We’ve tried giving free access after chores and homework were done, again we had zombie children who struggled to sleep and had no end of behaviour problems when the devices were removed.  We’ve tried letting them earn 15 minutes to an hour for various tasks but again when it comes to removing the devices they act like we’re lopping off an arm.

So how do we control this?  Do we just let them get on with it and not see them and when we do have them unable to concentrate?  Do we keep on with the time limits or do we do the unthinkable and just ban them altogether?

Another problem I have is that we set strict limits on the kinds of games our children are allowed to play and I struggle when they come home from their mates saying they’ve been playing the latest GTA which in my opinion is a vile game and I can’t understand why these kid’s parents allow them to have these games! I’m not the kind of person to go and bang on someones door so I end up having to just stop the kids from going to these people’s houses.  To be honest most of the parents that I have spoken to seem to see no problem with their kids playing games where then can rape prostitutes and deal drugs and the other side is the parents who blindly buy these games for their kids and don’t actually know what goes on in them as they’ve never sat with their kids while they’ve been playing as they think video games can’t do any harm, it’s not like they’re out there on the streets doing these things is it?  In my eyes letting them play this kind of game is condoning these behaviours and yes some people may think thats an over reaction but what else is it telling your kids when you let them do these things in a game?

Social media is an entirely different ball game.  A lot of my 10 year olds friends have facebook and instagram and when my 12 year old was 9/10 a lot of his friends had these things too.  I understand that there’s a lot of peer pressure but to be honest I’ll be putting my kid’s off having social media accounts for as long as possible even after they’re of the age where they can legally join.  If you let you 8 year old have a facebook account ‘just to play games’ then when they are actually 13 and old enough then they’ll still appear as an 18 year old on their account.  A lot of children and their parents don’t know how to stay safe on social media or realise that typeing in the whong hashtag on instagram means all sorts of vile things can pop up and I for one don’t want my kids exposed to any of that.  How is 13 suddenly an acceptable age for these things? A lot of 13 year olds are still emotionally very young and don’t understand how to use them responsibly.  I read about so many cases of online bullying that starts on these platforms and children that feel there’s no other option but to end their life.  It’s tragic.  Instead of deleteing and blocking these kids just let it go on and hope that magically it will stop.  When I do allow my children these things I really hope that they trust me enough to tell me if any of these things go on but for now it’s a big no from me.

I’d love to know your thoughts on all of this so please leave a comment if you’ve anything to add! These are just my personal feelings,  if you’ve found a way to incorporate these things without upsets and drama I’d love to hear how as these devices aren’t the work of the devil I just can’t figure out why they cause such a lot of upset!

See you next time, Em xXx

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