Kids only want screentime and I am letting them :(

(22 Posts)
Startail Sun 17-Mar-13 01:04:34

DD2 is a shocking looser.

When she was younger this resulted in massive tantrums. DD1and me could not be bothered to play board games of any sort with her.

She doesn't get anything like as stroppy with the computer. DH does, he's banned from Mario karts.

Tee2072 Sat 16-Mar-13 15:44:28

Eh. There are worst things they could be doing.

I really can't be arsed about 'screen time'. I spend my whole day in front of a screen, more or less, why shouldn't my child?

MoreBeta Sat 16-Mar-13 15:44:24

Don't sweat about it.

My DCs are 11 and 13 and they get as much screen time as they want as long as they do their homework, practice piano, choir. They do Judo on Saturday and plenty of after school activity until 5 pm every night.

If they were not on XBox, iPads, PC they would be only watching TV.

MTSgroupie Sat 16-Mar-13 15:40:24

Finally, a parent that sees the irony smile

I find it funny how some people are oblivious to the irony. I mean, in another thread a bunch of MNetters spent the best part of the day on the PC and MN complaining about their PC gaming DPs.

Oh it's SO cathartic to read that others don't like playing either!! I feel dreadfully guilty about it but perhaps I shouldn't then. We've got a couple of board games that we all really enjoy and I'm happy to play those with them but most of it is booooooring. And yes, I LOATHE imagination games! This morning I had to be a pirate attacking the 5yo's 'boat' (sofa cushions) and after a few minutes of going "AAAAARRRR!" I just wanted to go and read my book!

The irony of worrying that they have too much screen-time instead of parent-time is that I choose to spend much of my free time on MN ie. my own screen time smile

Notmyidea Sat 16-Mar-13 13:52:44

I'm another one who doesn't like to "play" and at 35 weeks pregnant I'm concerned about how easily I'm letting them leave me in peace and be "plugged in." When I feel less knackered I'm going to cancel sky and find a tv service that doesn't include Nickelodeon, and set a timer on the computer...just not yet!

FrancesFarmer Sat 16-Mar-13 12:04:43

I hate playing open-ended, imaginative children's games and I refuse to do so. I sort of lose the will to live at the thought of it. When we go to the park, I tell them to go off and do their own thing. It's the same with lego. I will occasionally help them if they are having difficulty taking blocks apart and so on but I will not build stuff for them or they will want me to do it all the time and they won't be happy with their own efforts. Or, I will help put a garment on a doll but I absolutely refuse to get involved in imaginary scenarios. Some adults love doing that sort of thing, but personally, I just can't.

Instead, I try to have regular conversations with them throughout the day and I enjoy discussing things like history and science with them. Historically, parents weren't hugely involved in children's play activities - we are guilt-tripped into doing so nowadays but I'm not convinced that it's necessary and I think it's deeply unpleasant for many adults as well.

MTSgroupie Sat 16-Mar-13 12:01:54

Come weekends DS probably spends about 3 hours a day on the PC. I don't see.that as a problem.

During the week he spends a lot of time on music practice and orchestra rehearsals. And then there is the homework and the swimming and the athletics clubs. At the weekend he just wants to chill with the PC.

IMO screen time by itself is meaningless. Obviously if a child did nothing but play on the PC/console then that would be a concern. But if the child spends the rest of the time productively then his free time is up to him to do what he wants.

TreadOnTheCracks Sat 16-Mar-13 11:59:04

I have noticed that too much screen time affects mine's ability to entertain themselves. They lose the knack of finding things to do if they have been "plugged in" too long. I banned screen time in the morning before school and it was murder for a while but they have settled down now and will sit and read or draw on a white board in any spare time, sometimes they even play together (6 and 8 yo). We still have fights, but they are generally as we try and get out the door (when they wouldn't be on a computer anyway).

Playing with them is pretty boring, could you try just doing ten minutes at a time?

I totally get what you mean though about it stopping them fighting generally. They are sort of absorbed by it and it does give you some peace.

Then there is no problems with screens, why don't you want to do these things?

I mean that there is no problem with getting them off but I feel that they spend too much time on there and that I should be playing with them more. I'd just rather be doing something else than playing with Lego or whatever blush

MrsSham Sat 16-Mar-13 11:43:18

I also think that the way In which children play has really changed. I was still playing with toys and dolls well up until I was 11 or 12 my dd is 7 and had not played with toys since she started school. She is much brighter, knowledgable and technically minded than I ever was at her age and I think computer and devices have had a positive influence on her intellectual development.

lrichmondgabber Sat 16-Mar-13 11:39:55

Victoria Derbyshire say be strict on screen time allowed and total obedience

MrsSham Sat 16-Mar-13 11:37:41

Then there is no problems with screens, why don't you want to do these things? Are you just tired, busy or do you have any underlaying problems with motivation or depression? Its hard to tell from your posts to what extent this is a problem and why you are feeling like this?

Frances, yes, that's it exactly! If I want them to get off the screen then I have to come up with activities! Upon being told to amuse themselves without screentime, they last about 8 minutes before needing my attention or starting World War 3.

MrsSham, yes that's a very good point that they probably don't spend that much time on a screen when you take school/club time into account.

OK, this is all making me feel lots better, thank you smile

Kids are 5 and 10. Tigermum, I don't need to come up with a reason as to why they can't have screen time (though they are good ones!) I can easily make them get off the screen and whilst they protest a bit it's not much of a problem. They do enjoy doing other things and if I offered them, say, cooking instead of the Wii, they'd jump at the chance. The problem is that I don't want to tell them to get off the screen and do things with them sad

FrancesFarmer Sat 16-Mar-13 11:28:35

Mine have way more than the recommended time too but if I wanted them to have less, I would need to become a helicopter parent following them around the house helping with activities and refereeing and so on. I think it's just part and parcel of modern life really.

MrsSham Sat 16-Mar-13 11:23:08

I think there own time is theirs so as long as there are no chores, homework or reading, meal times, bath times or bed times being interrupted by screens then they are free to do as they please. All age appropriate games and amongst school, playing out and clubs screen times are minimal anyway.

I think so long as they are functioning as they should and screens aren't preventing normal routine or interaction I would not worry too much. Have a routine with regard to meals, homework and bed and be firm with those.

Startail Sat 16-Mar-13 11:08:03

I'm far far far too lazy to follow my DDs around the house and work out if they are watching TV on laptops or ipods or doing something useful like HW or reading.

As for adding up time, I'd need a fucking spread sheet.

Once they can reach the on switch, it's totally pointless, Even when fairly small DD2 would put the bedroom TV on if you threw her off the one downstairs.

DD2 I should add is both my most screen addicted and my slimmest and most sporty DD. DD1 reads and draws and potters, less screen time, less of a SIMs addict, but definitely less fit.

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 16-Mar-13 11:05:30

That random mornings idea was for schooldays btw and I don't know where the 'because' came from!

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 16-Mar-13 11:04:12

How old are they? I'm v anti screen and regularly name change after saying so and getting flamed, but it's the end of the longest winter ever, it's raining again. Give yourself a break. If you're really worried that they spend too much time, can you instigate some supportive routines? Say theres a problem with the wiring and if it because on when the house is warming up in the morning it could cause a fire, plan a camping weekend, break their ds's?

gallicgirl Sat 16-Mar-13 10:57:14

A little bit.

How old are your children?
I saw a great idea on MN where kids were allowed a set amount of screen time a day and it was up to the child how it was used, tv, Wii, computer etc. Not sure if that included homework or not.

Obviously too much screentime is bad for children. But it's just so good for me blush When they are on the Wii/PC they aren't arguing, they aren't annoying me, I can get on with stuff etc. and it's starting to get way too easy to say "ok, just another 20 minutes then" instead of saying "time to turn the Wii off now and come and play a board game with me". I know that I need to do it but I do find it hard.

Anybody else in the same boat?

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