What are your rules about phones and gadgets in bedrooms overnight?

(73 Posts)
Dancergirl Tue 31-Dec-13 00:06:05

Dd is 12.5 and has an itouch and a phone (not smartphone). She's reasonably sensible regarding their use as far as I can see. Up to now she hasn't been 'into' her gadgets as much as some teens but I think that's changing.

She's not interested in Facebook but she's on Instagram like her friends and also texts a fair bit. In term time I try and encourage phones and gadgets off by 8.30ish but it's not completely set in stone and there's a bit of leeway. However I've realised that her phone and iPod are still by her bedside. She told me tonight (quite late) that a girl she knew was on Instagram as she saw her iPod flash so she had a look.

Would it be unreasonable to insist that phones and gadgets are left downstairs overnight for the sake of good sleeping habits?

What are your rules and do they differ in term and holiday time?

ilovesmurfs Tue 31-Dec-13 00:10:42

Mine are 14 amd 11 the rule is they can't have them last 8:30pm on a school night, in the holidays they have and them later but then put them outside their rooms before going to sleep.

mathanxiety Tue 31-Dec-13 03:26:23

Gadgets outside room for DD4 (12). DD3 (15) goes to bed when her homework is finished. She has no interest in social media at all but has a Pinterest account and likes looking at shoes and fashion. She is pretty much a homebody and hardly ever on her phone.

DD4 is the sort of girl who would stay up all night yapping/texting if I didn't separate her from her gadgets.

I don't change my rules for holiday time for DD4. Nothing good happens after 10 pm imo.

arfishy Tue 31-Dec-13 04:05:19

Gadgets outside room for DD (11).

RatherBeOnThePiste Tue 31-Dec-13 04:14:23

DS 14. Gadgets left downstairs at bedtime.

DD 16 Keeps phone and laptop in with her. She's so different and has much more self control. Always has had.

nooka Tue 31-Dec-13 04:14:42

dd and ds both have iPods (not phones) and the rules are that they should be off at bedtime (10pm). If I caught either of them playing after that then the device gets confiscated (same as books really). It's not been a problem as yet (14 and 13).

arfishy Tue 31-Dec-13 05:39:10

Actually, DD is allowed an iPod, which is loaded with talking books. I disable access to the router for the device between 8pm and 8am, so she couldn't get online even if she wanted to. I set it up years ago as soon as she moved from CD books to ipod ones, as she got an iPod for audio books quite young (we won it).

TobyLerone Tue 31-Dec-13 06:26:52

I don't have any rules about this. They seem to manage well enough without my interference.

livinginawinterwonderland Tue 31-Dec-13 06:57:13

My parents never had any rules. I self-regulated my computer use and beditmes from about 13 or so. Yes, at first I had a few late nights and suffered for it at school the next day, but I soon learned that going to bed at 11pm and getting 8 hours sleep was more fun than staying up late and feeling like shit.

I think after a certain age, they need to self-regulate and learn to put themselves to bed. Same goes for homework. If it's not done, they can explain why and get a detention for it. After a certain point you have to let them make their own mistakes. If that means a few detentions and a few days of feeling shattered at school, so be it. They won't do it forever.

mathanxiety Tue 31-Dec-13 07:01:46

You sound like my oldest three DCs, and DD3 too, Living.

DD4 needs to prove to me she has the maturity to handle freedom. The removal of her gadgets happened after I discovered why she couldn't get up in the morning, had bags under her eyes, no energy, wasn't concentrating in class.

livinginawinterwonderland Tue 31-Dec-13 07:15:23

That's fair enough math. I think most kids can self-regulate after a week or so, but if they can't, and it's really affecting their energy/performance at school, then it's reasonable to go back to basics.

Slh122 Tue 31-Dec-13 07:26:00

I agree with living. My use of laptops/phones etc was never regulated and I too learned the hard way - after a few shattered days at school feeling shitty I soon realised I'd much rather have 8 or 9 hours of sleep and feel ok the next day.
I gaz access to sky tv, a phone and my laptop in my bedroom and managed fine.

Slh122 Tue 31-Dec-13 07:26:24

had access not gaz access. Stupid phone blush

flow4 Tue 31-Dec-13 11:00:32

No rules here. DS1 is 18, and tv is his vice, rather than internet. DS2 is 13 and does a lot of face time with his girlfriend... But always manages to get up in time for dog-walking and school, so it has never been an issue.

finallydelurking Tue 31-Dec-13 11:34:36

I have all gadgets left outside bedroom doors once they've gone to bed, including the teens. Obv that's later holidays and weekends than term time! I agree with whoever said nothing good happens after 10pm! grin

Dancergirl Tue 31-Dec-13 12:04:01

Thanks all. I'll go with my instincts - no phones/gadgets in bedrooms overnight. I can see the point about learning to self-regulate but I think 12 is a bit too young for that.

DS1 (13) only has wi-fi access till 9pm (we can set the curfew on each account). Apart from in the summer holidays, he doesn't have any other internet access on his phone.

bigTillyMintspie Tue 31-Dec-13 18:03:41

I am in complete awe at all of you who manage to get your teens to leave their gadgets downstairs at night. But no TV's in their rooms!

We didn't enforce that rule early enough with DD, and consequently DS. However, they do have to learn to self-regulate and both seem to put them to charge on silent on the floor at night. Like Slh and living, they do seem to self-regulate. On the wholewink

DH did manage to block gaming sites, Youtube and FB after 9.30, so that helps!

MrsSquirrel Tue 31-Dec-13 18:37:28

Phone and iPod (and TV) off at 9.30 on school nights. No curfew during the holidays. DD is 15, but we have had similar rules since she first got them.

mathanxiety Tue 31-Dec-13 18:39:32

I think it depends on the child, Dancergirl.

All of my DCs except DD4 cared enough about school performance that they were able to prioritise and manage their time well.

DD4 put up a bit of a fight about taking her things. I am looking for signs of a more mature attitude to school results before I let her have them back -- ability and willingness to plan and carry out studying for tests, leaving herself plenty of time to do a thorough job is a big sign ime. They have frequent tests in her school, and the subject material is posted ahead of time, with study guides and pre test sessions run by the teachers in the early morning. I want to see her taking advantage of all of that.

No gadgets or phone after 9pm here for 15 year old - they interfere with sleep if used just before bed so she has an hour free of them to chill and read before lights out.

ggirl Tue 31-Dec-13 18:43:38

how do you set a curfew on wifi ?
and how do you restrict facebook etc after a certain hour?

Take the gadgets off them, they're plugged in to charge downstairs. I don't turn the wifi off as I use it.

bigTillyMintspie Tue 31-Dec-13 18:50:50

ggirl, it's on the settings for our provider (TalkTalk, I think!) if you log in.

MrsBennetsEldest Tue 31-Dec-13 18:52:08

I'm another who has never enforced any rules. All three DS have self regulated and I have never had any problems. Falling asleep to the soothing sound of death metal, which wakes me up, is a whole different issue however.

usualsuspect Tue 31-Dec-13 18:54:15

I never took gadgets off DS at night.

Floralnomad Tue 31-Dec-13 18:56:25

I've also never had any rules about gadgets .mine are 20 and 14 and no problems so far here , but I have never had bedtimes either .

poisonedbypen Tue 31-Dec-13 19:02:48

DD keeps hers & is on it too much, but she is 17 and it's up to her really. DS is14 & can't self regulate. Phone goes on charger in kitchen at 10.30 latest & wifi doesn't work to his laptop (can set each device) after10pm.

Knit2togtbl Tue 31-Dec-13 19:05:53

No gadgets

Knit2togtbl Tue 31-Dec-13 19:08:50

No gadgets in bedrooms after bed time.
Ds is an avid reader and i had to resort to taking the bulb l out of his bedside light one evening at gone 11pm to get him to go to sleep . He got it back the next day.

ggirl Tue 31-Dec-13 19:10:58

bigtill-thanks, we're talktalk so I'll have a look

MaddAddam Wed 01-Jan-14 12:27:09

13yo and 12yo have laptops which close down between 9pm and 7am. That was a condition of having the laptops and they don't get a choice in the matter.
They don't have smartphones but if they did I'd go with the rule of smartphones being downstairs at night, if they were using them. 13yo would self-regulate anyway probably, she barely uses phone or internet. 12yo wouldn't self-regulate so I'd insist, again as a condition of having a smartphone.

The laptops still turn off in the holidays as it's a setting they have and not easy to keep changing.

GraduallyGoingInsane Wed 01-Jan-14 12:36:43

None of mine have TVs in their rooms, and the mobile phone chargers are kept in the kitchen, the idea being they are on charge overnight. If I see or hear them on phones, laptops etc after bedtime then I get to keep them for a week. It's not fail safe but it seems to be working. For now.

Totally agree nothing good ever happens after 10pm!

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 12:38:32

Gadgets, at night, are where ever in the house they happen to be. Always have been.

DD2 has had a lap top since she was six. they had MP3 players at about the same time. We now have iPods, phones, a portable CD and 3 lap tops.

I'm am not going to attempt to keep track of them.

So long as no one uses them so late at night they miss the school bus and no other parent complains about late night texts, I do not care!

I hate rules for rules sake, they just cause rows and constant age related plea bargaining.

Stupid arbitrary rules are for school!

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 12:42:34

As for after 10pm, I suspect my DD2(15) face times her best friend and a great deal of good happens.

They go to different schools (DF to a private sixform with long hours and lots of HW).

Given DD1 has acquaintances only at her school, these late night chats are very important.

Dancergirl Wed 01-Jan-14 12:46:46

starball they are not rules for rules sake. I also wouldn't impose rules for no good reason.

But I do believe having gadgets in the bedroom interferes with sleep as dd's example the other day confirms - iPod was on her bedside table, she saw it flashing so had to check. Would have otherwise been nodding off to sleep.

It's not just about being tired for school; teens need enough good quality sleep when they are going through such a rapid period of growth.

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 15:56:02

And my older teen would not sleep before midnight from 12-14 if you tied her into her bunk.

Anymore than I would have done at her age.

Take her light bulb out and she'd have found a torch or just gone and read on the loo, or slipped into our room.

I'm a natural night owl, I have read in the loo on Guide trips with 10.30 lights out.

Now she's almost 16 and has more HW and revision she often does go to sleep a bit earlier, but it has to be her choice.

Bedtime has been pretty much her choice since she was born, it's how she is. Bed at 8 as a small toddler and 8.30 in infants and gradually later in primary is what worked.

I do not understand this British obsession with bed by 7.30 until DCs start 9pm ending Scouts and parents are finally forced to see sense.

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 16:00:37

Good quality sleep comes from going to sleep when your body wants to go to sleep, not finally falling a sleep after an hours hush pat, rapid return, sneak up and down stairs, turning the light on and off, sneaking you iPod under the covers. Delete according to age of child.

DameDeepRedBetty Wed 01-Jan-14 16:02:02

I've got twin 14 year old dds, dtd1 is a night owl and I have to keep an eye on her to stop late night twitting about online. dtd2 is too determined to get A's to allow stuff to stop her getting her rest and her homework done. Also she likes to be up before everyone else in order to wallow around in the shower.

Lottie4 Wed 01-Jan-14 16:22:34

My daughter is free to play on gadgets downstairs until bedtime as long as she's done homework and something else with her evening like see a friend, play a game, read her book, but bedtime has always been for sleeping. Even as she gets older and maybe wants to spend more time in her room, once lights are out she will be expected to switch off all gadgets.

Gymbob Wed 01-Jan-14 16:55:06

just posted a long winded reply on post 're 16 year old. its very relevant my daughter was groomed. please read it as can't type it all out again on my phone!

TeenAndTween Wed 01-Jan-14 20:34:20

14 yr old. Gadgets out of room at bedtime.

livinginawinterwonderland Thu 02-Jan-14 09:10:12

If kids don't want to sleep at 10pm, they won't, whether you take their laptops off them or not. There are plenty of ways to stay awake if you're not ready to sleep - books, TV, games, or just laying there awake.

I agree with star. If they want to go to bed at 10pm, they will, regardless of whether they have internet access or not. If they want to stay up until 1am, the same applies. I find that if I go to bed before I'm tired, I get to sleep fine, but wake up 3/4 times in the night. If I stay up until I'm ready for bed, I stay asleep until my alarm goes. It's not actually healthy to force yourself to sleep before you're ready. It's bad sleep hygiene.

Dancergirl Thu 02-Jan-14 10:23:27

No you can't force them to sleep but far better to rest/relax than engage in a screen based activity IMO. A lot of late night brain activity isn't conducive to sleep.

I also have a night owl but the problem is she has to be up at 6.45am for school! You can't completely indulge teens' sleep habits during the week. I don't think it does them any harm putting a boundary in place for night-time, they can still wind down and rest if not actually fall asleep.

bigTillyMintspie Thu 02-Jan-14 10:46:35

living, that is so true re them not sleeping if they are not tired. We do try to encourage them to come off the gadgets before bed-time, but they have to start to take responsibility for their own sleep/well-being too.

NoComet Thu 02-Jan-14 10:57:14

Boundaries have to be negotiated and accepted, not imposed.

Any child over 9 is likely to resent non negotiated boundaries.

8.30 is ridiculously early, DD2(12) doesn't get in one night a week until 9.15 pm (when she did Scouts it was two nights). She still wants some Me time before bed.

Me time is phone, lap top, music for our teens as reading and radio 4 were mine.

I'm really not convinced that reading Dick Francis or Lace was anymore worthy than playing Subway surfers or SIMs. Certainly a good thriller was massively harder to put down when you were tired.

TantrumsStoleSantasBalloons Thu 02-Jan-14 11:07:11

I have a 15 year old and a 14 year old.

I am deemed as strange because I do not tell them what time to go to bed and they are allowed iphones/ipods/laptops in their rooms.

They know how much sleep they need, dd knows that in order to get up at 6.30 she needs to be asleep by 10.30 at the latest.
Ds1 doesnt sleep that early and he never will. I could lock him in an empty room and he still wouldnt sleep.
He has football training 3 nights a week that finishes at 9pm anyway, so he comes home, eats dinner, winds down anyway before bed.

Having access to the internet after 10pm doesnt stop dd from getting enough sleep, she is almost always asllep by 10.30, but it doesnt keep my ds awake, he would be awake, with or without an ipod.

mathanxiety Thu 02-Jan-14 19:57:43

Starballbunny I agree with your points.

I wish I could be otherwise for DD4 but she can't handle late nights and getting up in the morning. Everyone else self regulated and thrived, and they had all sorts of gadgets from an early age.

Dancergirl Thu 02-Jan-14 20:34:22

Interesting reading, a wide range of views.

starball for me, it's not about reading being more worthy than screen based activities. I just don't feel comfortable about a lot of screen time near bedtime. I also think there is a big difference between an older teen, say 16+ who should be learning to self-regulate and a young teen who's just starting out.

Thinking back to my own upbringing (obviously before the days of social media etc), my mum was very, very relaxed about most things to the point of me doing more or less what I liked in terms of what I watched, ate, what time I went to bed etc. Did I like it? Surprisingly no. It occurred to me at some point that my peers 'weren't allowed' to do some things that I was and I wondered why. Did their parents cared more about them than mine? Looking back I think I was craving some rules and boundaries.

I'm not saying that I'm going completely the other way with my own dc but I do believe that even during teen years when they are developing independence and making their own decisions, they still need some boundaries in place. Plus I have always thought that it's better to start out on the strict side as it's easier to slacken off as and when than the other way round.

Just my opinion though.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 02-Jan-14 20:38:38

Until they were 16, they weren't allowed in bedrooms. They need their sleep, especially when they are at school.
Don't be fooled that they won't be using them at midnight, because they will. It is also easier to avoid bullying, peer pressure etc if they aren't allowed in bedrooms.

mathanxiety Thu 02-Jan-14 20:50:05

Boundaries can develop naturally when you make clear what your values are and when you model what you hope to achieve. Rules sometimes get in the way of that, especially if they seem random or unfair or impractical.

It always seemed to me if the end result was going to be self regulation then they needed practice, and experience of natural consequences.

mathanxiety Thu 02-Jan-14 20:58:30

Actually, about bullying -- one of the issues I am facing with DD4 is a little group of girls in her class who are up all night (it seems) texting together, with the subject matter being other girls in her class, including DD4. I found out that DD4 liked to keep abreast of the latest scorn being poured upon her so she wouldn't be surprised by odd looks cast her way in the morning in school. She herself isn't part of the group but there is someone in the group (a gossip banker) who broadcasts what is being said. Nastiness goes on whether you have your phone in your room with you or not and you will not avoid it by not having the technology at hand. Technology has facilitated it by extending the hours in which it can happen.

livinginawinterwonderland Fri 03-Jan-14 06:56:10

It's not easier to avoid bullying. If it's going to happen, it will happen regardless of where they keep their laptop and regardless of what time they go to bed.

Peer pressure doesn't stop because you've turned off your computer for the night. The problems at school will still exist the next day regardless of whether you've been made to get offline or not hmm

nooka Fri 03-Jan-14 07:44:18

We set bedtimes dependent on how much sleep our children need in order to function well at school and home. It's pretty obvious when they are tired, ds gets pale and snappy and dd has migraines. Neither are conducive to a happy family life.

We've allowed a small amount of negotiation, but not a lot and it's not been an issue. We've never been terribly interested in when their peers go to bed, and as our children are very close in age they have always had the same bedtime. So our 'arbitrary' bedtime rule has worked very well for us.

Sleep is important, and as someone who has at times struggled with insomnia (as have both children) I've done a fair bit of research as to good sleep habits. What I have taken from that is that a regular bedtime helps to establish routine, if you are over tired it is even harder to get to sleep, having a wind down routine helps, and distractions in the bedroom do not.

I know how much sleep I need in order to function optimally. That doesn't stop me from going to bed too late!

nooka Fri 03-Jan-14 07:47:56

Oh and having sight of our computer (until recently internet access was only in our living room) did help us to both see and address online bullying in dd's peer group. Also to coach her through how to respond to nastiness in a way that didn't suck her in. Hopefully she now has better tools to work through the crap that I'm sure will continue to come her way.

Likewise hearing ds on his x-box (all consoles in living rooms) has enabled us to provide him with support with combating racist/sexist comments, defriending idiots etc.

NoComet Fri 03-Jan-14 20:23:57

DD1 has always got bullied, she doesn't social network, ring or text anyone at school and refuses to have FB, she says they manage to be quite nasty enough without her helping them.

DD1 dies do plenty of late night texting and facetiming the DF (who goes to a different school) who keeps her sane.

Technology really can be used for good and ill.

madeofkent Fri 03-Jan-14 20:32:08

We were ok until we moved when my daughter was 16. She was fine with her phone, it was the boyfriend she left behind who kept waking her with calls at 2am. So the phone had to be confiscated so that she could blame us. I found that they are fine until they are in a relationship. My son was banned from having anything at all, not even a tv, for a couple of years. He has a den they went in so it didn't matter, they just weren't in his bedroom.

coolmom420 Sun 05-Jan-14 19:49:01

I never interfere with my daughters internet usage. She is allowed on it whenever she wants, and as long as she wants. She is happy, and I am too.

JessMcL Tue 07-Jan-14 01:10:09

DS is 16 and has been allowed gadgets/laptop alone in his room since 13. Never had any issues. I don't believe in setting boundaries unless there is a justification- if your child cannot be trusted then obviously confiscate as necessary. He chooses when to sleep- if his school work is affected (which is very rare) then we deal with it as necessary but we have always let him make his own decisions- we have brought him to be responsible and that's what he is.

I realise i'm lucky. I know DD1 (who is nearly 11) will be the opposite and we will probably have to confiscate gadgets etc when she is allowed them (13)

justkeepsmiling123 Sat 11-Jan-14 14:19:15

Mine are 14 and 12 on a a school night they can not go on their laptops after 8 and their gadgets (phones) are retrieved when they go to bed. On a weekend they are allowed to keep their gadgets but wifi is turned off at night.

longingforsomesleep Sat 11-Jan-14 14:27:27

We have introduced a new regime recently where DS (15) puts his laptop and phone outside his room by 10pm on school nights. This is because his controlling and attention-seeking gf angry expects to be able to contact him every minute she is awake. She would think nothing of waking him up in the middle of the night.

Using parents's 'rules' as a way of avoiding things the teen doesn't want or agrees they shouldn't do, is another matter.

Blaming your phone charging down stairs rule, is far easier than saying I want sleep. Sorry I can't join in the class nastiness my WiFi goes off at 9.30 (even if it doesn't) can be very useful.

My DDad was stricter than some of my friends' parents and a real stickler for being back in time.

I certainly wasn't beyond saying I was allowed to do X or had to be home by Y, when truth was I didn't want to spend the money, drink that much or get involved that deeply.

Ledkr Sat 11-Jan-14 14:54:41

I'm glad I saw this thread as apparently I am the only parent in the entire universe who doesn't let my 11 yr old dd have her I pad in her room all night hmm

Gymbob Sat 18-Jan-14 20:28:46

No you're not Ledkr, mine have nothing in their rooms overnight except books. They don't even have TV's in their rooms. Bedrooms are for sleeping in and that's all!

Bedrooms are for chilling and escapping the world, not just sleeping.

Gymbob Sat 18-Jan-14 22:26:09

Ok star, they are for chilling and escaping the world too (as long as there are no screens involved)smile

No screens, no head phones, nothing that needs charging hmm, that's infinitely worse, that means a book and books don't go flat. (Ok neither do wired in lap tops).

But screens tend to be tiring, DDs are quite amenable to turning off gadgets if asked, books are sneaked out again and lights go back on.

Truly silly O'clock, 1am/2am kind of silly O'clock is invariably the fault of books.

MoreBeta Sat 18-Jan-14 22:40:46

No screens or gadgets up stairs ever in our house.

The school has asked us to enforce that as some children are arriving at school exhausted after texting in early hours and also a lot of online bullying at night.

Sorry, bullying schools business, house rules non of schools business.

I hope it's a primary, if it's a secondary the pupils will laugh their heads off.

MoreBeta Sat 18-Jan-14 22:57:14

No its secondary and it quite a serious issue. No one is laughing. The parents were given a special briefing at the start of the year.

Bullying is serious and absolutely should be stamped on, but I doubt any of the pupils appreciate being told what they may or may not have in their own bedrooms and when.

Primary school children have very little respect for HTs who start suggesting bed times.

IME teachers get best results and most respect if they stick to teaching and necessary discipline, forays into bed time, what's in lunch boxes, drink bottles or other interference beyond these two essentials generally do not end well.

Dancergirl Sun 19-Jan-14 09:38:55

morebeta have parents generally adhered to the recommendations?

Dancergirl Sun 19-Jan-14 09:45:19

starball what on earth are you on about re primary school children???

Maybe teachers are sick and tired of trying to teach over-tired, grumpy children who haven't had enough sleep and are frustrated that some parents don't care enough to ensure children are fresh and ready to learn.

I once heard a well known childrens psychologist speak. She said getting enough sleep is one of the most important things for a child's development and she wishes more parents cared about it more than, for example, getting their child into a particular school.

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