To want to relax about screen time in the holidays, but not too much?

(47 Posts)
IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sun 28-Jul-13 10:34:48

I'm not sure where the balance lies. If I just let them gorge themselves on telly and tablets for a couple of days, will they burn out and beg to climb trees? Or should I stick to the nominal rules we have in term time of no telly before school so really no screens for most of the day? My gut feeling is that there is always something better to be doing than anything with a screen, so I struggle because dh can't see a problem with it. Dc are four and seven. Would love to know what you do.

Depends on what the weather is like, how tired I am etc. The rules definitely relax over the holidays but I try not to let them just veg in front of the tv all day, every day.

mrsjay Sun 28-Jul-13 10:45:18

id let them watch tv in the morning till they are dressed and then if you have plans switch it off then just see how the day goes you dont need to fill their time with activities all day every day in the holidays it is exhausting and children need to chill out too, just play it by ear if they are milling about and it is raining outside or whatever let them watch some tv or play on the computer for a wee while, unclench a little screens wont harm them honestly.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 28-Jul-13 10:46:56

Depends whats on the screen to me if its not just tripe i dont mind a bit extra screen.id let a bit more but have some activities planned too inbetween

MinimalistMommi Sun 28-Jul-13 10:48:11

My two just watch one film a week on either a Saturday or a Sunday, we keep it the same as term time.

nokidshere Sun 28-Jul-13 10:54:49

We all do whatever we like until after lunch and then we may or may not do something after that.

DH is currently watching a nature programme on iplayer, Ds1 is liking at cricket stuff on the pc, Ds2 is playing minecraft and I am mn etting on my phone! Blissful quiet chilled morning - later we all have things planned!

Term time is so full on and manic I try not to nag in the holidays... We all need peace and wind down time, even children.

Tee2072 Sun 28-Jul-13 10:56:58

Opposite of nokid in our house. We do something in the morning and then my son can watch TV in the afternoon, if he wants.

redskyatnight Sun 28-Jul-13 10:59:51

WE tend to keep it to the morning before getting ready (which can be quite a long time depending on how lazy we feel) and some time in the evening. Then you have the bulk of the day to do "something".

dublindee Sun 28-Jul-13 11:02:10

My eldest DS wears glasses and used to have a lazy eye (corrected with patches). As a result, I have always limited any DS and playstation use and telly watching. They get to watch their fave telly programme each day (so an hour approx for 2 eldest as their fave is normally 30 mins each.)

DS or playstation is allowed on Friday-Sunday only for max of an hour each with regular breaks. I've been begged for a 3DS but have refused until they're 12 (recommended age by Nintendo themselves as can damage vision before this!) Apparently most of the class now have this version... I have just said that's fine, but most of the class didn't have orthoptist visits and eye patches - if their parents are happy to ignore advice from the makers of the 3DS that's up to them - we will get one when you're 12 , not before. DS1 is almost 9 and DS2 is almost 7. I am super-mean, at least that's what DS1 says!!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 28-Jul-13 11:05:21

I let mine have their fill for three days.

Now we're on holiday and they are too busy doing other things so that will be ten days with almost none.

I will let them have as much as they want when we get home and then scale it back as it gets to back to school time.

I am very relaxed about screen time anyway though, and I see no evidence of it harming my children in any way.

Oh gawd, my kids spend so long doing activites/clubs during tern time, that in the holidays they can do what they want, when they want.

Ds (4) is currently on his bed with his tablet, DD (6) is doing hama beads in the dining room. Its not a treat, or rationed in this house, so isnt a big deal.

Really, there are bigger things to worry about.

WilsonFrickett Sun 28-Jul-13 11:48:31

I am a freelancer so usually have work to do during the holidays. I try to limit that to the morning, so DS7 can do whatever he likes up till lunch - tv, Xbox or playing. In reality that usually works out around an hour of each thing, so two hours screen time.

Then in the afternoon we 'do stuff'. He may have more tv around dinner/bed but that's fine. I'm pretty relaxed about it because I have to be - if I don't work I don't get paid. He switches stuff off when he's done, he won't sit there all day (even if he was allowed to do so).

In term time he gets an hour or so of tv a day during the week and no Xbox at all on weekdays.

Sirzy Sun 28-Jul-13 11:53:24

How old are they?

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sun 28-Jul-13 12:50:58

Four and seven. Think I might need to let go of the romantic notion that wind down time exclusively means reading books or drawing. I guess if they're doing other stuff too it's okay. Have started putting timer on the tablet to remind me when they've had half an hour or so. Trouble is, I could easily let them have screen time all day-we're all exhausted at the moment. Finding the range of approaches very helpful.

ThisWayForCrazy Sun 28-Jul-13 13:03:37

We have a ban on technology between 10 and 1, however, we are generally out then anyway. Between 1 and 3 it is chores or educational screen use only. After that I am normally sorting dinner so let them get on with it. After dinner it's outside play until 7, then bedtime routine starts. Depending on age and their bedtime the screens come out again.

valiumredhead Sun 28-Jul-13 13:04:21

At 4 and 7 I'd still limit it tbh.

Sirzy Sun 28-Jul-13 13:09:09

I would still limit it but at that age it shouldn't be too hard to do.

DS is 3.5 this morning we had an hour out at the park so when we got in he had the TV on for a while while he recovered then Tv off, leappad away (he knows he can only have that when I say so) leaving him no choice but to entertain himself!

BackforGood Sun 28-Jul-13 13:22:21

When mine were that age, it was 'no tele until what would be coming home from school time' worked much easier as it was always the rule and always stuck to... it's when you start being flexible it becomes a battle, IMO.

quesadilla Sun 28-Jul-13 13:31:48

Mine is only 2.5 so maybe different but I have just had her at home for a week (she is normally at nursery anout 3 days) and was wrestling with this.

My basic approach is that screen time is ok as day "bookends" to other stuff that goes on during the rest of the day.

So, for example, half an hour or so of Peppa Pig DVD in the morning, activity (swimming/park/soft play) lunch, sleep, another activity and then CBeebies for about an hour at about 5.30.

It's easy when the weathers nice though. Much harder to enforce when it's cold/raining and harder to go out.

I think once she is at school I will probably relax rules a bit but I think the basic idea of making sure screen time is rarely the bulk of a day's activity is a good one.

HollyBerryBush Sun 28-Jul-13 13:52:14

What do you think will happen to them if you relax your rules?

Or, what alternative entertainment have you put in place?

you can turn the 3D off on the 3DS and neither of mine use the 3D function. Most new games are for the 3DS so that's the version my 2 have. They also have old DSi consoles. I thought Nintendo said 3D was not suitable for under 7 btw

p.s. my dd also has glasses and used to have a patch. Using the DS, computer, etc has not made them any worse (has had glasses from 18 months old)

DwightFry Sun 28-Jul-13 16:28:14

We have a (newish) rule of 2 hours a day, one morning and one evening, of recreational screentime (consoles, interweb, TV). Screens can be used at other times for educational stuff provided I'm aware of it. This limits the brainless Minecraft/ You tube time and I'm flexible on the other stuff - so DS2 has been watching WW2 documentaries on Yesterday because I know he will then go away and find out about the engineering side of what they've been talking about. I also allow maths games, typing, language websites and things like that as 'educational'. DCs are 12, 10, 8, 3 btw.

I'm also trying out that morning screen has to be earned by getting jobs done and evening screen by not fighting horribly. All evening screens off an hour before bed minimum.

It sounds like a nightmare to keep control of, but it seems to be working quite well. We are, though, only 4 days into the holidays (but we were using this at weekends prior to now. School days they get an hour on screen, apart from homework if that is screen based). Except for Kindles, which are a grey area anyway!

kimmills222 Sun 28-Jul-13 16:56:00

I don't allow my kids to watch movies more than a few hours every week as they have the tendency to go overboard. The movies would go on and on if I don't restrict them. But yes, if its an educational program or anything that they would learn from I let them watch.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 28-Jul-13 17:04:26

I have never limited screen time for my dc. My ds now age 10, watches Top Gear every Sunday night and that's it, dd age 6 probably watches about an hour each day, more if she chooses a movie DVD instead. The IPAD is accessible whenever they want to look something up and ds has a Playstation 3 in his room which has been unused for about three months now as his interest in it comes and goes. I do believe that children will self regulate if given the chance to.

thebody Sun 28-Jul-13 17:04:34

holidays should be relaxing fun.

mix of everything including films, tv, garden, out door activities etc.

don't worry however you with little ones.!! soon as they get to 12 you won't see them for dust.

first it's the local shops/park/ street with friends and that progresses to a train/ bus ride to bigger shops/parks/streets/ costa and pizza places.

sigh!! 😂

valiumredhead Sun 28-Jul-13 17:51:56

Some children self regulate, others don't at all.

DwightFry Sun 28-Jul-13 18:00:29

Isn't that the truth, valium. DS1 has no brakes at all when it comes to screen use. DS2 will get bored with it and wander off to build lego instead.

formicadinosaur Sun 28-Jul-13 18:06:06

Mine were exhausted so we initially had a couple of film days with 3 hours or 4 of tv to recover. Now we are back to normal. A little tv at the end of the day if we have time and they have been good.

FromageFrog Sun 28-Jul-13 18:12:25

The optician at the hospital told me that doing fine work, like focusing on a DS screen or the Wheres Wally books would help to improve my dd's lazy eye.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 28-Jul-13 18:33:02

Honestly I am not trying to sound smug but have you ever tried to just let it go and see what happens?

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 18:47:02

I have done that, Sparkly, 7yo DS was on the likes of Nitrome 14 hours a day. Didn't stop for meals, did smash the keyboard if I nicely asked him to "get off now". Would have been on there 24/7 if I let him. So no good for us. He's 13 now & has an iPad, he's on that constantly when at home, but youtube is the only thing we truly have to ration on there.

Holiday system we have now is they each get a standard daily quota of TV/computer screens, 5 days a week. Can only access quota after completion of chores (or homework for the grumpy, yes I make them write & calculate!). Having tried lots of other things, this works best.

valiumredhead Sun 28-Jul-13 18:47:42

Yes sparkly I have.

Oblomov Sun 28-Jul-13 18:54:13

I have tv/wii/ds/tablet time, to suit ME !!
If it suits me, they have them, pre breakfast, or post breakfast, of a bit of 'down time ' during the day. Or just whenever I feel. Whatever we have going on during the day, be it almost a day out, or having a ride on our bikes, or coming home and them saying can we have some tv now.
Whatever suits ME, GOES.

Sparklysilversequins Sun 28-Jul-13 19:00:23

Ok, well my dc are hard work in other ways eg one of them has to have an in depth discussion every single day on why Pepperoni Pizza is not suitable for lunch. The screen time thing has just worked for us for some reason.

valiumredhead Sun 28-Jul-13 19:04:29

It's the same as some adults have no brakes on chocolate states at self in the mirror

FromageFrog Sun 28-Jul-13 19:05:46

Oblomov- I think that is the approach I have unconsciously adopted.

lljkk Sun 28-Jul-13 19:43:40

Thing is, I have 2 who can be very moderate about screen time. It's just the other 2 lack moderation.
Like I have 2 who never fought until 3rd one taught them how.
One who is super clever, one who is very Nice but Dim, etc.

FionaJT Sun 28-Jul-13 20:32:02

Like BackforGood I find being flexible leads to more battles. My dd is 8, and if she gets the slightest hint that something is open for discussion she's like a dog with a bone. And if something has happened differently once I will be constantly having to justify why it can't be like that all the time. I understand that not all children are like that envy but I'm pretty much sticking to term-time screen time rules as a result. That's 2 hours max and nothing after dinner.
Also, I'm working 3 days a week for the first 4 weeks of the hols which means being up and out to holiday club on a school times routine, so can't afford to let things fall apart completely until I'm off work too!

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Sun 28-Jul-13 21:15:35

Think I need to relax a little. Today, dd has painted pebbles, gone for a walk, played with littke figures, played basketball, drawn, gone to the beach and baked a cake shock. I think that, even though she hasn't read the famous five or knitted a teddy she's probably having a decent childhood! Ds has asked for screens more, but he has also done the basket ball, walk, beach and made a Lego thing. I think all is not lost. Will continue to regulate, but with less of the killjoy grump about me. Very useful to hear different approaches and it makes me realise ds can regulate less well, whereas dd is the walk off and get bored with it type.

Dancergirl Sun 28-Jul-13 21:31:19

I am also struggling with appropriate rules although my older two are older - 10.5 and 12 - and LOVE their iPods. They tend to disappear into their rooms to watch stuff on youtube etc. If you have dc this age, do you limit ipod use?

And does a kindle count as a screen??

valiumredhead Sun 28-Jul-13 21:45:18

Yes I limit I pod use unless just listening to music. Kindles-not of it's a basic reading one, I'd limit a Fire.

DwightFry Sun 28-Jul-13 21:46:16

A kindle's not a screen in this house, because I don't want to have to take more books than clothes on holiday. But it's a tough call. Ipods are entirely about listening here Dancergirl, but we have to ration youtube time, otherwise DS2 will spend hours of the day watching other people play minecraft. The only rules about ipods are no earphones in at the table or after lights out.

DwightFry Sun 28-Jul-13 21:47:17

Should also clarify that DS2 particularly has audio books on his ipod and I don't want to limit his listening to that.

Marzipanface Sun 28-Jul-13 22:03:39

My 3 yr old only watches tv when she is ill or tired. Not interested the rest of the time. She will, however, use the iPad for ages playing her phonics and numbers apps. Does this count as 'screen time'? I've never regulated and she seems to prefer to play with her toys/craft stuff.

gobbin Sun 28-Jul-13 23:52:36

Never limited my DS - when younger, if he wanted to watch tv till his head fell off, that was ok by me. It would self-limit because he would get bored and want to play something interactive with me and would often alternate between play and tv. If Imfelt he hadn't had enough time away from the house then I would ensure we got out and about.

Never really understood the tv limiting thing to be honest. As long as there's a balance across a week and plenty of other interactivity, tv does no harm. It does not make imbeciles of kids and the only people I hear professing that it does are generally lentil-weaving Grauniad reading colleagues with tedious views on many aspects of life, all spouted with the conviction of the righteous.

My DS would also sit and play Habbo for HOURS. It actually exposed him to the concepts of business development, working for a living, trade and barter, got to know regualr gamers in other coutries (and learnt some Finnish) developed his vocabulary and an appreciation of music.

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