To think that we could be screen free in the week...

(29 Posts)
colourdilemma Thu 30-Jul-15 15:24:24

...and survive! Just that really. Would like to get my kids detoxed from telly and iPads etc and am considering weekday cold turkey. Can't do weekends because dh and I have different ideas of how much screen to use.
Ours don't do much computer and iPad but I do use telly as a distraction and a "aargh my head is spinning go and watch cbeebies!" Thing. Dc are 9, 6 and 4.

MyGastIsFlabbered Thu 30-Jul-15 15:25:43

Watching with interest but I've got no ideas.

GraysAnalogy Thu 30-Jul-15 15:26:53

yeah but why would you want to, is there a reason behind it? Or is it to prove a point?

madwomanbackintheattic Thu 30-Jul-15 15:30:39

If you occasionally direct them to the TV for peace now, what exciting activities are you planning to run for them instead?
Losing screen time is a grand idea in theory, but it leaves a nice vacant spot for sibling fighting and attention seeking, unless you find 'something less boring instead' to distract them with? just taking the screens away is only the idea here, the actual theory that they will just run and find something more creative to do is lovely, but it just a theory, and the fact you use the TV to distract them from whatever it is you want them to stop doing suggests they might not be very compliant in that lol...

googoodolly Thu 30-Jul-15 15:40:18

I don't really understand why you'd want to. Surely it would mean you and DH would go without as well...so no phones, no TV when they're in bed, no DVD's if it's chucking it down with rain, no games on the wii occasionally...

Why don't you just tell them to play a board game/lego/read a book/something else that doesn't involve a screen?

StillStayingClassySanDiego Thu 30-Jul-15 15:43:12

Well you could try it but if you only use telly as a distraction and they aren't on the PC and Ipad much then what's the point?

KindergartenKop Thu 30-Jul-15 16:21:51

Cbeebies isn't so bad. It exposes them to a lot of things you wouldn't see every day. Maybe limit it to after tea or something for half an hour if you're worried they watch too much.

thatsshallot Thu 30-Jul-15 16:25:34

Mine are similar ages to yours and we do, it's surprisingly fine other than they really on us for entertainment more, ie playing board games. It's fine but hard work! We do every few months as it brings us closer together and helps them initiate more play rather than passively consuming screens

DJThreeDog Thu 30-Jul-15 16:26:30

I wouldn't.

I lived without a TV in 2004 and it was fine - but I lived in a shared house, was at university and was most likely out and about. If I was on my own in the house I was reading or working.

Children don't have those distractions as readily as adults so I wouldn't want to say no. I'd rather do it at the weekend, 2 days out of 7, where we are both around to take them out and do stuff.

RoganJosh Thu 30-Jul-15 16:31:06

We have set times that they are allowed screens, so they don't whinge the rest of the time. I may additionally say 'let's watch a film'. Would that work as a halfway measure?

antimatter Thu 30-Jul-15 16:33:14

I think I would try only certain hours where screen time is allowed.

They can choose how they want to spend their time.

FanOfHermione Thu 30-Jul-15 16:44:01

In short, yes of course wo any problem. Maybe easier if you are away wg grandparents) first.

That's what is happening with my dcs when they anywhere *grandparents, holidays etc...). We are going away 2 weeks soon and there will be no screen whatsoever.

I do wonder sometimes if I couldn't do that as a regular rule BUT my dcs are older, we don't have a TV so stopping them from having access to ipads and the like has proven to be an issue with peers ie they are too different, have no idea what other are talking abut, can't acess Instagram, Clash of Clkan that all their friends are on etc...

So bottom line is:
- do you want tat to be the norm or just for holidays?
- what is your issue with the TV?
- how much are they watching and why do you think it's too much?

My big personal issue is that they, well esp dc1, are unable to think about somethig to do in the house wo involving a screen. Because of that I've just removed the access to the BBC sport page on his ipod because he was spending hours reading and re reading this and that.
However I haven't found a solution to make them want to do something/invent something other than screen when they know the option is there.
So what is your issue?

colourdilemma Thu 30-Jul-15 16:45:56

I think I want to do it so that they really get to the point where they get a bit "what shall I do now?" Rather than what happens now which is telly when they get bored and are niggling each other. Also, and I know this is a weakness, I tend to leave the telly on once it's on as I enjoy the peace and quiet. I would go screen free til bedtime too-otherwise it wouldn't be fair. Maybe I could try for a week. It's a train of thought from realising that my older dd,9, doesn't read like I did and I realise that the times I read apart from bedtime are the times they have screens.

ProcrastinatorGeneral Thu 30-Jul-15 16:48:42

We have a no screens before dinner 'rule' for most days. My middle child is a beast if he gets into TV/tablet/game and can't disengage easily so we have a set window where they can play and watch. Works for us, but not everyone will be the same.

colourdilemma Thu 30-Jul-15 16:54:25

We've been having an hour a day iPad time rule (we're on holiday so different) but its been such a pain enforcing it as dd is creative with the truth and I resent monitoring something I really don't love anyway. Dh thinks no rules are fine because it worked for him but if he had watched all the kids tv he could in the week he'd have ended up with only an hour and a half a day and there were no "devices". Dd also, I suspect, has attention issues (I have been recently diagnosed with adhd and she is remarkably similar to me as a child) and that's another reason why I want to limit screens. A minefield.

HicDraconis Thu 30-Jul-15 16:58:09

We did this for a while but much of their homework is online (Sumdog, google docs) and you can't stop them doing homework!

Now we have a points based reward system where points are earned (household chores mainly) and then can be spent as minutes - at 5 mins per dishwasher load or basket of laundry, they have to do a lot of helping out to save up an hour's worth of TV time. No points, no screen time. They check their totals, ask when they want to use them, set their own timers and find something else to do (reading or card games mostly) if they're saving points for something particular or if they run out.

Points can be spent at any time but homework has to have been done first.

GummyBunting Thu 30-Jul-15 17:02:12

I think no screen time at all is a bad idea, as it turns screens into these amazing saught after treats that they will hold above everything else.

Children need to learn to encorporate screens into their lives in an appropriate manner. They will be using them at school, and certainly in their future jobs, so I think a healthy appreciation and natural ability to use screens will help them out loads in the long run. Especially if you're encouraging them to use screens as tools, and not just passive entertainment.

TL:DR= There's a happy middle ground!

Artandco Thu 30-Jul-15 17:08:01

It's easy once used to it. I haven't had a TV at home since I moved out at 18 so ours have grown up not using it. It's only occasionally in last 5 years with children I have thought maybe a film would be helpful ie everyone's ill. But really not enough to actually want to buy one

It means if we go to the cinema or use aeroplane TVs they actually really enjoy it as only watch something occasionally.

Here when they fancy not actually doing anything they go to the table and draw, I suppose as relaxing and easy to not have to concentrate much.

mumofthemonsters808 Thu 30-Jul-15 17:19:10

I don't think it's impossible, but I don't get too hung up on it. Ds has played out all day today mainly because the weather has been lovely, all his friends are available, his bikes working and he is full of energy. Tomorrow, it could be torrential rain and he would watch a bit of telly, play on the IPad and go on his dsi. Teen Dd has been sleeping, watching films, listening to music, reading her book, none of her friends are around, so it's whatever keeps her entertained.

FanOfHermione Thu 30-Jul-15 18:51:50

GUmmy I think that the idea that children will crave what they don't have so it will become THE one thing to have or do isn't quite right.

My dcs very rarely have sweets but one doesn't care and the other would sneek them in if he could. But is still very happy to have a packet of sweets lasting a month (ie he doesn't sneek in to eat them early morning etc...) hmm

The reality with screens is that children reaction to no screen or free for all screen are very different from one to the other. My nieces have free access to screen and mostly don't bother. My SIL would probably say that it's because they can have it whenever they want.
When I tried that with my dcs, one of them stayed for a bit and then wandered of to play in the garden. The other stayed glued to the screen all day, everyday until we decided that was it and put a stop to it (and we waited for a LONG time to see if it would happen!).

The solution there has tyo be adapted to the child individuality.

colourdilemma Thu 30-Jul-15 21:23:29

I think I'm formulating a plan. Might let them watch something on telly am, when breakfast eaten, dressed and everything ready to go for school. This will mean music practice for older two from sept and reading for all three (they could do that night before if they wanted to). After school, they usually have friends they can play with so actually am better. And they pick the programme on iplayer so it doesn't drift into another programme. Other screens just at weekends. Homework not included (maths homework is online). Gives me the after school slot as non negotiable screen free and then more at weekends if we want. And they'll be more selective about what telly they watch.

colourdilemma Thu 30-Jul-15 21:24:59

This has come after a long time where I've been too sleep deprived, stressed and generally defeated to do much about limiting telly at all so I do need to redress the balance.

FanOfHermione Sat 01-Aug-15 17:35:47

I came across this blog and though about you
a different approach the screen time

Maybe a good way to deal with it (I like it enough to try it on but my dcs have been horrified at the idea!!)

FanOfHermione Sat 01-Aug-15 17:37:29

Oh and I fully agree about watching stuff through YouTube, bbciplayer etc. that means they can CHOOSE what to watch rather than be a passive recipient iyswim

LashesandLipstick Sat 01-Aug-15 17:49:31

Why do people have such a stick up their arse about technology

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