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Iphones and kids.??


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I don't have kids so I would sincerely appreciate feedback from people with experience, as parents or relatives.. whatever.

DH's son and 12 YO grandson are visiting.  They live about 5 hours away and get up here a couple times a year.  Its been 20 hours and except for when he is actively engaged in a specific activity, this kid has an Iphone in front of his face.  Well, not when he's sleeping.

Back when I was a kid we were glued to the TV,, I know, I know..

Do you have some kind of rules or limits concerning their use in social situations, like visiting Grandpa?    Is there a time and place where they should be left on a shelf, so to speak? 

Privately I  thought he was being a little rude, but then he is only 12.  Generally he is a pleasant kid.. but any time I look at him he is staring at the screen.   And.. this is a big and.. I never had kids so I just don't know what is realistic, especially now.

Maybe I am just too old.   

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I have to say that despite technology being a huge part of life now I finid it absolutely disgusting parents allow kids to have the highest tech toys and whatever they want (not all parents of course). My cousin is 12 she has an iphone and regularly updates facebook and such throughout the day while at school. That is horrid.

Whether or not it is a part of life it is the parents job to teach their children. And if you teach them they can have a $500 phone and mommy and daddy will pay the bill that is not teaching them anything. Unless they are old enough to pay for the monthly charges they should not have it.

Let alone how do you monitor it? Do you check what websites they are accesing? who they are talking to and when? Lots of people will argue it is for an emergency but then by a cheap phone with no data plan and no texting.

I dont know but it scares me how lazy children are nowadays and I am not that old. Being allowed to play on your phone all day or play your video games and watch TV all day does nothing to educate you or teach you to use your imagination. I know everyone will say my kids go play still. But I doubt it. If they are not inside on the computer or gaming system they are outside taking stupid pictures with their phone and posting them to websites. I wonder when kids lost the ability to play? I used to go out saturday morning at 10 with the kids in the neighbourhood and we wouldn't go home until we were called for dinner. We would be playing in the forest or fishing, jumping on the trampoline, playing ball....

I dunno I guess I just feel we are raising this privledged entitled group that are going to have a very hard time when they enter real life and realize they cannot be on their phones all day at work and they have to pay bills for all these gadgets they have. There have been studies done on this generation and it is not promising... Not to say there will be no great people, but in general this entitled group is not going to fair well in the real world.

Wanted to answer you scrambler22... about how do you monitor etc.  Did a lot of research and found this company.

http://www.kajeet.com/4u/index.html

Did everything I was hoping for without a massive price tag. 

Thats awesome! i like that a lot.

Original Post by moonbow1:

Is he playing games on it or texting friends? I would tell him we only see you for a short time and it's rude to be doing this the whole time, we you like to talk with you. It's only good manners and what you would expect from anyone. My grand daughter 13 did this once when we went to lunch and she doesn't do it any more.I've seen adult sitting at table and people they are with on the phone talking to someone else the whole time. The person sitting there has a look on their face of why the heck I'm I here. I would talk to the young man about what you expect while visiting with you.


Thanks for your input.  Having company I couldn't reallly come back to read this... I believe he is just playing games or doing stuff on the internet...I am reluctant to say anything because my DH would tell me that it isn't my problem and  not to stick my nose in. 

Original Post by eringilbert:

My kids have ipods and cell phones. And DSis

Yes, there is a lot of texting with friends like all the time, yes there is a lot of screen staring at various times.  When visiting with the grandparents, they bounce back and forth between their gadgets and visiting.  Sometimes the grandparents need their downtime and will either be watching TV or reading a book and not actively engaged with the kids so they wander back to their gadgets.  When there is active grandparent involvement though (with the NY grandparents that can range from golf outings, bike rides, museums, etc., with the IN grandparents that can be cooking, target practice, game playing, etc.) the kids kind of regulate themselves and would rather do the other activities.  They will actually text their friends back saying what they're doing at that moment and they'll talk to them later.

So, yeah.  Active participation during a social event (even just talking or dinner or whatever), they are not glued to their devices.  Downtime during that social event... they prefer their gadgets.  However, if the grandparents were trying to engage them and the kids were not responding, preferring the tech, I would put a stop to it as the parent.

THanks.. I think maybe his dad said something later... THis happened while we were trying to have a talk/visit during down time after dinner.. We live in the country so there aren't really museums etc.. the big activity here is guns and shooting, which is a whole different topic...

Original Post by spuckine1:

Technology is a big part of teens lives.  there is no way to avoid it. they can navigate the computer much better then I can.

My kids have ipods, cell phones and gaming systems.  We have a outright ban at the dinner table.  I understand that you want to interact with them but getting them to leave devices at home wont happen.  Go with the flow and give them time during visits when they can talk to their friends

I agree but I he was just playing.. not actually and I thought he could do it somewhere else.. like in the rec room or living room.. not where we were trying to talk...I did ban nintendo from my dinner table..but I felt like that Grandsons parents should have said something before me..(a different boy.. only about 7 at the time) 

Original Post by mrswilsonscat:

My eldest is only 10, so I may think differently in 2 years, but at the moment, he has his Dad's old phone (no money in it - just for playing with) and he has a DS. He can play on his phone when he likes, and he has 30 mins a day on his DS. He also plays on the computer with his younger siblings for about 30 mins on saturdays and sundays. The rest of the time, he does stuff with the family, or increasingly, plays with Lego in his room and listens to the radio. If we visited relatives, he'd still get his 30 mins a day, but the rest of the time is for visiting. I mean, why come 5 hours if your brain is on holiday somewhere else?

Sadly, my kids don't have any Grandparents. They'd give any iPhone/games machine in the world to have them back, but that's another issue...

I am unusual amongst my friends in limiting time on games etc, but he is perfectly happy with these limits at the moment, and I don't particularly want my son as apparently brain-dead as the rest of his friends...

I also see the other side of this one too. I take my youngest ones to indoor play areas in bad weather sometimes, and it is the parents/grandparents who are on their phones absolutely non-stop, ignoring their tiny offspring as they dangle from a rope 30 feet off the ground... :s


All three Grandsons have their own DS... including the youngest.. a 4 year old.  THey don't have limits with them, which I think is BS  but not my problem...

Grandpa  got his first track phone last week and hasn't used it yet. 

Original Post by trh:

Are there any other 12 or similar aged kids for him to play with?  If not he's probably bored and playing games, that's what my kids do.

If you want him to put the phone down engage him in conversation or play some type of games with him.  Taking the phone away would just be cruel.

We live in a rural area.. No kids but plenty of outdoor stuff.. We engaged him in conversation but it happened "around"  the IPHONE.  He would talk over it then go right back..Like many kids (I think) he would rather watch TV,, use the net, or do video games then take a walk in the woods, search for fossils.. look for animals etc.

Original Post by heatseaker:

I think it's pretty rude to sit there on your phone ignoring other people, specially the oldies! It's pretty much the same as starting a conversation with someone else while someones already trying to talk to you, getting a book out to read, or turning on the tv mid conversation to end it. 

Kids your grandparents get to see you for like 2 days a year, you can put the phone down for a few hours, you wont die. Jerks.

Thanks..

Original Post by lbh:

My sis-in-law gave my SD a Nook color for her 6th birthday. (Another story/gripe/vent all together). But given this, we're going to implement limits on gadgets (she also has a V-tech handheld game that she plays with incessantly if given the opportunity).

As I mentioned a 4 year old Grandson had his own DS that he hardly put down..I would have imagined your in law would have cleared a gift like that with you first.

Original Post by trh:

Original Post by heatseaker:

I think it's pretty rude to sit there on your phone ignoring other people, specially the oldies! It's pretty much the same as starting a conversation with someone else while someones already trying to talk to you, getting a book out to read, or turning on the tv mid conversation to end it. 

Kids your grandparents get to see you for like 2 days a year, you can put the phone down for a few hours, you wont die. Jerks.

I think the grandparent/parents should act like the adults here and engage the kid in conversation or play.  Putting that onus on the 12 y/o is ridiculous.

We were talking to him.. he didn't put the thing down.. He talked over it, and around it.  I  really felt like his dad should have said something.. but a little part of me was disappointed in the kid as well.   

Original Post by lasposacadavere:

You said that the kid's been staring at the screen all the time - except for when he is actively engaged in a specific activity. So, if you actually do something together, he doesn't do that?

If you don't engage the kid in some kid of activity, you can't blame him for entertaining himself. If you want to spend some time with him, do something together.

I don't have kids either, but I was a kid not too long ago. If my grandparents were around just doing their own thing, I would do the same (okay, I didn't have an iPhone or a video game console, but I would find a way to keep myself occupied).

We were sitting around a fire talking and visiting.. He had spent the day shooting rifles and pistols at the range..with Grandpa and his dad.. We went for a walk in the woods and had a really nice family dinner.    He had a reallly full day of activities..

Original Post by natasharanville:

Who in their right mind would get a KID an iphone?

This kid has everything.. whole 'nother topic.  His parents are divorced..

Original Post by amwick:

Original Post by lasposacadavere:

You said that the kid's been staring at the screen all the time - except for when he is actively engaged in a specific activity. So, if you actually do something together, he doesn't do that?

If you don't engage the kid in some kid of activity, you can't blame him for entertaining himself. If you want to spend some time with him, do something together.

I don't have kids either, but I was a kid not too long ago. If my grandparents were around just doing their own thing, I would do the same (okay, I didn't have an iPhone or a video game console, but I would find a way to keep myself occupied).

We were sitting around a fire talking and visiting.. He had spent the day shooting rifles and pistols at the range..with Grandpa and his dad.. We went for a walk in the woods and had a really nice family dinner.    He had a reallly full day of activities..

Then it's understandable that he wants some time just for himself (and his phone - although I don't exactly approve of that, everyone has their own ways of entertaining themselves). He has been spending time with you, obviously.

What I find rude is that he talked over his screen when you talked to him. Why don't you talk to his parents about it?

 

 

I didn't mention that in my previous post since I thought the thread wasn't exactly about that, but I agree that a 12-year-old doesn't need (and shouldn't have) an iPhone. I think he should have a phone, so he can be reached by his parents if needed, but an expensive gizmo that someone else is paying a fortune for? That's spoiling.

I really appreciate all the feedback. 

By the way I asked his dad what would happen if he stumbled on to some kind of porn,, he looked at me and said.. oh yeah... You can set limits,( but he hasn't.)

And I didn't mean to imply that it was totally up to him to be more social..he is only 12.. but I think parents have to take some responsibility.   Tell him to go in another room if he want to surf the net or play games... there is a time when  adults should be able to have a chat.. and he is welcome but participate..

FYI, he is not related to me.. this is a step son and step Grandson, another story,  so I try and tread carefully, but I do draw the line at dinner...

Thanks again..

Original Post by lasposacadavere:

What I find rude is that he talked over his screen when you talked to him. Why don't you talk to his parents about it?

 

 

I didn't mention that in my previous post since I thought the thread wasn't exactly about that, but I agree that a 12-year-old doesn't need (and shouldn't have) an iPhone. I think he should have a phone, so he can be reached by his parents if needed, but an expensive gizmo that someone else is paying a fortune for? That's spoiling.

I mentioned it to DH in private and he just told me to drop the topic.. kinda pulled the rug out.. that is why I posted the thread.

It looks like maybe his Dad did notice something amiss..maybe this won't happen much more..They are leaving today.. but we will see them.. and the kid will be turning into a teenager.

Then you should maybe have a talk with the kid's dad. True, you're not related by blood, but you're a part of the family now. No accusing, just a sincere talk. There's nothing wrong with pointing out (in private, of course) that someone's kid is being rude, as long as you're doing it nicely.

The kid is still young and his behaviour is still mostly your stepson's responsibility.

 

Edit: I'm only talking about the kid talking back over his phone when engaged in a conversation. I still think he needs his time alone.

Original Post by amwick:

Original Post by trh:

Original Post by heatseaker:

I think it's pretty rude to sit there on your phone ignoring other people, specially the oldies! It's pretty much the same as starting a conversation with someone else while someones already trying to talk to you, getting a book out to read, or turning on the tv mid conversation to end it. 

Kids your grandparents get to see you for like 2 days a year, you can put the phone down for a few hours, you wont die. Jerks.

I think the grandparent/parents should act like the adults here and engage the kid in conversation or play.  Putting that onus on the 12 y/o is ridiculous.

We were talking to him.. he didn't put the thing down.. He talked over it, and around it.  I  really felt like his dad should have said something.. but a little part of me was disappointed in the kid as well.   

Then, absolutely his dad should have said something.  If you guys were sitting there directly engaging the child he should have been a part of the conversation.  If the topic strayed off to more adult matters (you know, the stuff that bores kids to tears) the boy should know to excuse himself and go off to do his own thing.  After a long day together I think it's reasonable for a bit of downtime -- but only after excusing oneself from what else is going on.

But then again, I'm kind of weird socially and need downtime myself after a long day spent with other people.  So I understand it in others.  Fortunately, my parents already know this about me, my FIL is the same way (can't tell you how many times we run into each other in the den at their house because we have to escape whatever is happening at the same time... we just sit and read quietly at opposite ends of the couch)... my MIL though??  For YEARS she saw this desperate need of mine as rude.  I finally explained to her that I wasn't trying to be rude, that I thought everyone was awesome, but if I didn't get some decompression time when I needed it I was going to snap and we just don't want that.  And yes, she still gets upset with her husband for doing the same thing.  We cover for each other when we can ;)

Unless a child has been taught the manners of tech v. real life, there's no way he's going to know so try to not be too disappointed in the 12 year old.  This is more of a training issue. 

Original Post by eringilbert:

Original Post by amwick:

Original Post by trh:

Original Post by heatseaker:

I think it's pretty rude to sit there on your phone ignoring other people, specially the oldies! It's pretty much the same as starting a conversation with someone else while someones already trying to talk to you, getting a book out to read, or turning on the tv mid conversation to end it. 

Kids your grandparents get to see you for like 2 days a year, you can put the phone down for a few hours, you wont die. Jerks.

I think the grandparent/parents should act like the adults here and engage the kid in conversation or play.  Putting that onus on the 12 y/o is ridiculous.

We were talking to him.. he didn't put the thing down.. He talked over it, and around it.  I  really felt like his dad should have said something.. but a little part of me was disappointed in the kid as well.   

Then, absolutely his dad should have said something.  If you guys were sitting there directly engaging the child he should have been a part of the conversation.  If the topic strayed off to more adult matters (you know, the stuff that bores kids to tears) the boy should know to excuse himself and go off to do his own thing.  After a long day together I think it's reasonable for a bit of downtime -- but only after excusing oneself from what else is going on.

But then again, I'm kind of weird socially and need downtime myself after a long day spent with other people.  So I understand it in others.  Fortunately, my parents already know this about me, my FIL is the same way (can't tell you how many times we run into each other in the den at their house because we have to escape whatever is happening at the same time... we just sit and read quietly at opposite ends of the couch)... my MIL though??  For YEARS she saw this desperate need of mine as rude.  I finally explained to her that I wasn't trying to be rude, that I thought everyone was awesome, but if I didn't get some decompression time when I needed it I was going to snap and we just don't want that.  And yes, she still gets upset with her husband for doing the same thing.  We cover for each other when we can ;)

Unless a child has been taught the manners of tech v. real life, there's no way he's going to know so try to not be too disappointed in the 12 year old.  This is more of a training issue. 

I always thought that this particular kid was well mannered, for a kid.. (me not having kids around.) My DH and I think that kid's Dad is reluctant to put his foot down so to speak.. (divorced parents, spoiled but nice kid) 

I wondered about the kids vision.. and starting at a little screen for so long.. Don't parents worry about that..amongst all the other issues?? This kid gets headaches.. maybe from too much screen?? Is that possible..oh well...

I wouldn't worry about his vision. That's a myth.

However, it's very possible that staring at the screen for too long gives him headaches. I tend to use my computer a lot when I study, so I've experienced that first-hand.

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