Proof my kids play other things besides Angry Birds

This boy is my snuggly snuggle bug and the main reason we are in the market for a king-sized bed.

He’s also a drink-stealer, president of the 4-W club (whine, whine, whine, whine), an all star dessert eater and an A #1 bathtub splasher.

He still likes to be held and carried through the house, all 39.8 lbs. of him.  On the rare occasion I do appease him, if I’m feeling extra nice, but that’s not usually the case.  I mean, I usually already work out 4 times a week.

This afternoon after I put K down for her nap, he asked me to play trains with him and I certainly could not resist that precious face pleading with me.  I mean, who could?  We had races and of course he somehow won them all.

After I could take no more defeat, I let him play Angry Birds for a bit on my phone.  And by “bit” I mean while I wrote this post and took a quick shower.  Thirty-five minutes, maybe?

Which brings me to something I’m curious about…

My kids do not have the D.S. thingys but they do have my phone, my husband’s phone and my previous iPhone at their disposal.  As well as my hubby’s tablet, if he lets them use it (usually only on the weekends).  Plus we occasionally play the Wii.  AND.  They (even K!) nag me to play on one of the phones quite often.

So I wonder, what stipulations do you have on your kids for games like these?  Do you say only certain times of the week/day and for only so long?  I’m very curious…  And I’m pretty sure we need some clear-cut rules around here before I lose my phone forever and my sanity.

parenting BY dummies


  1. I only let my kids play games on my phone if we’re out. They do have their own games for home (my daughter Emma has the MobiGo and Will has his iPad for all of the autism apps.)

    ps Your son is adorable. I couldn’t resist those eyes either!

  2. You suuuure have some pretty babies.

    Sweet, sweet boy there.

  3. My girls are 13 and 16 so I am not in the exact same situation. When they were toddlers there weren’t as many electronic distractions. In fact they rarely even watched. I say that as long as they are getting plenty of time to play with regular toys then a little electronic game time is fine.

  4. I do let my kids play on mine, but I try to keep it limited to when we’re out and we need to be quiet. Once they get rowdy, I pull out the phones to entertain them. Wrong? Maybe. But it works.

  5. My 2 year old is on the iPad frequently. I know that’s terrible and I probably suck as a mother but it’s the only thing that keeps him distracted when we’re out and about especially. iPad or tantrum? I take iPad each time.

  6. Our rules for the devices so far seem to be that when a child is whining to the point where I am ready to scream and go postal I give them my device or my hubby’s iPad (when he is not on it or when he is, who am I kidding) to stop the whining and avoid the mommy going insane. Would I say this is an actual system? No, not really. Would I say that it is teaching them about limits and rules and that when mommy says no she means it? I’ll let you know after my four year-old finishes her game of Cut the Rope. 😉

  7. What a cutie!

    As for games, we are pretty strict on weekdays. There is 15-30 minutes before school depending on when we get up and then 30 after school for some wind down time.

    On the weekends, there is more time, maybe like 2 hours. We are not that strict. But the child playing must stop when we say or they will loose the privilege.

  8. DAMN these are good pictures.

  9. You will never, ever, in a million years regret buying a king bed. So many kinds of awesomeness is a huge bed with a million pillows.

  10. We found that giving my son, who is 7, a strict time of 60 minutes per day a good solution. Many of the games kids play take more than 30 minutes to complete a section; ( If he throws a fit about stopping he looses 10 minutes at a time till he calms down. My three year old is a totally different type of kid and basically picks up the leappad and puts it down easily. I think you have to figure out what works for your individual kid…if it starts becoming constant you might want to make rules…which kinda sucks since you loose the flexibility!

  11. SO cute! My kids love Angry Birds too. In fact I had to make a working Angry Birds B-day cake for the big guy last year. May have to do it again this year as well.

  12. I only have one child (age 4) and feel lucky that he is not into the electronic games, but would rather play outside or do old-fashioned board games or pretend play inside. I’ve also got a Blackberry, so there are no games on it anyway. I have held firm so far that phones and computers are tools for the adults to use. He did get a Tag Reader for Christmas and that is his only electronic toy so far.

  13. Your little guy is so cute! (And I think my 4yo has the same PJs!)

    I have an iPhone and our regular babysitter has an iPhone and an iPad. Interestingly, my 4yo isn’t that interested in them, but my 2yo would spend his whole life playing apps if he could. He gets to play on the iPad for about 15 minutes after his nap, but I really only let him use my iPhone when I can watch him like a hawk. (He likes to make phone calls and I’m not sure everyone would be that happy to hear from him in the middle of the work day.) :)

    From your post and all of these great comments, it seems like there’s no one right answer. For us, we tend toward the “everything in moderation” approach where parenting is concerned.

  14. He sounds a lot like my toddler except she asks me to play babies or kitchen with her instead of trains.

    The husband and I both have cell phones, I have an iPad, and my 8 year old has an iPod Touch. I admit sometimes I let the kids entertain themselves on the mobile devices so I can have peace and quiet. I don’t have any set rules for the amount of time they spend on them but I try not to let it be more than 20 minutes or so at a time.

  15. Mine play with my phone when we are out somewhere and I want them to be quiet and cooperate. I don’t let them use it at home, but I downloaded a spelling test app today that I think I’m going to let BG use. Her spelling grade sucks.

  16. I don’t know as my kids definitely play our idevices way too often– even my toddler knows how to turn on the iPad, scroll through and pick his favorite games.

    But I feel better letting them have iPad time than just watching TV -especially since a lot of the games they play are educational.

  17. We’re in that place where we’ve imposed things but our daughter is old enough to complain that her friends get to do more than she does. I don’t really let that change things unless she has a really good argument and sometimes she does. But it has to be really good. Generally she has to ask me every time she is going to use an electronic device. We don’t allow TV or movie watching during the school week. She can check her email but the deal is that I can read her emails anytime I want. Which is good because a student teacher contacted her and I was not okay with that at all. We did nip that in the bud. On long road trips we download a movie or two on the iPad. She can also listen to music and play on the iTouch. But I do nag her to look out the window occasionally. She can’t bring any of this stuff to school (she’s 10). She can use the iPad for educational purposes – she recently just published a little magazine about books. And if I do break down and let her play a game or watch an episode of Psych (she’s obsessed with that show) it’s always for a limited time. I say all this but honestly the rules are pretty fluid because she’s more proficient on some of this stuff than I am. Anyway, my two cents. I am like my own mother though and when the weather is nice outside I make her and her friends go out. They hate it but they do it anyway. Oh and one last thing, if they ever say they are bored in my house, I make them clean. I don’t think I’ve heard a kid say they were bored for years. It’s kind of nice but now I’m doing all the housecleaning!

  18. He’s so CUTE! We only let the kids play for limited times on our phones when we’re out (though sometimes Princess Nagger will ask really nicely after her homework is done but I give her a time limit so she doesn’t drain the battery since I use it as an alarm in the morning…) :)

    Warrior Cat Entrepreneur

  19. Beautiful photos and a sweet moment with your ‘lil guy, Elaine!

    And I love this topic! We’ve been thinking a lot about this, too, recently. We’ve pulled back a lot on what we consider screen time (TV, movies, phone games, and wii) and they’re better behaved for it.

    Love the discussion here!

  20. My kids 14/10 are not allowed to touch my phone and my computer only when I’m home. Since they are on the computer in school already quite frequently, we limit their “electronics” time to one hour per day on school days and we cut them a little slack on the weekends and school breaks. Electronics includes computer, TV or ipod and we usually leave them the choice.
    On the weekend they sometimes get to watch a movie and play a little with their ipods, but there are many days in the summer when there is no eletronics time at all – we take long walks in the evening and just hang out outside, go fishing or camping.
    I have to admit that I use the electronics time on the weekends to catch a break myself sometimes :)
    I truly think that they have a VERY active imagination and are very interested in lots of things because we limit the electronics.

  21. I was just thinking of doing a post on whether or not parents limit screen time, we are on the same page.

    We do limit it. They get an hour or less a day – which I sometimes still feel is WAY too much. But they don’t watch TV except a bit on weekends…

    My brother does not limit his kids time and when we all stayed together last year for 2 weeks. It made me CRAZY. Because it was hard to get my kids doing something else when their cousins were glued to a DS or computer. (picture smoke coming out of my ears) we were in Florida for goodness sakes. We could have stayed home and done that!

    Okay, done now. Can’t write that on my blog, thanks for letting me vent!

  22. I’m behind on reading and will likely repeat other comments. Our kids got DSes this Christmas. One for the girls to share and one for the boys to share. They are allowed about 30-45 minutes on it daily, after homework. If they play on the DS I am unlikely to let them play on my phone or on the computer. We only allow the Wii for family night or when all of the kids are playing–no solo play allowed. We let Lily play on our phones more because she doesn’t really know how to use the DS. They do watch too much TV. Less now that we are back in busy sports mode though, because homework and chores come first. We’ve taken the DS away for poor behavior, for the boys. We don’t have any hard and fast rules, just assessing where we are and what is working and what is not. You know your kids best, so you’ll figure it out.

  23. My son is always trying to steal our phones. Often I will find him under the covers of our bed hiding, playing a game. I try ro limit it because the kid would sit with a technology babysitter all day if I’d let him. I need to have a concrete limit too, but sometimes it is too convenient to get something done and have him sit still!

  24. We have some odd ‘rules’ and I’m always changing them – which is awesome parenting right there. There is zero screen time on the mornings before school. We do not take portable devices into restaurants (but let them play on the electronic babysitters if the booth has one, makes no sense!) They play on the iPad and DS usually after rest time and because I’m still trying to catch up on some “work” aka blogging myself. I try to enforce no screen time from 4-8 during the week and it works unless Dad’s in charge and then he lets them watch a show usually. So see… very clear in my neck of the woods! Ha!