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Getting your kids electronic things? What's the right age?

Posted by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 9:19 PM
  • 20 Replies

My SD has been wanting a Nintendo DS since she was 6 years old when she saw a friend who was turning 4 get one for her birthday. I felt that at that age my SD was not responsible enough for one. I also felt that she didn't need to constantly be playing a game when she could be outside playing. Well, she finally got one for Christmas. She's nine now, but will be ten in February. She's shown me throughout the last year that she can take care of her stuff and she's one of those kids who won't spend all her time on it. I mean, she loves it, but even as I write this she's looking at a math book called The Magic of Math. This is her free time so she could be playing on the DS and it wouldn't bother me.

Perhaps each kid is different and another child may have been responsible enough before now to have one, but I think we really picked the right age.

Not to mention I love it when she plays that thing! The two games she has keep her very entertained and she even tries to involve her little sisters in playing it. She doesn't complain about being bored or that her sisters are bugging her.

by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 9:19 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MichelleMc
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM
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I think that the older you hold off, the better they are at using time at having them & using them. I also think that, they can adjust better to being more responsible with them. 

I really think it is ridiculous to see kids with faces in DSs, Smartphones, Ipads, you name it at a young age. It isn't good or healthy. It isn't the "wave of the future". There is no need for it. They can have toys, books & everything else. The "well they might have to sit & wait", really? Because kids didn't have to sit & wait for 100 years? Or, "We have a car ride", again because we haven't been driving in cars for 40 years? The electronic babysitting, the never down time or lack of a child having to use their imagination, is not good. The kids not getting outside, the kids not playing, the kids not having time away from these things, is just not healthy.

So major kudos for you. In our family the age was 8. After that, it was still time frames, but it didn't matter. Since we waited, he already didn't need the time frames. We went camping without them, he didn't have them to go to dinner, he didn't use them for those things.

saltycoqui
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Pre teen was good enough for us. Before that we had only one desktop pc. You can find word and math, games for the computer. My kids, loved Reader Rabbit. Even now we limit the hours on our devices . Keeping a regular schedule is good for us. I get no complaining. Even play board games on the tablet. Great since there are no pieces that can be lost. 

I guess I have just mainly transfered physical things into electronic form.  Books too. My kids have the DSi but they hardly play with it anymore. The tablet has much more to offer. They sometimes use it for homework too. 


MamaMoopsie
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM

Thank you! That's been my whole point. How do we teach them to just deal with not having something to entertain them when in the car or waiting in a doctor's office? We teach them by not letting them have electronics from birth on! My SIL let her kids have her iPods and what ever else to entertain themselves and now at the ages of 10, 14, and 20 they all have to have SOMETHING to entertain them. Oh, they'll still read a book, but on road trips they have to have their gadgets. When we bought our mini-van they offered to install the DVD players at half the cost you'd find anywhere else. I said no. My kids can entertain themselves and when they're fed up with being in a car, no amount of DVD playing is going to deter them from whining (they were 1, 2, and 8 at the time).

Quoting MichelleMc:

I think that the older you hold off, the better they are at using time at having them & using them. I also think that, they can adjust better to being more responsible with them. 

I really think it is ridiculous to see kids with faces in DSs, Smartphones, Ipads, you name it at a young age. It isn't good or healthy. It isn't the "wave of the future". There is no need for it. They can have toys, books & everything else. The "well they might have to sit & wait", really? Because kids didn't have to sit & wait for 100 years? Or, "We have a car ride", again because we haven't been driving in cars for 40 years? The electronic babysitting, the never down time or lack of a child having to use their imagination, is not good. The kids not getting outside, the kids not playing, the kids not having time away from these things, is just not healthy.

So major kudos for you. In our family the age was 8. After that, it was still time frames, but it didn't matter. Since we waited, he already didn't need the time frames. We went camping without them, he didn't have them to go to dinner, he didn't use them for those things.


DixieFlower
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Guess I'm the odd one out here. When I got my ipad I let my sons use it also. I put several educational apps on it. My youngest who is two loves the baby signs app as well as one that teaches shapes and colors. For Christmas this year we bought my oldest son (who is almost 4yrs old) a Nabi2. Both of my sons only get 30 mins a day with either the ipad or the Nabi2. They have plenty of other toys that they play with as well as getting to play outside.

mommylizTB2809
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 10:19 PM

I think 10 i a good age. we will not be get ours kids that type of things in that age. we want our kids to play broad games, and outside. I think what you did was great. having her show that she responsible. I think you handed it great like i sad. and i think it is great that she is aloud so much time on it.

Shaybay218
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Both my girls has the 3ds and tablet they are 13, and 7 now they got the 3ds about 2 yrs ago and tablets for xmas

MamaMoopsie
by on Jan. 13, 2013 at 10:29 PM

I'm not saying you're wrong. I think how each parent handles letting their kids use electronics is just as important as WHEN you let your child have their own device. My tablet has a few educational games and a drawing app that I let my kids play on, but it is understood that the tablet is not their personal toy. I first started letting SD use my tablet because my DH was working so much away from home and she was missing him a lot, so I got words with friends on my tablet and they'd play that and get some time in together even though he was far away.

I think it was the fact that a lot of people I know personally gave their kids their own electronics at a very young age and that's ALL the kid did was play on the tablet, DS, Wii, or what have you and they didn't know how to entertain themselves without them.

Quoting DixieFlower:

Guess I'm the odd one out here. When I got my ipad I let my sons use it also. I put several educational apps on it. My youngest who is two loves the baby signs app as well as one that teaches shapes and colors. For Christmas this year we bought my oldest son (who is almost 4yrs old) a Nabi2. Both of my sons only get 30 mins a day with either the ipad or the Nabi2. They have plenty of other toys that they play with as well as getting to play outside.


Spoiled_Blonde
by Member on Jan. 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM

My kids got their ds when they were 6 & 4. They got their iPod touches when they were 7 & 5 and their tablets when they were 8 & 6. My kids are very responsible with their things and they take care of what they have, that is why we decided to get them those things when they were so young. I think it just depends on the child and how ready you think they are. Each child is different, for example my neice who is the same age as my youngest is no where near ready for anything expensive or breakable. It's all in how the child handles it and shows maturity for taking care of their items. 

Lorelai_Nicole
by Lorelai on Jan. 14, 2013 at 1:11 AM
1 mom liked this
I don't think there is a set age. Some kids are responsible enough at a younger age than others. I don't just mean responsible as in not losing it or breaking it, but also responsible enough not I get sucked into it and tune out the world. Kwim? Some kids can do that at 4 (my middle DD did) and others can't handle it until they're 9 or 10 (like my nephew).
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MichelleMc
by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 8:45 AM

I think that responisibility of taking care of the item is not the issue. If they are using the item daily, or even every other day, that is too often. If it has to go everywhere you go when you  leave the house. That is too often. If they have to take electronics for car rides, doctor appts & to restaurants, that is too much. If they grab something electronic, before a TOY, then it is too much. If they are playing video games or with something electronic, before they are playing with a toy, drawing, coloring, playing outside, then it is too often. 


When they are handed electronics at a very young age. It is all they know. Of course electronics seem cooler than a crayon to color with or a game seems easier and more fun than a board game, but that doesn't maker it better for their imagination. We are taking that part out of their lives really. 

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