Jump to content

Sole or Shared Electronic Devices?

  • Please log in to reply
56 replies to this topic

#1 perthgal3

Posted 22 November 2019 - 06:48 PM

I have a bit of a dilemma for Christmas presents for my sons.  I have 2 sons, one is 15 and the other 10.  They already have an ipad each (although DS10's is really shared with DH) and a shared playstation.

DS15 has asked for a nintendo switch for Christmas and has offered to contribute $ (he has birthday money and some from a casual job). However, he has categorically stated (in a very teenage way) that it must be his only and DS10 cannot use it.  Alternatively, he is happy to pay for it in full himself.

DS10 has asked for a new bike and seems happy with the existing family Playstation and hasn't mentioned a nintendo.

The problem I have is that I know a "sole use' ninendo is going to cause a lot of upset and my DS10 will definitely want to use it once he sees it.  Our current set-up is we have one TV in the lounge (which DH & I mainly use) and another family room which is used for the playstation (and which will have to have the nintendo connected as well).  I really don;t want to have it in his bedroom and we don;t have another TV/room for this anyway.

I have told DS15 that I am happy to contribute (or even pay in full) for a nintendo if it is a shared gift and DS10 will also use it. I am not happy to have a large electronic device which is not shared in the house.  Yes, they will fight over time using it but I don;t allow unlimited electronic play anyway so I am fine with "timeslots" for sharing and hopefully they can play together sometimes.  

But DS15 thinks I am being unreasonable and he is entitled to have a gaming console that is not shared with DS10.  

Are DH & I being unreasonable? How to other family's use gaming console's between siblings of different ages? DS10 always wants what DS15 has.

#2 Holidayromp

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:02 PM

I think DS10 should suck it up.  It’s about time your older son has something to call his own.  Personally I don’t think that ALL electronics must be shared.
I agree with your older son - you are being unreasonable.

#3 can'tstayaway

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:17 PM

We have a ‘family’ switch and DS bought his own switch using birthday money.

The rest of us use the family switch and when want to play all together, we use both switches.

If your DS is happy to save and buy his own, I think youre being unreasonable not to allow that.

Our switches live in the living room because I don’t usually allow devices in the bedrooms.  The other children know not to play with DS’s switch without asking first.

#4 Jenflea

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:18 PM

With a 5 year age gap I'm team DS 15.

I think it's fine by then to have his own things he doesn't have to share.
He may well end up letting his brother use it, but by a blanket rule I think you're just going to get his back up.

#5 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:23 PM

The Nitendo Switch lite doesn't require a tv, it's handheld use only. Would that be a compromise?

#6 kimasa

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:26 PM

I'm with your older son.

That may or may not (okay, may) have a lot to do with being the older sibling with a 5 year age gap. Everything Kimasa had he had to have the same, better or access to, otherwise he would whine and cry.

#7 SplashingRainbows

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:35 PM

I think it is reasonable for a 15yo to have their own device, yes. He’s only a few years off being an adult. He’s contributing to the cost.

It’s important for kids to have their own things. I can’t see why in all the circumstances he shouldn’t.

I think there is a big difference between 10 and 15 and the 10 year old might just have to deal with the fact he is younger and his brother has waited a very long time.

Edited by SplashingRainbows, 22 November 2019 - 07:35 PM.

#8 xxyzed

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:40 PM

I’m with you. My boys are 12 and 15. I wouldn’t want a one child only device in a shared area and I wouldn’t be happy with that sort of device in their rooms. When I get kickback I remind them they are welcome to buy themselves whatever device they want and play them 24 hours a day when they are over 18 and living in their own houses.

#9 JomoMum

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:42 PM

View PostHolidayromp, on 22 November 2019 - 07:02 PM, said:

I think DS10 should suck it up.  It’s about time your older son has something to call his own.  Personally I don’t think that ALL electronics must be shared.
I agree with your older son - you are being unreasonable.
I would tend to agree.

Also, I think the types of games a 15 year old would be playing would be very different to that of a 10 year old - and possibly inappropriate for the 10 year old?

#10 Missy D

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:44 PM

Another one for sharing. Sharing is caring! Plenty of time for buying own devices when older.

#11 Datrys

Posted 22 November 2019 - 07:54 PM

I think he should be allowed to buy it for not-sharing with his own money, but that it's reasonable for you to refuse to contribute to that.

#12 wilding

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:00 PM

They are individuals. Just because someone has something doesn't mean the other has to have it. He's 15. Only 18 months between my older brother and myself and we each had our own things.

Edited by wilding, 22 November 2019 - 08:01 PM.

#13 CallMeFeral

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:40 PM

I agree with your position OP.

This is not the same as a toy or device that a person can keep in their room and play with on their own. It's a device that will be attached to the family TV and in the family room and I can't see any way that could happen without causing conflict. Especially if his plan is not just that he is the 'boss' of it but that DS10 actually can't use it at all. Something as major as that in a family space really needs to be an at least partially shared device. "Owning their own things" can be experienced with items that don't reside in family spaces.

I would do as you have said OP.

#14 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:41 PM

I have 2 girls that have a shared switch and play similar games but they are only 19 months apart. I think theres a lot more difference between a 15 and 10 year old.

Switch can also be played as a handheld, that's actually the thing about it that sets it apart from other consoles. So we sometimes have one DD watching a movie and other plays switch.

#15 Paddlepop

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:43 PM

Team DS15. It's okay for siblings to have their own things, especially when he's contributing to the cost of it.

#16 Riotproof

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:48 PM

I think if he is happy to buy it himself, then it can be his alone.

I would also consider that the tv is shared so he wouldn’t be able to use the tv whenever he wanted. This would change a bit if it was a shared gift with younger ds.

#17 Prancer is coming

Posted 22 November 2019 - 08:49 PM

I agree with you.  I would not want consoles in bedrooms.  Having a switch in a family room and not allowing anyone else play with it sounds harsh.  I can hear the tantrums from here!

If your DS was happy to be the owner of it and have his own games, and let DS use it sometimes if he asked or play together, I would be okay with that.

#18 perthgal3

Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:10 PM

Thanks for the feedback! Lots to think about. I do tend to forget the DS15 is getting older. DS10 will definitely want to play the same games & i am sure some will be inappropriate.

#19 can'tstayaway

Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:17 PM

As PPs have mentioned, the Switch doesn’t need to be connected to a television to be used. It’s an independent, handheld device.

We don’t have many games for ours. The most frequently used is Mario Kart and the favourite was Zelda. Both games I am perfectly comfortable with a 10 year old playing.

I know the main reason why my DS wanted his own was because the Zelda game only had one ‘player’ so it couldn’t save multiple users’ progress. It’s quite an in-depth game and I was impressed with the problem solving skills required to complete it.

During school holidays, we will often be watching a movie and passing the switch between a few of us trying to beat each other’s MarioKart times. I think I look forward to school holidays as much as the kids so we can play our MarioKart marathons. I’m considering buying them another ‘Family’ switch so we can have 5 players at once. I’ve even been allowed to play online with the kids’ friends while they have their Group FaceTime chat. Kinda like a play date but no need to get dressed or clean up lol.

Gaming consoles can be as inclusive or isolating as you choose to make it.

#20 Jenflea

Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:35 PM

Sharing can be caring, but only if it's done by choice and not forced in my opinion.

I grew up in  a family of 3 kids and we all had things that were just our own we didn't have to share with the others.
Everyone likes something to call their own and a 15 yr old is old enough to have stuff his little brother doesn't get to use, and vice versa.

#21 wilding

Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:55 PM

View Postkimasa, on 22 November 2019 - 07:26 PM, said:

I'm with your older son.

That may or may not (okay, may) have a lot to do with being the older sibling with a 5 year age gap. Everything Kimasa had he had to have the same, better or access to, otherwise he would whine and cry.

These days that's a big no no can't have that ;)

Edited by wilding, 22 November 2019 - 09:55 PM.

#22 amdirel

Posted 22 November 2019 - 10:11 PM

I most definitely agree with your 15yo. I think you're being unreasonable sorry.

FWIW my almost 17yo got a switch for his 16th bday, very occasionally he will offer us to play a group game with him, or 2 player. Sometimes he has it on our (only) TV with only him using it, so I give him a 15 minute (or 5min if I'm impatient) warning then he can take it off and play elsewhere. I warned him when he got it that he has to take it off the TV when I say so, seeing as it has that option.

It's very very rarely caused jealousy issues with the 12yo; he knows it's DS1's and he knows he has other consoles he can play. Those 2 fight hideously over almost everything so I've been very happy to have minimal switch fighting.

#23 SplashingRainbows

Posted 23 November 2019 - 04:22 AM

View Postperthgal3, on 22 November 2019 - 09:10 PM, said:

Thanks for the feedback! Lots to think about. I do tend to forget the DS15 is getting older. DS10 will definitely want to play the same games & i am sure some will be inappropriate.

Then you just say no to the 10yo? Why is that a problem. Not everything can or should be the same.

Your elder son will be 18 when the younger is 13. Surely you will let the elder one drive or drink or work even though his brother can’t, just yet.

#24 400

Posted 23 November 2019 - 05:44 AM

View PostSplashingRainbows, on 23 November 2019 - 04:22 AM, said:

Your elder son will be 18 when the younger is 13. Surely you will let the elder one drive or drink or work even though his brother can’t, just yet.

Not sure “let” is the best term to use here... he will be 18, he can do what he wants!

I’m on the side of getting him his own switch. As a child of a family with lots of kids, having our own things was super important not only for our own independence and sense of autonomy, but also to promote generosity and selflessness. My brother saved up and bought his own tv when he was a relatively young teenager (from a pittance of pocket money, it took him ages) and at some stage got his own console. It became a thing that he would “let” me watch him play and sometimes even play too, but it gave him the power to have it on his terms so if his friends were over he didn’t have parental power to make him include me when it was his stuff, in his room. He would often hook it up to the family tv on holidays etc. but then knew it was subject to parental power.

I think it would be a good lesson for the 10 year old that he doesn’t always get to have what his brother has. That’s an important learning curve.

I also think the bigger deal you make about sharing the more independence your older son will want.

#25 IamzFeralz

Posted 23 November 2019 - 06:05 AM

If your boys were a similar younger age, I would agree with you.  But your 15 year old is quite a bit older than your 10 year old, with a part time job and wanting to cover some of the cost himself.  Teenagers want their own stuff.

I would prepare the 10 year old and explain that his brother is paying for some of it.

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


'My parenting style is Survivalist'

A helicopter or tiger mum, I am not.

8 mums reveal their favourite nappy bags

We asked a bunch of mums which nappy bags they love the most.

Why you shouldn't bother throwing a big first birthday party

If you're feeling the pressure to host an all-out, over-the-top shindig for your baby's birthday, I hereby grant you permission to throw the rules out the window.

The 24 baby names on the verge of extinction this year

If you're on the hunt for the perfect baby name and don't want a chart-topper like Oliver or Olivia, then do we have the list for you.

'My mum doesn't seem that interested in my baby'

Q: My mother and I have always been close, but now that I have a baby, she has not helped out as much as I thought she would.

New guidelines: "Bottle-feeding mums need support too"

Breast is best, but mums who can't, or choose not to breastfeed need support too.

Dads also struggle to 'have it all', study finds

Men and women both experience work-family conflict.

Language development may start in the womb

Study found babies can recognise foreign languages before birth.

Meet the baby born from an embryo frozen for 24 years

Experts say little Emma is a record breaking baby.


From our network

Five things you need to know about flu and pregnancy

As the 2017 flu season begins in earnest, here?s what you need to know to protect yourself and baby.

Mum tips to keep your pre-baby budget in check

Money might be funny in a rich man's world (or so ABBA told us), but for the rest of us it's a major consideration – particularly before having a baby.

5 easy ways to make your maternity leave last longer

Maternity leave is a special time for you, your partner and your new little bundle. The last thing you want is for financial worries to stand in the way of that joy.

10 ways to keep your 'buying for baby' costs down

Becoming a parent is full of surprises – not least of all finding out that, for such small beings, babies cause a lot of chaos and expense.

5 ways to prepare to go from two incomes to one

Here are some ideas for getting that budget in shape, ready for being a one income family.


Baby Names

Need some ideas?

See what names are trending this year.

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.