Gransnet forums


Family life?

(20 Posts)
dahlia Sun 31-Mar-13 16:43:27

My DD has just been down for a few days with SIL and 2 delightful teenage GD's. A very enjoyable break all round, but DH and I were amazed to see how technology has taken over their lives. More than once we came into the room to find DD on laptop and the others on I-phone or I-pad, sitting in complete silence (one had headphones on, too). This apparently is the norm, although they didn't do it when we were sitting with them, which is a blessing! I have a picture of them all in their own little worlds when at home, hopefully communicating at meal-times if at all, and they seem blissfully unaware at how modern IT has affected their lives.
I even saw an article about toddlers having I-pads with their own blogs written by their mums!
It may have been boring when we all collected around the television set each evening when I was a child, but at least we did talk to each other, even if it was to argue about what to watch!
I would be interested to know the views of other Gransnet members, bearing in mind that while I have been accessing the internet today, no words have passed between DH and I - but then, he is snoring quietly!

flowerfriend Sun 31-Mar-13 16:54:46

DS and twin twelve year olds are here and I am experiencing a similar scene. So if you can't beat them, join them. Hence I am on GN.

But we have been out to enjoy a walk and some sunshine.

Happy Easter!

Greatnan Sun 31-Mar-13 17:18:38

When I was in New Zealand, my 15-year old daughter had her mobile glued to her ear, even on days out, but she has just got a boyfriend so it was predictable. Her 14-year old brother has not yet got to that stage and never uses his phone. He uses the family laptop to play a game occasionally, but mostly he reads or paints his Warhammer figures. We all watched CDs together (Vanity Fair, Blackadder, An Idiot Abroad) as NZ TV is dire. The family always eats together at the dining table, or out in the garden at the new bbq which I bought for them.
My daughter gets up very early to make a good breakfast and checked her emails or sent pms to her other four children before I got up. Her husband only uses the computer for practical purposes, like checking the rota for work. On the whole, I think that as a family they are not addicted to technology and spend a lot of time outside working in the garden or in various activities.

It is amusing to think that my generation managed a full social life without even using the phone box on the corner, as nobody we knew had a phone. I used to get love letters in the post, which was very exciting.

ninathenana Sun 31-Mar-13 17:41:05

Eldest DGS has been bought a child's version of the iPad for 4th birthday. I don't approve. But it's not for me to say. It is educational and he's time limited.
Today we have all spent a very chilly but fun day out at a steam fair.

Nelliemoser Sun 31-Mar-13 18:17:18

Nina The bit about "Its educational" is used to persuade people to buy a lot of stuff.

You and I and all other GNrs managed to become well informed and literate without such technology.

I am not a complete luddite but I cannot help thinking its all a bit too much.
Someone get the Genie back into the bottle! Now! wink

What really does worry me is the online exposure to cyber bullying and "sexting" that takes place as well as the number of children who expose their security in chat rooms. Too many children and parents fail to understand the dangers of this or know how to prevent it.

Audreyab Sun 31-Mar-13 18:23:13

I can safely say that if it wasn't for the internet and Gransnet I would be an un happy person.

If I feel bored, alone, in need of a bit of support, I can go onto Gransnet and get all those things.

My DH is not much of a talker and so it would be so boring just sitting watching TV, and I would start to question my life and how empty it was etc etc, but with the internet and as mentioned GN I forget all those things.

I know that it can have its problems, technology, but my life is better for it smile

sunflowersuffolk Sun 31-Mar-13 18:40:39

We have a family photo which we laugh about. We were in Queensland Australia with some friends and their 2 children, and our boys aged about 14 and 12. We had hired a camper van and were driving through along the coast to Fraser Island. The photo shows all 3 boys each holding their game boys, heads down and concentrating on the game, oblivious to the fantastic scenery. Mind you, as soon as we started bumping over the uneven sand, and seeing dingos, they loved it.

I can remember as a child on car journeys, the adults all exclaiming over the beautiful views, which left me cold, then.

I agree with you Audrey, now, I too would be lost without the internet. My husband is not a great talker, we have no close family or friends near, and I am often very lonely.

glammanana Sun 31-Mar-13 18:48:31

Its just changing generation's I think,when mobile phones first came out those big clunky things that weighed a ton and the fitting in the back of your car took up the whole boot space we all thought we would never be able to have ones like we do to-day did we ? my DGCs use internet for homework and to find out things that we could never ask our parents as they would not have known the answers in such depth,they need their phones to give my DD peace of mind as to where they are at all times,and I need my lap-top and tablet to keep up with Gransnet in the kitchen when cooking and in my bedroom in case I miss anything,not that I'm nosey I might add grin so I am all for technology but all mobiles etc are banned from the dining room DDs order's.

nanaej Sun 31-Mar-13 19:44:38

Hmm! DH is on his laptop on his footie forum or doing his online quiz and I am on mine..doing a newsletter for WI and dropping in and out of GN and FB! Have Countryfile on TV too..but we have had a busy day with both DDs + partners + DGS x 4 as well as my 88yr old aunt. Egg hunts, brunch and afternoon tea plus a game of 2-a -side football in the garden! As long as it is balanced with other activities I guess on-line activity is OK.

In days of yore..pre TV people in my family read books, wrote letters/diaries & listened to radio / not think it was non-stop conversation!

Audreyab Sun 31-Mar-13 20:51:38

Sounds like you have a perfectly balanced life nanaej one of the lucky ones I would say smile

harrigran Sun 31-Mar-13 23:59:55

I have had a rare day with the family, not one mobile phone rang or was on display, nobody used a computer. The children played with dolls, it was just like the good old days smile

Gally Mon 01-Apr-13 00:13:20

The boys here in Oz aged 9 and 6 and sister nearly 5 each have a DS (?) but they always want each other's so much fighting and screaming ensues. 5 yr old also uses her Mum's I-pad for games. However, on Easter Sunday we went on a long 'bush' walk along the coast which they loved and played along the way in make-believe Aboriginal caves and asked about all the plants and flowers we came across so, when persuaded, they can just be kids and enjoy their surroundings. Shows it's all up to the parents to guide them and show the way wink

Bags Mon 01-Apr-13 07:40:52

My four siblings and I spent our evenings in our rooms doing homework. Good old days, aye right hmm

Mind you, I used to burst out and bake cakes when it all got too much. Ept a family of seven in cake through my A levels. Gotta be good grin

Greatnan Mon 01-Apr-13 08:42:17

My grandchildren are fond of telling me that the reason I read so avidly was because there was nothing else to do! I wish we had had those little Nintendo games players for the long journey from our home in Surrey to my mother's house in Salford. It was hard to keep two toddlers amused for about six hours (this was before the era of motorways). I noticed several children on my recent very long flights being completely absorbed in their games.
I couldn't live the way I do without technology.

Notso Mon 01-Apr-13 08:45:19

I worry about parents' focus on their phones. It seems as if youngsters have to compete with the phones for parents' attention (I include my own family in this comment)
I recently took 2 grandsons to a local soft play area. There were a couple of dozen sets of children there, almost half of the accompanying adults were also grans. Without exception, the grans were watching 'their' children and the mothers were watching their phones.

seasider Mon 01-Apr-13 10:23:34

My OH can watch TV for hours on end but I get so bored or fall asleep! I much prefer to go on the internet and read Gransnet or the news and browse holidays etc. My friends are always impressed with the discounts/ offers I find but I do remind them it takes a bit of effort! I use Skype to keep in contact with two friends who spend much of the year abroad. I do hate it if out with DD and family and she is constantly being distracted by her phone but the i-pods etc do keep DGCs amused on long journeys so on balance I think I approve of technology. I was almost an only child growing up, as my brother was much older, so I became an avid reader to fill the long wet days when I could not play out. My stepdad controlled what we watched on our only TV so it was usually sport!

Mishap Mon 01-Apr-13 11:42:02

How I identify with that seasider - my OH watches TV endlessly and in the cold weather we do not run to heating another room, so I have to sit there. However, we have an agreement that he listens on his headphones so that I do not have to listen to the racket.

I hate to see my GC endlessly on their electronic games - it seems to wire them up and make them behave badly.

seasider Mon 01-Apr-13 22:01:35

Hi Mishap IF OH is in alone he has to have TV or radio on in every room .he cannot seem to be quiet whereas I quite enjoy it sometimes. I rarely watch TV just catch things I want to see on I player. At least I can go in other room but he would like me to sit with him!

Mishap Tue 02-Apr-13 10:10:26

Get some headphones! - good for marital harmony!

gracesmum Tue 02-Apr-13 11:04:34

I came downstairs on Saturday morning chez DD to find little GS (nearly 3) apparently at prayer (!) He was kneeling in front of the sofa in their kitchen and didn't even notice me come in till I spoke to him.
Not at prayer - watching Peppa pig on is mummy's iPhone propped up in front of him !!
Actually, his parents are very good at not using their "technology" when all together, not at the table and certainly NOT like so many young mums you see with mobile permenently clamped to the ear while they don't cope with lively toddler/baby with the other!
It does remind me of how my own parents NEVER allowed us to watch TV during meals which were always taken round the table.