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Computer gaming and parenting - reasonable, or not?


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#1 Phasmatis 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 Phasmatis 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 Phasmatis 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?




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