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Old 06-19-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
KristaTX
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Question "I'd rather just stay in the room and play games on the iPad"

We had a great time on our recent WDW trip with another couple and their daughter. The child just finished kindergarten and had never been to WDW. Our friends had been when they were kids but not as adults. My husband and I are in our 40s and do not have kids.

So I'm just wondering. Have any of you had the experience where a child would rather just stay in the room and play on the computer than go out into the parks? She was excited and engaged and had fun on the trip (except for Space Mountain and Tower of Terror ), but on numerous occasions every day she brought up a game called Minecraft and talked and talked about it. This was not necessarily when she was tired and needed a nap. A DIS friend that we met up with on the trip told me that he had the same thing happen to him when they went with some family friends a few years ago.

She was not a problem at all on the trip and was very well behaved, but several times in the parks she begged me to get some games on my cell phone for her to play or would indicate that she couldn't wait to get back to the room to play the video game. We took a 2-3 hour mid-day break every day. One afternoon after nap time she said she wanted to play on the iPad and I asked her if she'd rather just stay in the room all by herself to play on the computer, and she said "That would be fun!".

This isn't a couch potato family. They're runners, campers, gardeners, raise chickens, and they don't let the child watch an overabundance of TV. But they in their very early 30s and are techie types. Has a new term been coined (like "couch potato") for being addicted to computer/video games? I guess Disney is on top of this with all the "interactive" stuff they now have, that really doesn't interest me much at all. I just don't "get" video games unless it's from the Ms. Pacman era where you start a game and it's over 5 minutes later.

I admit that on our last day I did tell my husband that I was ready to be home and just watch TV. So I'm not really judging. I'm more just curious and kind of sad that playing video games is more fun to a fully awake child than going to a Disney park is.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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It could be that she was just overwhelmed by everything and wanted to retreat to something that brought her comfort and was familiar. If her parents let her use electronics to wind down that could be what she needed. At 5 she probably didn't know how to express herself better.

My now 13 yo DD had a complete meltdown during our 1st WDW visit when she was 3. It was all just too much for her - too many people, too loud, too big etc. All she wanted to do was go back to WL and play on the beach.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Poohforyou View Post
It could be that she was just overwhelmed by everything and wanted to retreat to something that brought her comfort and was familiar. If her parents let her use electronics to wind down that could be what she needed. At 5 she probably didn't know how to express herself better.

My now 13 yo DD had a complete meltdown during our 1st WDW visit when she was 3. It was all just too much for her - too many people, too loud, too big etc. All she wanted to do was go back to WL and play on the beach.

Exactly my thoughts.

If this child wanted to stay in the room with her favorite toy/stuffed animal we would all be saying "oh how cute". Todays kids are into technology its part of them. Heck my kids use Ipods, IPads, computers near daily at school and they are in the 3rd grade.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Poohforyou View Post
It could be that she was just overwhelmed by everything and wanted to retreat to something that brought her comfort and was familiar. If her parents let her use electronics to wind down that could be what she needed. At 5 she probably didn't know how to express herself better.

My now 13 yo DD had a complete meltdown during our 1st WDW visit when she was 3. It was all just too much for her - too many people, too loud, too big etc. All she wanted to do was go back to WL and play on the beach.
I think Poohforyou is on to something here Children that age get overwhelmed and don't know how to effectively express it. She probably wanted to just go and relax for a little while in a way that was familiar and calming for her.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:17 PM   #5
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Sounds like some older people I know that are addicted to World of Warcraft.
IMO this girl is spending too much time on the computer with one thing. Just like watching too much TV, too much time on a computer/video games is not good either. Especially if you are at Disney. If Disney with all the sensory overloads it has and things to do cant compete with spending time on a video game..then something isnt right. But then again maybe she just isnt into Disney.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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Yes, there is a name for it. A vidiot.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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She was on vacation, too. What do you like to do on vacation? This, apparently, is what she likes to do.

We made the mistake once of assuming what a kid wanted to do at WDW. We found it was best to ask them, and incorporate that into the trip. They didn't get to do what they wanted 24/7, but everyone's needs were taken into consideration.
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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It could be that she was just overwhelmed by everything and wanted to retreat to something that brought her comfort and was familiar.
Oh yes. There is definitely the "overwhelmed" thing. That's why I usually tell people to wait until a kid is 7 or 8 or 9 before taking them. But they were ready to do it this year because they know how important Disney is to us and they wanted to experience it with us. This little girl is 6 1/2 and she seems to be more of an introvert than an extrovert. And that's fine. I'm an introvert, too. She was very much into the character of Marie from the Aristocats, and I bought her a stuffed Marie. I also always tell people that Disney parks are generally more fun for older kids and adults than for children. But people who haven't been before have a hard time comprehending that.

They didn't really let her play it that much while we were down there. She had to nap during nap time, but did get to play it some. She was probably playing it less than her normal amount. But she still seemed a slightly obsessed with it, telling me all about how to play it even when we were just walking through the parks. At the airport when we were headed home, she was showing me how to play it. Her dad is very involved with an online interactive video game. So video games is just one of their things. But they have other interests and make sure that she has other interests and activities, too. She's pretty well-rounded. But when I think about the kids whose parents set no limits?
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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I don't think this is strange at all. The kid may really like Minecraft and was trying to share it with you....much the same way you were trying to share your love of Disney with her.


Everyone is different and enjoys different things. My kids liked Disney more when they were younger than they do now. (not enough thrill rides for them)

My kids love to relax with a video games. It is the way they wind down. DH reads the paper, I read the Disboards and other online message boards, etc.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:13 PM   #10
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Different strokes for different folks. I have a niece, 26 at the time, that had to leave HS to rush back to the room to watch a television show. On our last trip in February I was flabbergasted to walk past an entire family of 6 children ranging in ages from probably 15 to 5 sitting on a planter box at the Magic Kingdom, every single one of them was playing a game on their own IPAD. I know they were a family because they were all wearing the same shirt.

At first I thought it was funny. They were seated according to size. Tallest to smallest and it just looked funny. Almost like a staged commercial or something. Then I thought it was sad. The most magical place on earth, in my opinion, and every single one of them had their heads stuck in a computer.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KristaTX View Post
Oh yes. There is definitely the "overwhelmed" thing. That's why I usually tell people to wait until a kid is 7 or 8 or 9 before taking them. But they were ready to do it this year because they know how important Disney is to us and they wanted to experience it with us. This little girl is 6 1/2 and she seems to be more of an introvert than an extrovert. And that's fine. I'm an introvert, too. She was very much into the character of Marie from the Aristocats, and I bought her a stuffed Marie. I also always tell people that Disney parks are generally more fun for older kids and adults than for children. But people who haven't been before have a hard time comprehending that.

They didn't really let her play it that much while we were down there. She had to nap during nap time, but did get to play it some. She was probably playing it less than her normal amount. But she still seemed a slightly obsessed with it, telling me all about how to play it even when we were just walking through the parks. At the airport when we were headed home, she was showing me how to play it. Her dad is very involved with an online interactive video game. So video games is just one of their things. But they have other interests and make sure that she has other interests and activities, too. She's pretty well-rounded. But when I think about the kids whose parents set no limits?
Out of curiosity, if she had spent that time telling you all about the games she played on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or how much time she liked to spend on the Disney Fairies website, would you be as concerned? I mean ... if you think about it, her focused, single-minded obsession with her game isn't THAT much different than the Disneyphiles here. How many times do we read posts about "My friends say I talk about Disney too much. Anyone else?" or "I think I'm Disney obsessed!" or "I just got back and I'm already planning another trip. Obsessed? LOL"

Kids get obsessed with things. Games, books, TV shows, cartoons, etc. They're obsessed with it for a few months and then move on to other things. She's got a game that she's learned how to play and it's fun and familiar and that's all she wants to do right now. It could have just as easily been American Girl dolls or puppies or ... anything. I don't think it's odd at all that all she wanted to do is play her game. But then, I'm over 10,000 posts on the DIS, so who am I to compare .... ?

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Old 06-19-2013, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristaTX View Post
Oh yes. There is definitely the "overwhelmed" thing. That's why I usually tell people to wait until a kid is 7 or 8 or 9 before taking them. But they were ready to do it this year because they know how important Disney is to us and they wanted to experience it with us. This little girl is 6 1/2 and she seems to be more of an introvert than an extrovert. And that's fine. I'm an introvert, too. She was very much into the character of Marie from the Aristocats, and I bought her a stuffed Marie. I also always tell people that Disney parks are generally more fun for older kids and adults than for children. But people who haven't been before have a hard time comprehending that.

They didn't really let her play it that much while we were down there. She had to nap during nap time, but did get to play it some. She was probably playing it less than her normal amount. But she still seemed a slightly obsessed with it, telling me all about how to play it even when we were just walking through the parks. At the airport when we were headed home, she was showing me how to play it. Her dad is very involved with an online interactive video game. So video games is just one of their things. But they have other interests and make sure that she has other interests and activities, too. She's pretty well-rounded. But when I think about the kids whose parents set no limits?
Could it be that she just learned about it and began playing it? My kids are older, but I know that when they first get a or learn about a new game, they do play it a lot and talk about it a lot. They are also well rounded kids with outside activities and interests and can "unplug" when they need to. Minecraft is one of the "in" games right now, for the elementary school set and they will talk about it a lot when they can. DD has a favorite minecraft t shirt. LOL

Right now our DS16 is at a 3 week leadership program with no tv or video games, and only has his smartphone after 10 p.m. He is an introvert and when at home will play Xbox all the time. He RARELY just watches tv and is not interested in televised sports, so video games are his "outlet". I asked him how he thought he'd do without it for so long and he said "fine". I am sure that he has done fine, as the program he is in will not give them a lot of down time, but as an introvert, DS told me last week he was doing fine but "tired of being around people all of the time".

We'll go pick him up tomorrow. I am sure he'll sleep a lot, but being an introvert myself, I know that he'll appreciate a few days at home to "chill" and destress from being around people for 3 straight weeks. Just when he settles in, it will be time for him to start band camp and then school starts. So I am not worried about extended video game time for him.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:35 PM   #13
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They didn't really let her play it that much while we were down there. She had to nap during nap time, but did get to play it some. She was probably playing it less than her normal amount. But she still seemed a slightly obsessed with it, telling me all about how to play it even when we were just walking through the parks. At the airport when we were headed home, she was showing me how to play it. Her dad is very involved with an online interactive video game. So video games is just one of their things. But they have other interests and make sure that she has other interests and activities, too. She's pretty well-rounded. But when I think about the kids whose parents set no limits?
Would you be asking this question if she had said "I'd rather go back to the room and read?" or "...and play with legos" or "and do yoga"??? Or is it because it was something technology related taht you are asking about her being obsessed with something? Because growing up I was that kid that wanted to sit and read. When we went on vacation, I had my book with me. I remember being at a zoo and just sitting on a bench and reading while my family was looking at the animals. To me, reading was more fun and relaxing. But nobody ever worried about 'is she addicted to books?' instead it was seen as a positive thing. Trust me, the minecraft thing is a very involved and intricate creative thing....you might be impressed if a child was building a replica dollhouse of the White House, well my 10 year old child has a built a full replica of Hogwarts, the Hogwarts grounds, Diagaon Alley, and Hogsmeade in Minecraft. One is just as creative and valid as the other, but people would worry 'oh that child plays too much minecraft' but I doubt I'd ever hear anyone say 'oh, he spends too much time building a dollhouse version of the Harry Potter Universe". Don't criticize just because it involves technology.
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KristaTX View Post
Oh yes. There is definitely the "overwhelmed" thing. That's why I usually tell people to wait until a kid is 7 or 8 or 9 before taking them. But they were ready to do it this year because they know how important Disney is to us and they wanted to experience it with us. This little girl is 6 1/2 and she seems to be more of an introvert than an extrovert. And that's fine. I'm an introvert, too. She was very much into the character of Marie from the Aristocats, and I bought her a stuffed Marie. I also always tell people that Disney parks are generally more fun for older kids and adults than for children. But people who haven't been before have a hard time comprehending that.

They didn't really let her play it that much while we were down there. She had to nap during nap time, but did get to play it some. She was probably playing it less than her normal amount. But she still seemed a slightly obsessed with it, telling me all about how to play it even when we were just walking through the parks. At the airport when we were headed home, she was showing me how to play it. Her dad is very involved with an online interactive video game. So video games is just one of their things. But they have other interests and make sure that she has other interests and activities, too. She's pretty well-rounded. But when I think about the kids whose parents set no limits?
If she's an introvert, then her talking about it kind of makes sense. We've got lots of shy people in my family, including my son. When they find a topic that interests them, they tend to talk about it A LOT because it's comfortable and familiar. My son will talk your EAR off about Anime these days (he's 16).
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:35 PM   #15
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Minecraft is a crazy game... a lot like virtual Legos. Both of my older kids play and talk all the time about the things they've built, even when they're nowhere near the Xbox (neither cares for the mobile version as well).

In my mind, the "test" would be if you'd have the same negative reaction if the kid wanted to go back to the room to play Legos (or with another favorite toy). I think a lot of people assign a negativity to any electronic entertainment even in settings where they wouldn't bat an eye at a child talking about, asking for, or even whining about a non-electronic equivilent, and I don't think that makes any sense at all. Kids get obsessed with things; it is part of growing up. And I just don't get the judgement call that an obsession with a video game is inherantly worse than an obsession with Harry Potter or Legos or Barbies or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (all of which have been big talk-to-anyone-who-doesn't-flee phases for one or more of my kids).
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