Limiting teens' screen time

(30 Posts)
zone6mum Fri 14-Oct-16 11:03:40

When I say 'screen', of course, I mean social media. I'm actually nostalgic for the hours spent watching In The Night Garden. DD is 12, nearly 13 and spending hours each day on Snap Chat & Instagram. Any suggestion from me that we ought to find a way to limit it is met with a display of melodramatics - like I'm suggesting she give up breathing. I've been very concerned about reports relating it to depression and low self-confidence. I've downloaded the OurPact app but haven't managed to get further than that - it will never be 'our pact' as far as she's concerned, just 'my Mum ruining my life as per...'

What strategies have you tried and what has worked?

Dramallamamama Sat 15-Oct-16 17:51:10

I think it's probably too late to start now.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 18-Oct-16 08:08:55

I disagree. She's only 12, you can insist she puts the phone/ computer away. Ignore the melodrama.

marvelousdcomics Tue 18-Oct-16 19:24:03

We do a tick chart. Has stuff like homework, revision, jobs done, exercise, 5 a day, behaved well. May be childish but we've always done it. Kids are 10, 13 and 14. They only get screen time if they get all ticks

frenchfancy Tue 18-Oct-16 20:34:38

Your best tool is the WiFi. When I've had problems in the past I simply limited the WiFi times. It helps that DD2 s bedroom doesn't get a WiFi signal at all (evil laugh)

Meadows76 Tue 18-Oct-16 20:39:20

I don't limit. They can use their phones, computers, tv etc as much or as little as they like. As with my younger 2 I find that no boundaries make these things less of an issue. ATM my eldest is out with her friends, other teen is reading Japanese weird backward book of some kind and the littlies are in bed, although prior to bed they played a couple of board games, play doh and did some colouring in, no screen time at all and that is their choice.

Dancergirl Wed 19-Oct-16 16:22:36

They only get screen time if they get all ticks

How does this work marvel? Surely your older two have their phones to and from school?

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 19-Oct-16 16:51:35

Frenchfancy - same here, no wifi signal in both of the DDs room. DH recently suggested updating our router but I want to leave it like that for now.

misshelena Thu 20-Oct-16 16:05:08

We go by results -- straight A's, wake up on time and ready to go, happy normal disposition, keep performance up with all extracurriculars, AND no bad behavior on social media (ie. instigating drama, unnecessarily taking sides, etc). If they show signs of not meeting any of these requirements, we'll investigate the role of social media use and discuss appropriate punishment. For example, dd2 13-yo recently deleted an instagram post of herself with a boy because the boy broke up with a friend of dd1 (16-yo). In my opinion, she unnecessarily inserted herself in something that is not her business. She lost 2 week's access to instagram (but kept her phone. Just had her delete instagram app)

Meadows76 Thu 20-Oct-16 18:28:25

misshelena that's quite harsh to remove privileges for not attaining straight A's.

Callmeacxntbut Thu 20-Oct-16 21:06:17

misshelena Wow. You punished her for deleting a photo? You sound slightly unhinged.

crispandcheesesanwichplease Thu 20-Oct-16 22:34:31

Mine is 12 and usually gets 30 mins per day of screen time. More at weekends and hols but never, ever unlimited as it gets too addictive very quickly and then we get melodrama and sulking when it's time to come off.

Not allowed on social media at all. Too much bullying and nastiness at school already for my liking. Also too much risk online. She's got 2 friends who have innocently put inappropriate pics online, a friend who has been meeting up with random strangers she met online, a number of friends who have been subject to really nasty cyberbullying.

I'm strict, I know. However she still spends loads of time reading, writing stories, drawing, art and craft stuff, playing out. And we play board games and talk together.

I'm fighting the screen addiction/obsession for as long as possible.

BigSandyBalls2015 Fri 21-Oct-16 11:49:07

We go by results -- straight A's, wake up on time and ready to go, happy normal disposition, keep performance up with all extracurriculars

wow - that is really strict! Hope they don't rebel big time soon!

misshelena Fri 21-Oct-16 15:03:43

"We go by results -- straight A's, wake up on time and ready to go, happy normal disposition, keep performance up with all extracurriculars"

Strict? Nah. These were all things they were accomplishing BEFORE they had social media. So I expect them to manage social media in a way as to not affect the important real life things in their lives. What's so "strict" about that?

Rebel? You are kidding right? They have friends who DON'T have instagram accounts!! Social media is a privilege not a right in my house.

And callme, I am "unhinged"? really? You don't think it's enough that my 13yo is involved in gossiping, instigating and bullying in her own age group that she needs to get herself inserted in conflicts involving kids several years older (16yos) whom she barely knew in real life?

Dancergirl Fri 21-Oct-16 15:27:30

Sorry misshelena but to make getting straight As a condition of using social media is just wrong. Children and teens are under enough pressure as it is, at home they should know they don't always have to get top marks to do well in life.

misshelena Fri 21-Oct-16 16:26:39

Not wrong at all. They are to use social media responsible or not at all. They got straight A's BEFORE social media and they are to maintain those straight A's WITH social media.

Same goes for drinking -- you may drink as much as you like, as long as you still get up on time tomorrow, go to school and perform at the same level, and obviously not get in drunken trouble.

Same goes for sex -- you may have sex, as long as you don't make a baby you are in no position to take care of.

Same goes for partying and hanging out -- you may do so as much as you like, as long as you still bring home those straight A's, get up on time, etc.

And so it goes. If there is a "pleasure" you can't indulge in without letting it affect your life negatively, then don't do it.

misshelena Fri 21-Oct-16 16:30:26

The point is to teach moderation.
Drink moderately so you may get up tomorrow morning. Have sex but safely so you don't have a baby. Use social media sensibly so you don't get addicted and have no time to finish your homework.

So if teaching moderation is "strict", then I guess I am strict.

Sofres Fri 21-Oct-16 17:09:45

And callme, I am "unhinged"? really? You don't think it's enough that my 13yo is involved in gossiping, instigating and bullying in her own age group that she needs to get herself inserted in conflicts involving kids several years older (16yos) whom she barely knew in real life?

But you didn't say anything about your daughter instigating bullying, you said she had delete a picture. Gossiping is normal and nothing wrong with it.

Sorry, kids several years older (16yos) whom she barely knew in real life , So if she barely knew them, why does she need to keep a picture of a boy she doesn't know on her Instagram.

Sorry but you really do sound like the nightmare mum.

Meadows76 Fri 21-Oct-16 17:20:12

actually ridiculous to connect punishment to academic achievement. What if one of them isn't actually capable of reaching that A as the work gets harder? What an awful thing to do

Beebeeeight Fri 21-Oct-16 17:30:55

This is a battle we've lost!

I'd want to limit to 2 hours a day but they are so whiney and bad tempered if we limit it, it becomes more of a punishment for us!

Ho hum at least they aren't getting pissed/stoned in the park.

crispandcheesesanwichplease Fri 21-Oct-16 20:10:50

Beebeeeight you can go backwards with it in terms of time allowed on. We did. If it's making them narky then they can't handle the amount of time they're spending on it. The way we did the reduction was every sulk/whine lost her more time on screens the next day,

You have to be very firm and stick to it but it is possible. Don't let them manipulate you with crappy behaviour, in my experience kids are olympic standard at this!

Dancergirl Sat 22-Oct-16 11:51:46

I agree meadows And even if A grades have been achieved in the past it don't necessarily follow they will continue, there are many factors at play.

misshelena Sun 23-Oct-16 19:11:52

NOT sorry at all. Results speak for itself.

Meadows and dancegirls -- They've achieve straight A's without lifting a finger in the past, so why wouldn't I expect them now -- WITH social media? Just to indulge them? Just to be a "cool mom"? I don't think so. NOT sorry at all.

Sofres -- EXACTLY -- zero need to post a pic with said 16yo boy in the first place! If it were up to me, I would never have posted that picture! Nevertheless, to take it off in order to take a side? NO NO! "Unhinged" or not, NOT sorry either. I did the right thing. 100%.

misshelena Sun 23-Oct-16 19:20:03

Anyway, zone6, you know your child best. I am not advocating that you use results the way I do to limit your teen's screen time, UNLESS, you think it makes sense. My kids are excellent students BEFORE social media. My condition for them to get instagram etc. is that they maintain those excellent grades. I do not think it's unreasonable to expect that. But obviously some moms think so (!?) I can tell you that, several years into these rules, my dds are not addicted, they DO maintain those grades, are agreeable and sweet, and continue to do well in their sports and other extracurriculars.

marvelousdcomics Sun 23-Oct-16 19:54:48

Dancer they have flip phones to take to school. Text and calling only. Would never risk taking their 'actual phones' (quite a dodgy area). They're fine with the way things are, they barely use the devices anyway.

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