Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To ask DSS and DSD to not use their devices at certain times?

(65 Posts)
PopMusic Mon 04-Mar-13 22:47:09

Ok, I am really not sure if I abu or not.

DP and I made a rule not to use any devices from the time DS (4) comes home from school to the time he goes to bed. It's working really well for us. We spend more time chatting, playing, I get help with the cooking and generally we are more there, iykwim, instead of half hearing/listening and repeating questions etc.

DP has 2 grown up children who visit occasionally. We love having them here and DS really enjoys playing with them. But it feels like that their noses are constantly in their phones, laptops, etc. A typical weekend is turning up late Friday night, them staying up late chatting online to friends or texting friends or playing games and then getting up late. Then straight into their devices. DS wants them to play, which tbf they do but only for about five minutes. We don't get much conversation from them either. Both DP and I find it really frustrating because we love them to bits, they are wonderful, funny people but sometimes it feels like a waste of a weekend when they hardly seem to "here" mentally.

Would it be aibu of me (and DP, of course) to ban devices for a couple of hours for their stay? How do other people cope with their children who come to visit but are always on their devices (they are in their early 20s)?

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 22:53:41

shock You can't 'ban' an adult from doing things?!

Would YOU take kindly to being told that you couldn't MN when you felt like it?

They may be your DH's children - BUT they aren't 'children', they are ADULTS. After the age of 16/18, they are adults and should be treated as such.

You can ASK them if they could leave their devices alone between certain times, but if they had to take a call (or even wanted to), you have no right to stop them.

Would you ban a friend the sane age as you from using their phone in your house? No? Then why do you think you have any right to ban any other adults from using their phone or laptops?

Also - how much do you think adults in their 20's have in common with a 4yo if they don't yet have their own DC's?

You are expecting them to play with him as if they are in a similar age group.

Did YOU spend hours playing with 4yo's when YOU were in your 20's?!

I don't really think you can 'ban' something for visiting adults. But I would be pointedly asking them why they bother to visit me, when they don't actually spend any time 'with' me. They may have genuinely not realised what they are doing.

Catsdontcare Mon 04-Mar-13 22:56:17

You will look a bit bonkers tbh if you do

MerryCouthyMows Mon 04-Mar-13 22:56:25

Is this post a serious post? Surely, OP, you can see that having a 16 year+ age gap means that they aren't going to be that interested in playing Thomas the Tank engine any more than your 4yo is going to be interested in organising the next night out down the pub?!

PopMusic Mon 04-Mar-13 22:58:10

Oops! Sorry, I didn't mean ban of course, I meant ask them not to use t.

PopMusic Mon 04-Mar-13 22:59:57

I did say to ask in the thread title - I must be tired!

livinginwonderland Mon 04-Mar-13 23:03:29

you can't ban adults from doing things! ask them, but if they don't want to, there's not much you can do about it!

Dromedary Mon 04-Mar-13 23:09:40

They may be adults, but they are your DH's children, and it is his and your house. If they are not talking to you and generally contributing to making it a nice weekend, then they are basically using you as a hotel. I think it would be fair enough to have a discussion with them about this, and reach a compromise.
If I invited a friend to stay for the weekend, and she spent all her time chatting with her other friends on Facebook and Twitter, I would be pretty pissed off, and probably wouldn't invite her again.

PopMusic Mon 04-Mar-13 23:13:33

blush I didn't mean ban grin, I honestly meant to say ask.

Funnily enough, at their grandparents house they don't to tend to use their devices as much and they do play with DS a lot more and we get more conversation out of them too. But that tends to be at Christmas, Easter etc times.

It's worse when it's a short weekend visit. It's like a habit, I guess (goodness knows, I've been there). If they spend more than a few days with us at ours, they tend to use their devices less after a couple of days.

SirBoobAlot Tue 05-Mar-13 00:46:04

I'm 21. I respect my parents rules about using mobiles at the table etc (mainly as I have a 15 year old brother), but not a cat in hells chance I would do anything other than snort with laughter if they tried to ban me from using my phone when I was over.

If they're played with your DS for a small amount of time, they're still engaging with him.

WaitingForMe Tue 05-Mar-13 03:20:28

Of course you can ban them. We have no devices at the table and several times I've told DH and DM to put theirs away. It's about setting an example to small children and I'd expect teenage siblings to respect that.

But then I did once threaten MIL with the naughty step so perhaps I'm odd grin

complexnumber Tue 05-Mar-13 06:46:22

In a few years your son is going to be using a device of some sort for homework. Are you going to tell him not to while his siblings are around? Can you not go for something that can apply to everyone of all ages like no devices while you are eating together?

chandellina Tue 05-Mar-13 07:10:44

Definitely ask them to lay off, they might even enjoy taking a break. It's outrageous how isolated screen time has replaced traditional social interaction.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 07:18:11

If they were much younger, I think that you could- but not when they are early 20's. The age range is huge and they are not going to spend the entire time playing with a 4yr old. Mine are in their early 20s and always have phones etc but if you talk to them they stop, they wouldn't bring them to the table and we go out - they are quite sociable.
It would be a bit unrealistic to think that a houseful of adults are going to centre entirely on a 4yr old. The best thing would be to get them to take him up to the park on their own, or go out and leave them babysitting and then they will have to relate more.

lljkk Tue 05-Mar-13 07:20:23

I think R to ask politely, U to expect them to obey.
Could turn off the WiFi when you want them not to have access, reduce them to phone only as option.
they may decide to visit less often as a result.

allnewtaketwo Tue 05-Mar-13 07:21:24

"Would you ban a friend the sane age as you from using their phone in your house? No?"

Obviously not, but I'm sure the OP wouldn't have a friend to stay for the weekend if all that friend ever did was have her nose in an electronic device rather than actually conversing

Smartiepants79 Tue 05-Mar-13 07:29:02

It is not unreasonable to expect them to play with their younger sibling, presumably that is part of the reason why they come to stay.
As they are adults, then an adult conversation, explaining that you have time without your devices etc. and that you would like them to do the same while they stay with you. You can't MAKE adults do things but by the same token you can expect them to behave like adults and compromise.

PopMusic Tue 05-Mar-13 07:36:38

I don't expect the whole household to be centred around a four year old, that would be unrealistic. grin. DSD is much better at engaging with us than DSS. And for the record, I would not ask them to put their devices away the whole weekend, just certain times.

Smudging Tue 05-Mar-13 07:37:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 07:46:47

If they are adults visiting for a weekend do you plan what to do are are they just 'there'? We have cousins coming next weekend- we have things planned, to give them a choice- we are not just sitting in the house for 2 days. If you are not going out and have no plans for what to do at home then it is unrealistic to think they won't amuse themselves - as would a 4yr old. When my mother stays she amuses herself part of the time with a book- since she is elderly and not much help I am grateful that she does amuse herself. If you want them to stop you need to give them things to do.

FlowerTruck Tue 05-Mar-13 07:48:09

How old are they ? Do they stay for entire weekends or do they just pop round for a couple of hours ?

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 07:50:29

Early 20s FlowerTruck - not teenagers.

EmmelineGoulden Tue 05-Mar-13 07:51:46

Of course you can ban adults from doing things. There are lots of things we're banned from doing by laws, rules, and regulations. The way you ban adults from doing things is by asking and backing up the ask with consequences which are within your power.

One of Mumsnet's favourite phrases "your house, your rules" includes an implicit understanding of this - you can set the rules or exclude them from your house.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 07:54:46

You can ban whatever you like e.g shoes on your carpets, but don't expect people to want to visit you!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now