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To limit my 12 yr old child's computer time to 1.5 hrs per day?

(41 Posts)
jennifersofia Wed 09-Oct-13 14:20:02

I am concerned about the amount of screen time she has - she seems to come in from school around 5, and then (barring dinner) is online until 8:30. I am not concerned about content, just about the amount of time spent online, and the fact that she doesn't seem to do much else.
Apparently I 'don't understand', and 'other mothers do not limit their child's computer time'. Am I out of touch? AIBU?

PedlarsSpanner Wed 09-Oct-13 14:35:40

What about homework?

Is she in your prescence when online, for monitoring?

Yanbu anyway

NoComet Wed 09-Oct-13 14:40:07

I don't limit screen type, but I do do a fair bit of suggesting HW, trampoline and even read a book to DD2

12 is a very difficult age as I can no longer say playmobil and she's long since out grown children's TV. There are only so many repeats of top Gear she can sit through. SIMs is really just playmobil on a screen, but you can do it as a teen.

Sadly she gave up scouts and dancing shut, living in the sticks seeing friends needs organizing. She does gym.

DD1 (15) didn't learn to read until Y6 and she's never had her nose out of a book since then. She also knits and draws and potters at felting and other bits of craft. She never played with toys so she didn't have the sudden I'm too old to do what I've always done moment. Also she went from the one who did least extracurricular stuff to the most as she kept up guiding and music.

She does watch far to much DR who and vampire diaries though.

Neither has FB and I know DD2 may ask when she's 13. I don't know, they already use various messenger aps and send pictures on instagram. They can be pretty daft over boys and friendships.

DD1 would only use it to keep up with the rangers and her best friend at another school and be really sensible.

zower Wed 09-Oct-13 14:43:08

wow that is a v high amount of screen time, unhealthily so. A couple of hours a couple of times a week seems plenty to me.

treas Wed 09-Oct-13 15:13:52

My dc can only dream of 1.5hrs a day.

jennifersofia Wed 09-Oct-13 15:15:28

She is in the living room, so am not worried about what she is on - all harmless. Homework is a combination of online and off - though the computer is often needed for additional research. Homework time is given in addition. Very interested in manga / anime and Japanese current culture.
Do you have children Zower? If they are around the 12 year old age range, what other things do your DC do? I am looking for new ideas..

LaurieFairyCake Wed 09-Oct-13 15:18:17

Look for ways to naturally limit it like making sure she spends a good amount of time on producing quality homework. She needs to be doing an hour a day home learning at that age

If she does a musical instrument then introduce 30 minutes of practise a day

Then there's 'chores' - obviously she needs to help you for a certain time every day. - why would she be sat on the computer while your running round sorting dinner etc

All of the above are just suggestions to naturally limit screen time without having to have the discussion if you don't want to

I even insisted dd watched a film with me after school ( I made it attractive for her ) once when I thought she was getting caught up in some daft Facebook drama too much

Ragwort Wed 09-Oct-13 15:19:08

YANBU at all, I hate the amount of time my DS spends on screens (PS2 mainly) - it probably is between 1-2 hours a night, more at weekends.

That is in spite of extra curricular activities four nights a week and sports matches at weekends. Homework seems to take up very little time (despite me complaining to the school grin).

However I wonder how long I spend on Mumsnet every day blush.

It is hard to limit young teens, as you say, they don't want to play with lego etc. They can't go out and about entirely on their own as the nights get darker. I love board games and constantly suggest them but am met with an old fashioned look grin.

Ragwort Wed 09-Oct-13 15:21:09

Laurie - I even sat through half of that programme on Awards last night to limit my DS's screen time - although that seemed to be swapping one screen for another grin.

jennifersofia Wed 09-Oct-13 17:00:32

Homework takes about 30 min a day, maybe 3 days a week. Chores - hmmmm I think it is a brilliant idea, but I don't think it will go down very well. Helps set the table, but that is about it. Any suggestions of suitable chores, LaurieFairyCake? Thanks for taking the time to respond, it is very helpful to hear other people's advice!

ukatlast Wed 09-Oct-13 17:03:21

YABU I spend much more than 1 1/2 hours online myself.

Retroformica Wed 09-Oct-13 18:44:45

Agree with a limit. It's all about helping them establish healthy habits as a child.

NoComet Wed 09-Oct-13 18:58:41

Chores, who are you kidding.

I'm a SAHM, you can imagine the look I get if I suggest DD2 does anything helpful.

Honestly WWIII is not worth it.

DD1(15) does help despite having more HW, but it's a recent thing as she's got confident at cooking and can reach the washing line.

TigOldBitties Wed 09-Oct-13 19:01:33

YABU, I think that its an ok amount tbh. I don't limit screen time and my DC do other things but still probably spend a similar amount of time in front of them.

Phones, TV, Computer and then PS3 or XBox as well as the Ipad, screens are life now, especially when you're young. Even I would hate to have my screen time limited.

So no I wouldn't limit her with the caveat that she must take regular exercise.

kali110 Wed 09-Oct-13 19:22:32

Dont think its so bad especially as shes doing homework aswell. Shes in family area so shes monitored. Better you know where she is and what shes up too.

lljkk Wed 09-Oct-13 20:16:02

it's not far off what mine get. I dont' limit iPad, DSi or phone screen time, either. And am pretty generous with shopping-social-homework time. Just game time I ration (only non-school days).

Main thing is she has a balanced life: homework & clubs & people & screen.

thegreylady Wed 09-Oct-13 20:20:36

My 12 yr old dgd is rationed to half an hour a day on school days and an hour at weekends but she can have as long as it takes for homework/research etc. In fact she rarely uses the allowed time although her 10 year old brother would sell his toes for extra time on computer games grin

geologygirl Wed 09-Oct-13 20:28:42

Yes I think it should be limited. We all know that the type if light coming out of these screens disrupts circadian rhythms/cycles and effects sleep patterns. So perfectly sensible to limit screen time.

Wish I could take my own advice! Ha!

NoComet Wed 09-Oct-13 20:50:00


If DH or I tried to limit screen time (DH works and chills out at the PC)

We would be met with gales of hysterical laughter and the suggestion we did like wise.

jennifersofia Wed 09-Oct-13 22:38:12

I like the idea of a caveat that she must take exercise - I think this is part of why it is bothering me - she doesn't get any exercise other than the 20 min walk to and from school. Maybe I should not limit time at all on school days (other than a turn off time) as long as she agrees to two exercise sessions?

fuzzpig Thu 10-Oct-13 06:53:57

I think it should be limited - just because screens are the way of the world now, it doesn't mean it's healthy to spend a long time on it. Needless to say it's not good for adults either but with teens they still have developing brains and also need more sleep which screens can interrupt (although in OP's case it's good that DD stops at 8.30)

And she is definitely old enough for chores. She may rail against it at first (start slowly!) but remember you will be doing her a favour in the long run.

valiumredhead Thu 10-Oct-13 07:59:52

I agree with a limit but why aren't you concerned at content?

valiumredhead Thu 10-Oct-13 08:41:48

With content-sorry, it's a bit earlygrin

valiumredhead Thu 10-Oct-13 08:42:11

About content?

I need abrew

anon2013 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:55:17

I think if all the homework is done and maybe a little chore around the house each day then I wouldn't limit the amount of time. I would however say at a certain time that they have to come off it eg 8pm.

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