To expect to be able to spend some time at home at weekends (without screens)

(61 Posts)
thinkingmakesitso Sat 07-Nov-15 10:34:59

This happens most weekends and it is really getting me down. Dc get up, usually by 7, come in for a cuddle and then go downstairs and I follow them within about half an hour. Screens go on as soon as they are downstairs. I sit at kitchen table drinking coffee on MN. As soon as I am showered, it's screens off (by 9) and that is where the trouble starts.

I think they have a decent amount of toys, though ds1 doesn't really do toys, and we have plenty of space, but both dc seem so limited in what they will do. They can't agree on playing anything together; ds2 just wants to sing bloody Paloma Faith songs through his microphone; ds1 just sort of mopes around. I have suggested board games, with me playing, bt he doesn't want to. He wants to play some Egyptian God game, which would involve me dressing up and doing role-play, which tbh, I can't muster the enthusiasm for. He is a good and enthusiastic reader, but hates reading in the day and seems to only read at night (after 'ights out' hmm).

Yes, we could go out, and I pln to after lunch, but I wish we could spend time at home without it being a battle. Our house is lovely and I need to get the washing done and, tbh, after a busy week I like a slow start to the weekend. I am happy to interact by helping with crafts, reading, playing board games, but just don't want to leap around roaring. Surely that is not UR?

It is so disappointing to look forward to the weekends just for them to turn out like this, unless we do a big day out, which we do about once a month. I just hate the feeling that we can't just spend time at home. AIBU - do others have this, or do you plan stuff to ensure it doesn't happen. Dc are 8 & 6 - surely old enough to amuse themselves at home for a few hours.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sat 07-Nov-15 10:38:55

Tbh if I want to get on with other stuff I just allow screen time. I only stop it if I'm able to provide the entertainment. I guess I just accept that I can't have it both ways.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 07-Nov-15 10:42:50

Well...You've told them that they can't go on screens, but you can't muster the enthusiasm required to play the game that they want to play. And presumably they can't muster the enthusiasm to play board games or hopscotch or whatever you want them to be doing.

If you want them to entertain themselves, let them use screens if they want too. Save your non screen time for trips to the park or when you do want to role play with them.

You're fighting a losing battle, really. They want to do what you don't want them to do, you don't want to do whatever alternative they want to do, and nobody is happy. That's why you've got trouble.

TheGruffaloFish Sat 07-Nov-15 10:43:37

Mine are younger, but I had the same problem (aided by DH who will just throw screens at them so he can do whatever he wants). I went cold turkey no screen time for a week. By the end of the week, they were playing with toys, jigsaws etc. Now they do go and play happily if I say no to screens.

Artandco Sat 07-Nov-15 10:45:15

We solved that issue, but just not having any screens available at home! No TVs no iPads etc. so they have always played well tbh as only option smile

bingandflop Sat 07-Nov-15 10:49:16

I know its a screen but could they do something like reading eggs which is, at least, educational? Mine are younger but I hear you as they aren't the world's best at entertaining themselves (without trampolining on the sofa grin)

Enjolrass Sat 07-Nov-15 10:57:03

If you don't want to play what they want to play, why are you annoyed they don't want to do what you want to.

Honestly I would allow screens while I did some jobs and then take them out.

If you want them to spend time in the house, not with screens, you need to figure out something everyone wants to together.

Or just play the games they want to play with them. I thought playing games that bored you to tears was par for the course.

lushaliciousbob Sat 07-Nov-15 10:59:45

It is sad that children feel unable to amuse themselves without screens. It is something similar to what my dissertation was on. I am not against screens, they are a part of modern age and I do think that children are at a disadvantage if they don't know how to use technology these days as they are everywhere in work places. However, children should still be able to occupy themselves at home without screens. I used to spend hours at home playing on my own, and that wasn't because my parents didn't want to play, it was that I chose to! If I used to complain that I was bored then mum would say I could do all the housework (and I soon found something else to do!)
When I was in this age bracket around 15 years ago, I was friendly with all the local children. We spent hours and hours outside playing in the park. The houses surrounded a park and parents would pop in and out keeping in eye.
How about you ask them what sort of things they would be happy doing as an alternative? With Christmas coming up, it may be a good way to introduce some new toys.

TalkinPeas Sat 07-Nov-15 11:05:06

I was talking to my mum about this
she was moaning that kids of today do not interact

so I reminded her what I used to do on the weekend
- lie in bed reading or playing cards till lunchtime
- sit in the corner with my nose in a book
- sit at the spare table doing a jigsaw
as did my siblings

once we were too old for lego, it was books, cards and winding each other up to pass the time

especially on days like today when the weather is just shite

ghostyslovesheep Sat 07-Nov-15 11:05:28

mine have unlimited access to TV and Ipads etc - they get bored - so DD3 is currently playing with all her little animals, DD2 is making an ultimate hamster playground and DD1 is cleaning her room

I dont try and force creativity - they find their own way

TheBunnyOfDoom Sat 07-Nov-15 11:07:14

But they're asking you to do things with them and you don't want to!

Marynary Sat 07-Nov-15 11:12:13

Considering that they have been at school all week and presumably worked hard I don't see why it is necessary to stop them using screens at 9 o'clock. That seems too restrictive and likely to backfire.
Let them watch television or whatever if they want on a Saturday morning but encourage them to do other things. If they are still doing it by lunchtime then it is time to restrict them and go out/play with friends/read a books etc. They will probably be bored with screens by then and happy to do something else.

TalkinPeas Sat 07-Nov-15 11:25:24

Swap Shop and Tiswas : lying on the floor, glued to the screen doing absolutely nothing for HOURS on a Saturday morning

Crinkly Bottom : lying in bed glued to the radio doing nothing

those whose memories of childhood do not include lots of doing nothing
on wet windy November Saturdays, need to recollect better

Artandco Sat 07-Nov-15 11:35:19

Talkin - we never watched TV as children either, and never laid around in bed at weekends. They were always busy throughout childhood either outside playing with friends, outside doing something with parents, or at home helping to bake/ garden/ play board games/ marble runs/ Lego/ school work/ painting. All pretty similar to my children's childhood now.

Currently I'm faffing on here whilst looking up recipes for later. Dh and ds1 (5)are sanding down a dresser to paint later. Ds2 (4) is building a snaking line of toy animals through the house and marching them into a large casserole dish ( he's a strange one).
We will bed out to an exhibition after lunch, and taking them to the theatre tonight. Tomorrow we have a bike ride in new forest planned ( so need to drive their early and back late). No time for TV for the children really anyway

Artandco Sat 07-Nov-15 11:36:08

* head out, not bed!

museumum Sat 07-Nov-15 11:41:47

Meh. I'm beginning to realise I'm not that fussed about screens. If I want ds to get away from the screen then we go out.
I like putting the big tv off for a while but if ds wants to use the iPad I do let him. He won't spend all day on it.

EWLT Sat 07-Nov-15 11:50:54

At 6 & 8 you just tell them to turn them off and find something else to do. They'll moan about being bored for a bit but as long as they know you mean it and the screens won't be going back on they'll soon find something to do IME.

If they can't, that's even more reason to make them turn the screens off a bit IMO

The downside is that whatever they do come up with will involve noise and mess, which is why it's so easy for parents to go with extended screentime. I can't see the harm in some screentime, but I don't like it all weekend either OP. Mine are 12 & 14 and still know there are limits.

BerylStreep Sat 07-Nov-15 11:53:06

Artandco I love the sound of your DS2's game grin

BerylStreep Sat 07-Nov-15 11:54:42

In our house we have a rule of no screens until after 3pm, and even then it is a max of 45 mins during the week and an hour at weekends. TV doesn't count though.

Marynary Sat 07-Nov-15 12:01:07

TalkinPeas Yes my Saturdays mornings were pretty similar as a child. I can't really see what is wrong that with a child relaxing and doing exactly what they want to do on a Saturday morning.

Artandco Sat 07-Nov-15 12:04:16

Beryl - last week I found him standing on closed toilet lid with string and a coat hanger 'fishing' in the sink!

lljkk Sat 07-Nov-15 12:29:52

Historically 6yos were shoved out the door at 8am with a packed lunch & told to be back at teatime. That's how parents managed. You get dobbed to SS if you did that now, so screens fill the modern gap.

I was a good girl who played by self in 1970s, but also it was still fine for a 5yo to run feral outside for hours without supervision. My parents also labeled me antisocial because I would rather read than go to parties.

ghostyslovesheep Sat 07-Nov-15 12:33:24

I am 45 and was never 'shoved out the door at 8am' I was too busy watching Tiswas or going to church

It wasn't common amongst my friends either - yes we played out a lot but always near home and always popping back for drinks and wee's - we where never forced to though

EWLT Sat 07-Nov-15 12:36:23

By dad, b. 1943, tells tales of being gone all day from about 7yo, but it wasn't normal in the 1970s childhood I had.

We did watch TV as children, but it was restricted in that there was only stuff we actually wanted to watch on for a few hours a day/week. Saturday mornings, yes. All weekend, no.

thinkingmakesitso Sat 07-Nov-15 12:39:36

Yes, I spent Saturday mornings watching tv and got up ridiculously early, so it was probably about 4 hours' worth which would then have been added to in the evenings or maybe in the afternoons as well. The thing is, my childhood was not all that great, not awful, but I don't feel able to say, "that's what I did so it's fine," like some can, as there are many things my parents did that I would never, ever do, and it can be hard to sort some of what they did into ok, good and DO NOT COPY.

Maybe I will lighten up with the limits - I don't know. I am soooo tired on Saturday mornings (work f/t, lp) that it is hard to be creative - I don't refuse to role-play just for the sake of it. I honestly don't think I could for more than a couple of minutes.

Anyway, things are a bit better now. They are 'sort of' hanging out together and we are about to hit the woods!

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