I don’t think I’m that strict a mum. I’m certainly less strict than my mum was when we were growing up. There are things that I expect of N like good behaviour when out and about, politeness, and being kind to other people. I also hope that he tries harder everything that he does.
I have views about children not having mobile phones until they really need one and I don’t think children have to have games consoles. It encourages them to spend too much time on them and get too obsessed with them. We find it hard enough making sure N balances the time he spends on the Kindle Fire tablet he has, and the TV along without adding a console into the mix.
Talking to other parents though, some were surprised that he doesn’t have a console and he doesn’t play computer games. It’s not really something that we’ve ever done as a family, although I did have a phase of having a wii after he was born to try and do some exercise. It rarely got used after a year so ended up being taken to the recycling centre as it was taking up space and I couldn’t sell it.
Some people just assume that everyone has a console, so it’s normal that children have one. It’s not something that I would expect to be buying N for a present. If he decided he wanted one then he would have to save up the money to buy one the same way we had to as children if we wanted something expensive.
But an Xbox has been part of a conversation for a few weeks now. The other half isn’t that bothered about him having one but I really don’t want to end up with one in the house.
N enjoys playing farming simulator for which he has a free version on his dad’s old Kindle. That’s fine as it’s kind of educational. But he does spend a lot of time on it and it’s not something I would want to encourage more time being spent on it. It seems he wants a later version of it and for that he would need an Xbox or a PC, and then a copy of the game which is going to cost a fair amount of money on top of a console or laptop.
Cousin number 3 told him he could get a really cheap console but looking at them online I think N’s deluding himself at what he’s actually looking for on there. I did suggest if he wants to save up then he should be looking at buying a laptop. At least then he can use it for things like homework and school work later on in life rather than just having a console which is only used for games.
He did debate the laptop idea but I think he’s just got Xbox in his mind because that’s what his cousins have. His dad suggested asking the older cousins if they’ve got one they’ve finished with, and a friend of mine has offered a version of Farming Simulator for PC if that’s what he has.
What he and his dad haven’t really thought about is the fact that he will also need to use the television to use the Xbox and the OH won’t be impressed with that. Realistically his time on an Xbox is going to be severely restricted which just begs the question, why would he spend money on one?
Even going away for a few days hasn’t put the XBox out of N’s mind. N likes spending more time outside in the summer than stuck inside so I’m hoping he’ll still forget about it in time.
If N really wants an Xbox, it’s something that he should be saving up for. I think looking at the benefits of a console vs something more useful like a laptop. Or even looking longer term at something he might want on the farm, he’d be better off saving his money rather than buying a games console. Even if it does mean his friends see him as antiquated and behind the times.
I’m sure where we having the mobile phone negotiations before long as well, although I don’t intend him having a phone for a few more years yet.
Are you a family of gamers or have you managed to avoid having a console in the house?