Jump to content

Computer gaming and parenting - reasonable, or not?

  • Please log in to reply
95 replies to this topic

#1 Mitis angelam

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:06 PM

There have been...discussions....at my house this morning, and I'd like a reality check.

Scenario:  Parent 1 has something planned which requires parent 2 to look after the 1 year old.  Parent 2 proposes inviting over a friend to play Civilisation (a turn-based computer game).  There are lots of factors which make catching up with this friend important at this time.

Parent 1 says, ok, but I will cancel my plans and baby-wrangle while you play computer games.  Parent 2 gets really grumpy at parent 1's lack of trust, says that computer gaming of this sort does not entail ignoring the baby, parent 1 should do what was originally planned, all will be fine.

Parent 1 refuses to budge, says that computer gaming does not make for attentive parenting, and it's either one or the other but we can't both do what we want.  Parent 2 makes plans for another day to save parent 1's plans, but is not happy about it.

What do you think?  Gaming and parenting - compatible activities?  Is parent 1 being precious and not trusting parent 2?  

#2 mumofsky

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:12 PM

Im with parent 1 on this.

#3 Escapin

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

DH, who is a keen but not currently active gamer, says you are right.

#4 katbalou

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

I'm not a gamer, so I don't fully understand how involved this would be for Parent 2.  But on the face of it, if I was Parent 1 and had plans I wouldn't change them.  I would have to trust Parent 2 that they if they stuffed up with their expectations on the doability of it, they would have to deal with the fallout.  I would stick to my plans.

#5 Mitis angelam

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

QUOTE (Escapin @ 01/01/2013, 01:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DH, who is a keen but not currently active gamer, says you are right.

Ahh, does he assume I'm parent 1 or parent 2?

#6 mumto4boys

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

I think it would depend on the parent themselves and the set up of the area the baby and computer gaming would be in.

Our kids are older now but it would have been doable in our house and as the baby/toddler would be in the same room without an escape route then they couldn't have gotten into too much trouble.

DH isn't really into computer games either so it's not like the house would burn down around him without him noticing.

#7 Rhoxie

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

If it's night time and the baby will mostly be asleep I wouldn't have a problem with it. If it's day time then I'm with you.

My hubby likes his games and although it doesn't stop him looking after our children our children would prevent him from enjoying quality time with his friend and would interrupt the game.

#8 mum201

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:20 PM

There is no way you can game with a one year old to look after. If you blocked off all other rooms so toddler was confined to the living room he would skwark at being bored. If you gave him free range he would run around the house, climb onto th dining table and jump off (or something like that). Either way I would have an upset / hurt baby upon my hands when I got home .......

#9 ~faerydust~

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

DHis a gamer. The attention required to play is not compatible with baby wrangling. Regardless of that, most of his games are not suitable for children to view, so he plays only when they are asleep.

#10 bluecardigans

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:21 PM

I am with parent 2. Civilization can be paused without issue. I wouldn't be happy if my partner insinuated that I would neglect to care for my child.

#11 mumofsky

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

I dont see why the friend cant just come over for a drink and a chat or whatever without the games.

#12 scoutster

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

In my situation I would be parent 1 but I would leave child with parent 2.  There is no way either of mine would have left parent 2 in peace and max 5 minutes of game would have been played.

If the gaming isn't an everyday thing I think it's okay.

#13 blackbird

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:24 PM

I am with parent 2, civ is the kind of game you can leave and come back to, it doesn't need your full attention and a one year old shouldn't need constant entertain and can saftley be in the room during game playing, I played games and still do with both kids around, so long as he doesn't get shirty when he has to stop then I don't see a problem.

#14 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

DH was a stay at home dad for our toddler. One week, he turned his back on her for about 20 seconds - to get and drink a glass of water. Child is covered in black texta.

Following week, he was actively watching her every move (paranoia had set in, toddlers are little imps in cute baby disguise) and she managed to cover herself in green texta, while he watched and before he could prevent the destruction of the texta. "I was looking right at her!" was the complaint I got.

So, in my view, any diversion is likely to end in a toddler created disaster of some sort (hopefully only colourful rather than serious), so I'm with Parent 1. Gaming requires concentration - during that instant of concentration, the imp will have its way..... dev (6).gif

Parent 1 is right.

#15 HRH Countrymel

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:29 PM

QUOTE (Display anemone @ 01/01/2013, 01:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am with parent 2. Civilization can be paused without issue. I wouldn't be happy if my partner insinuated that I would neglect to care for my child.

Yep.. it's Civilization. You can do heaps of other things while playing Civilization.  (I believe my DP managed a Masters!)

If it was a shoot 'em up type game then a different kettle of fish but playing that particular one is no different than sitting and chatting with your friend while you also look after the kidlet.

#16 Mitis angelam

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

Part of the issue for parent 1 (yeah, ok, that's me - I was trying not to just get people who agreed with me in initial responses - but what was I thinking, this is EB  wink.gif ) is that it sets a precedent that gaming while baby-wrangling is ok.  Not all games are like Civ, but once the precedent is set it's harder to argue, as I would, that gaming should be reserved for when the baby is out or sleeping, because it's not fair on the child to basically be ignored and left to her own devices.  It would be very easy to slip into a pattern where it is an everyday thing...

#17 Lyra

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:30 PM

I can never keep track of these scenarios unless a person's name is used LOL

Anyway, both my husband and I are very active gamers and we both agree that child minding and playing a computer game are mutually exclusive. Now that my eldest is older my husband will play computer games while she is around and they chat about what he is doing. Obviously this works if he wants to play Mario Galaxy or something. Gears of War, not so much wink.gif

#18 tait

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

My DH is a gamer and is quite capable of looking after his children while gaming.

#19 BadCat

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

Parent 1 is being precious.  If parent 2 says they will look after the child then parent 1 should trust them to do so.  Frankly I've be peeved if DH insinuated that I would not look after our kids properly after agreeing to be responsible for them for a period of time.

Edited due to slight misread of OP.

Edited by BadCat, 01 January 2013 - 12:48 PM.

#20 SplashingRainbows

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:35 PM

I think I would have gone out an what will be will be.

Having said that my DH learns primarily from experience - so even when I don't always agree or can forsee problems he can't - the best way for him to see that is to let it happen. Of course provided its not a safety risk but I don't think it is in your situation.

I also think your DH is probably capable of enough critical thinking to distinguish between civ and other types of gaming.

#21 Rosiebird

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

I'm with parent 1. Sitting in front of a computer game does not constitute responsive parenting.

#22 Cherish

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:41 PM

Parent 2 wins in my book.

If I had plans first that DH had agreed to and he invited a mate over to play games I wouldn't bat an eyelid (to him) on the inside I would me smarmy cos I know he wouldn't get much game time but I figure that would be his problem not mine! But we tend to let our kids free range of our relatively safe house and haven't managed to lose one or harm one yet.....!
On the other hand DH would be p*ssed that I'd undermined his parenting skills.... He likes to occasionally remind me that he has been a parent as long as I have....!

#23 janie1105

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

I would definitely trust my hubby to care for the baby and play civilisation.  Easy game and he's a grown up.  If he says he can do it, then he can.

#24 elizabethany

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

Civ is the most parenting friendly game of them all, as it is not time based.  So long as the child is in sight, I see no reason why they are not compatible.  The friend would be a bigger distraction than the game.

Then again, I have a toddler who generally plays with their own toys and the dog, and does not need constant intervention.

#25 bluecardigans

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 01/01/2013, 01:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...once the precedent is set it's harder to argue, as I would, that gaming should be reserved for when the baby is out or sleeping, because it's not fair on the child to basically be ignored and left to her own devices.  It would be very easy to slip into a pattern where it is an everyday thing...

But surely your partner is able to see that too and use his/her own judgment?

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Newborn baby found in a nativity scene

Police are trying to trace a woman who abandoned a baby boy in the manger of a church nativity scene.

Life would be harder without my kids

The Humans of New York Facebook page is well known for sharing touching, real stories from one of the world's biggest cities – and it's just hit the heart of parents everywhere.

Mum dresses as Wonder Woman for last day of chemo

A Brisbane mum dressed up as a superhero to celebrate the end of her chemotherapy and created a moment her family will remember forever.

How a raisin can predict a toddler's IQ

All you need to assess a child's future intelligence is a plastic cup and a raisin, according to new research.

Former Hi-5 member's cannabis hope

Former Hi-5 star Tim Harding hopes a cannabis-derived drug will help control his daughter's epilepsy, which sees the four-year-old suffering between 50 and 100 seizures a day.

The top 5 reasons your toddler throws a tantrum

Whilst to the outside world little people may appear to have it easy, it's actually not always the case – just ask any toddler who's had their toast cut up the wrong way.

Glenn McGrath thought he'd lost his wife and baby

Australian cricket ledged Glen McGrath has spoken about the moment he thought he might lose his wife, Sara and their baby daughter, Madison.


Inside my Centrelink nightmare

Mother Bec Smith has been trying for months to access Centrelink payments. A "serious error" is preventing her.

Warnings over push for hourly childcare billing

Australia's peak childcare body has called for caution around the Turnbull government's push for childcare centres to charge parents by the hour, not by the day.

Cate Blanchett thought about adopting for years

Cate Blanchett says her recent adoption of a baby girl had nothing to do with wanting a daughter after having three sons.

Kate Walsh: 'I can't have kids'

Grey's Anatomy star Kate Walsh has revealed she is unable to have children because she has experienced early menopause.

The parasite that could boost fertility

The Tsimane women of Bolivia are often revered as among the most fertile in the world - on average having 10 children in their lifetimes -- but some are even more fertile than others.

Family may sue cousin over genetics

A Melbourne couple is suing the Royal Children's Hospital for failing to diagnose a genetic disorder in their first child - an error they allege caused them to have another child with severe disabilities.

Strange things mums have done in labour

While most women in labour focus on the upcoming birth of their baby, some women do more interesting things.

Michael Clarke reveals baby's name

When Michael Clarke said he was wrapped around the finger of his little princess, he wasn't joking.

The logistics of breastfeeding twins

Our life is more or less divided into neat four hour parcels of time and it's hard to get much of anything done in the time between feeds.

How to stop people ruining Christmas

We can make a conscious effort about how we react to those curly Christmas day scenarios that can send us up the wall, or should we say chimney.

Lots of formula offers for desperate mum

The mum who was down to her last three tins of baby formula said she had received hundreds of calls and offers to send her formula.

Surviving breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Cot sheet brands for the nursery

With so many awesome cot sheet options these days, we thought we'd put together a list of go-to brands for you to seek out for your baby's bed.


What's hot on EB

How I survived breast cancer while pregnant

It was last thing Rebecca O'Donnell expected at 30 weeks' pregnant. One morning, while putting on her bra, she felt a pea-sized lump in her right breast.

Grieving father's letter to Bataclan terrorists: "...this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free"

A grieving father whose wife was killed in the attacks on the Bataclan Theatre last weekend has written an open letter to her killers.

5 challenges of motherhood - and how to see them differently

Despite the smiles, the sloppy kisses and the pure magic children bring to our lives, it's hard to deny that motherhood can be tough.

4 challenges of being a new dad - and how to face them

Becoming a parent is challenging – and that applies to both mums and dads.

My battle against antenatal and postnatal depression

I was five months pregnant when I realised I needed help.

Children swapped at birth will not be returned to biological parents

A boy and girl accidentally swapped on the day they were born will stay with the families who have raised them, a South African court has ruled.

A quarter of men believe they get 'man periods'

A British study has revealed one in four men believe they have a monthly cycle.

Baby deposit

How much do you need to save for a 'baby deposit'?

It's fairly straightforward to calculate a house deposit, but how much money do you need to save up for a baby?

Dad's beautiful note to his wife, a nurse

To anyone else it might just look like a picture of a mum having a nap with her toddler.

'I was a complete schmuck': Mike Baird opens up about his wife's postnatal depression

When his wife Kerryn was not well following the birth of their daughter, NSW Premier Mike Baird buried himself in his work.

Mum's desperate plea as whooping cough alert issued

A desperate mother has shared a heart-breaking video of her baby struggling to cope with a coughing fit caused by pertussis.

Coffee could help you live longer

New US research found people who report drinking three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to die prematurely from heart disease, suicide, diabetes or Parkinson's disease.

The joy and dread of playdates

To live vicariously through your child is to rediscover anxieties you thought dead and buried.

Sick baby could die without scarce special formula, mum says

Lizzie Cann is down to her last three tins of a special formula in short supply.

Adorable toddler's strop foiled by squeaky shoes

We're probably all familiar with the pouty bottom lip and tightly crossed arms of a tot mid-strop.

More sex during World Cup created more baby boys

More sex during South Africa's World Cup meant a disproportionately high number of boys were born nine months later, a new study has found.

Win one of two ABC Shop prize packs in time for Christmas

What a boon it would be to have your toddler's Christmas gifts covered this year. We have two awesome ABC Shop prize packs to give away to two lucky winners.

Do fitness challenges really work?

Fitness challenges aren't new. There's Michelle Bridges 12WBT and a bunch of other programs if you really want to lose weight.

What are pregnant women Googling?

Pregnancy is a huge change for any woman, so it's natural we'll have questions - and turn to Google to ask them.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.