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Old 10-16-2015, 02:29 PM   #1
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Electronic Devices

My DW and I have this discussion at least once during our camping trips. Should we let our kids play on the Ipads while camping? I know we are supposed to be getting away from it all. Right. And we do. We hike, bike, and enjoy being outside. I am in I.T. and understand how connected as a family we are. We limit their screen time while at home. They typically get on their device before they go to bed, it drives my DW crazy. Her argument is always, I never had this while I was camping. And my argument is it is only for a 30 mins, its not a big deal. Just want to get some thoughts.

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Old 10-16-2015, 02:50 PM   #2
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My youngest graduated college in 2014, so my advice is dated.

From my experience with my kids, fighting their desires was a recipe for lots of hurt feelings all the way 'round.

The (now ex-)wife and I put reasonable limits on the tech of our day. I.e. "No video games on school nights". That kind of thing worked well for us.

I don't see how 30 minutes of 'connected' time after the day is over, but clear of bedtime would be unreasonable.

You and the DW could use your own 're-connect time' while the brats escape to their electronic world.

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Old 10-16-2015, 02:54 PM   #3
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Instead of telling them NO, bring along some board games just for camping.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:32 PM   #4
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The answer is different for every family and every kid.

We started tenting with a 1 year old long before electronics were something everyone carried around. We entertained her and did things as a family, not only the hiking, fishing, and biking, but visiting local attractions, board games, making sitting by the fire an event not just something to do, playing catch, etc. Our daughter is 31 now and still loves camping with her husband. The key we found as parents was NOT to make all the decisions about what we would do each day. When she got old enough she got to pick place to go and things to do also. That kept her involved and feel a part of things. We also often camped with friends that had kids. That made it more of a party atmosphere and the kids found plenty to do as a group.

We didn't take a TV in the trailer until 2005 when we did a nearly 6k mile trip out west. This was long after our daughter grew up. I really only watch movies for a while at bed time, and we use it to catch the weather. We take our tablets but mostly for reading.

If I was younger and camping with kids today I would probably allow limited use of electronics. It's just part of life now. But make sure to let the kids choose activities and do all the things we did years ago.
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:33 PM   #5
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Our 3 kids (9,7,3) have devices. We allow them to bring them camping and would monitor how much they are used but ironically enough they almost never come out. Maybe the 3 y/o will go inside earlier than the others and might lay in bed with an iPad, but the older two almost never do. We don't provide them internet access when camping so that might remove some of the appeal. Reality is they are so tired by the end of the day it straight to sleep and so fired up in the morning to get on with the days activities they rarely think about it.

I will say its quite nice to let them use them in the truck while traveling though. Each has headphones so it promotes a much more peaceful travel experience.
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:26 PM   #6
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We allow our 12yo twin boys electronics late evening (starting to get dark or dark out) as they wind down for bed. Ipad or tv (movie), their choice....

ONLY on the rare occasion are they allowed electronics during the day (really crappy weather).
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Old 10-16-2015, 06:46 PM   #7
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It varies. To and from, their usually on it. At night before bed. During the day, it's closely monitored. Very rare we have Internet while camping. I took 9ut the TV after the first trip.

Personally, I would prefer to leave them at home.
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Old 10-17-2015, 05:38 PM   #8
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Times change. I'm 60, and I certainly never played with an iPad when I was a child, but only because it didn't exist. I'm sure I would have. Instead, I listened to a little transistor radio for hours on end. So we do what we do in our own generation. Having said that, to my way of thinking, it is proper to limit usage, whether at home or traveling. But, to prohibit it totally, simply because it wasn't available to the parents' generation, seems silly.

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Old 10-17-2015, 06:08 PM   #9
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I'm betting many will use the StarTrek Holodeck once its shrunk down to RV size.
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Old 10-18-2015, 08:13 AM   #10
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Some say you should avoid electronic devices prior to bed time for children as it disrupts their brains ability to get into rem sleep..

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