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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.

Justforlaughs Sun 28-Jul-13 10:41:37

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 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.

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

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?

ilovepowerhoop Sun 28-Jul-13 14:08:20

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

ilovepowerhoop Sun 28-Jul-13 14:13:30

says children under 6 shouldn't use 3D but it can be turned off

ilovepowerhoop Sun 28-Jul-13 14:15:54

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.

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