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To ask DSS and DSD to not use their devices at certain times?

(65 Posts)
PopMusic Mon 04-Mar-13 22:47:09

Ok, I am really not sure if I abu or not.

DP and I made a rule not to use any devices from the time DS (4) comes home from school to the time he goes to bed. It's working really well for us. We spend more time chatting, playing, I get help with the cooking and generally we are more there, iykwim, instead of half hearing/listening and repeating questions etc.

DP has 2 grown up children who visit occasionally. We love having them here and DS really enjoys playing with them. But it feels like that their noses are constantly in their phones, laptops, etc. A typical weekend is turning up late Friday night, them staying up late chatting online to friends or texting friends or playing games and then getting up late. Then straight into their devices. DS wants them to play, which tbf they do but only for about five minutes. We don't get much conversation from them either. Both DP and I find it really frustrating because we love them to bits, they are wonderful, funny people but sometimes it feels like a waste of a weekend when they hardly seem to "here" mentally.

Would it be aibu of me (and DP, of course) to ban devices for a couple of hours for their stay? How do other people cope with their children who come to visit but are always on their devices (they are in their early 20s)?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Mar-13 07:54:49

If they are in their early 20's, yes I think YWBU. It's lovely that they still come together to stay with you at that age, so I wouldn't want to jeopardise the fact that they still do for anything.

Smartiepants79 Tue 05-Mar-13 08:10:56

I think it is terribly sad to think that you have to put up with behaviour that bothers you just because they are kind enough to still visit you!! I hope I' m not expected to be eternally grateful for my children visiting me.
That is just part of what you do for your family. Even if you are an adult.
This is their father, not just some random extended family.
I am 33 and I would still expect to respect the rules of my mums house.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 08:37:05

I can only think that those posting have not got children in their 20s visiting.
This is their family, people they know, love and are comfortable with. I am not eternally grateful they are visiting- I know they come home because they like our company and it is relaxing and pleasurable. They are not going to start doing things that they have never done, like bring their phone to the table at meal times. They are not going to come if I beset it with rules and tell them what they can't do or should do - and stand by 'my house- my rules'. They will keep to the ones they have never done so it isn't a problem.
If you haven't got adult children then imagine you have a 4yr old and your siblings in their 20s come - I know mine would look at me and grimace as in 'bossy older sister' and tell me that we are not children now!
At 33yrs I would expect to be on a different relationship with my mother than 13 yrs - and if she has lots of rules it would be a visit for duty and not pleasure. I can visit her and read my book or the newspaper- which are no different.
If you don't want them to do it make sure that you have activities planned - don't just expect them to sit around playing with a 4yr old the whole time unless they really love small children.

allnewtaketwo Tue 05-Mar-13 09:02:01

To be honest it's common courtesy when in someone elses home to not have your nose permanently stuck in your phone/tablet. Yes some of the time if it's your parents' home but all the time is just the height of rudeness. It's fine to tell someone they're being rude. If they want to be treated like part of the family, which clearly they are, then they should engage and act like part of the family.

crashdoll Tue 05-Mar-13 09:51:45

It's not "someone else's home", it's their dad's home!

DeWe Tue 05-Mar-13 09:52:08

I think it wouldn't be unreasonable to say to them when ds is not there:
Ds would love you to play a little with him. Do you think you could play with him for, say, the half an hour before tea/bed/I take him out.
That way they don't feel if they start playing with him they're stuck for the rest of the evening.

However putting it as they shouldn't be playing on their phones, they should be playing with ds, will make them really resent him.

I might also look for doing something as a family during the day. Be it going somewhere, or doing something. Not insisting they do, but saying you'd love to have them join you.

Imaginethat Tue 05-Mar-13 10:01:49

Yes you can ban them. We have friends who have a no devices rule. There's a box at the front door. They are wonderful friends and I love that they value time with friends enough to switch off phones etc

allnewtaketwo Tue 05-Mar-13 10:17:02

"It's not "someone else's home", it's their dad's home!"

My parents house is their home, not mine. When I am in their home I have the common courtesy to engage with them at least some of the time. It is someone else's home in that it is not mine, of course!

lottiegarbanzo Tue 05-Mar-13 10:28:22

You can explain the approach you take and that it's partly about setting an example to your DS and ask if they'd be willing to play along for a while.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 10:38:53

I 't think there is a single person on this thread who has DCs in their 20s! Having them in the flesh is very different from hypothetical ones!
I think that some of you must have very formal relationships with your parents and siblings. The step children must be engaging some of the time!

You can explain the approach you take
but they don't have to take the same approach -it isn't as if they are children still setting an example. Have you any idea how old 20+years appears to a 4 yr old!! They are ancient! What they do has no bearing on what he does.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 10:39:26

Sorry 'I don't think'-it should have read.

allnewtaketwo Tue 05-Mar-13 10:47:42

We have actually been DC's in our 20's though. And in a lot of cases still are adult "children" who visit our parents' homes

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 13:14:50

We have all been 4yrs olds too- it doesn't mean that we parent our 4yr olds the same. When I was in my early 20s and went home for a few days we didn't sit stiffly in the parlour making conversation! Life went on as normal- my brother was still at school. I just joined in or went out and about. I read the newspaper, helped cook the meal etc- it wasn't rude. Had there been the Internet at the time I'm sure that I would have used it. I went to stay with much older cousins when I was small- it was nice if they played with me but they were often doing other things.
Having a 22yr old DC is nothing like having been one yourself!

allnewtaketwo Tue 05-Mar-13 13:24:38

The OP isn't talking about polite conversation in the palour for heavens sake. Get a grip. She says "their noses are constantly in their phones"

There is something acceptable in between that can meet everyone's needs I'm sure. I'm not sure who you think made you queen on knowing how 20 something year olds need to be treated

GreatUncleEddie Tue 05-Mar-13 13:35:44

I think it would be ok to ask them not to use their phones at mealtimes

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 14:06:20

Have many 20somethings have you got allnewtaketwo?
One of mine came last week with his girlfriend. They went off to sort out the car at the garage. We had a very nice lunch. DS played in his phone afterwards because his girlfriend and I had coffee and talked about things that he had no interest in. They walked off down to town. In the evening we all went out for a meal and had good conversation.
I generally ask them if they have plans or suggest something- if we are just sitting around of course they can go on phones etc. Why not?
Considering the thread on here recently where people can't abide playing snakes and ladders with their own DCs I can't see why you expect visitors to.
If you want to get DSS more engaged, give him a football and ask him to take DS down to the park on his own.

exoticfruits Tue 05-Mar-13 14:14:26

If they have got to be young adults living on their own and you haven't addressed politeness and when to use a phone it is all a bit late. Mine wouldn't use it at mealtimes or if having a conversation but if they want to have their heads in at at other times they are free to do so.

allnewtaketwo Tue 05-Mar-13 14:52:45

Ok exotic, you are clearly the expert based on your sample size of one <<applauds exotics superior knowledge>>

valiumredhead Tue 05-Mar-13 14:59:29

Do you think they have their noses in their phones so they don't have to play with your child? Perhaps they don't want to?

Smartiepants79 Tue 05-Mar-13 15:11:35

All of this comes down to respect.
If you are happy for your adult visitors to use their phones etc. whenever they wish in your home then that's fine.
The problem here is that the OP isn't.
She feels it is impacting on the family relationship.
This isn't some random 4 year old either but a sibling and I believe they could have a very important impact on who he becomes.
I have seen this exact relationship in fact and the younger sibling worshiped the older, followed them and copied much of what they did/ said etc.
Saying they will have no bearing on what he does is like saying his parents have no impact on what he does!
ALL adults, especially family are role-models.

crashdoll Tue 05-Mar-13 15:20:55

I'd want my adult children to feel comfortable in my home; kick off their shoes and curl up on the sofa. You can't compare going to your dad's home to visiting a friend's home.

It's fair enough to say no devices at meal times but you are being unreasonable.

valiumredhead Tue 05-Mar-13 16:17:54

I agree crash

foreverondiet Tue 05-Mar-13 16:32:41

I think you can ask them to text in another room as its hard to stop your 4 yo playing on the phone if the adults are playing. If they say no not much you can do...

Grinkly Tue 05-Mar-13 16:33:39

Maybe you can jokingly ask what's the latest on their facebook. They prob have some v funny photos/ stories of friends, perhaps you could start by showing something from your emails/fb first (maybe a funny youtube thing).

If you don't know their friends it's difficult to get involved but you never know you might get to know them via what they tell you and you can, in future ask how friend's ski trip/ new job/ latest romance is going. Twentysomething's can have pretty exciting lives.

PopMusic Tue 05-Mar-13 17:16:07

We don't spend the whole weekend cooped up in the house - ugh, can you imagine? We go for walks, go to a cafe or for a meal out. But it's not all hectic, there is plenty of down time too. smartiepants has got it spot on. DS gets so excited when he knows they are coming and they look forward to spending time with him and us. I don't mind them using their phones etc , just not when we are having conversations and a play - it's completely unrealistic to ask them to not use it at all.

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