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AIBU to think my sister is taking the mobile phone house "ban" too far?

(60 Posts)
PinkHat1 Tue 17-Dec-13 09:40:27

We're going to my sister's house for Christmas (Christmas Eve to Boxing day) and she called me to say that they have introduced a new house rule of no mobile phones being turned on in the house. She has 2 kids (7 and 10) each with a mobile and her husband has an iPad and BlackBerry for work. She says that to try and get some proper family time, phones and tablets must be switched off over Christmas. I understand her point, but think she's being a little extreme. I don't have kids but do have an iPad and iPhone... I told her that I thought her new "house rule" was going a bit far, but she said it is no different than me asking everyone to take their shoes off in my house (which I do). I've been thinking about this for a few days now and it's starting to bug me. Can I just refuse?

Ruffcat Tue 17-Dec-13 20:46:03

So you dh isn't allowed to call any of him family over Christmas. I'd refuse

thebody Tue 17-Dec-13 20:23:45

I hope she gets less controlling as her kids get older or she's in for some mega battles with teens.

worse she's not teaching them self control or manners or appropriate behaviour. banning is lazy parenting and bizarre to you as adults.

friday16 Tue 17-Dec-13 19:19:25

I confess, I'd tell my relatives to get stuffed and find somewhere else to do Christmas.

My parents don't have, and never have had, a television. They're not making a big deal out of it, and these days they take advantage of having a free license (over 75) and watch not only iPlayer (doesn't need a license) but occasionally live TV (strictly speakingdoes) on their laptops. I'm to this day not entirely clear what their objection is: I think it's just that they've never quite got around to it, and every year that goes by without doing anything about it reinforces the position.

However, when I was a child, I recall relatives point blank refusing to visit at Christmas (my parents lived far enough from their respective families that any visit required at least one overnight stay) because they wanted to see the Morecombe and Wise Christmas Special or whatever. Pre VHS, pre-iPlayer: if you missed it, you'd missed it. I think they had a point: you're entitled to play "my house, my rules", but that doesn't mean that anyone else has to play it with you.

The same goes for people who are ostentatiously tee-total, alcoholic, don't eat until 11pm, turn the generator off and go to bed at 7pm, insist that everyone arrives in fancy-dress, want to debate the merits of the second Vienna School with everyone bringing an essay to discuss and a prepared piece to play on the provided musical instruments: you're entitled to be eccentric, but you're not entitled to be offended if people don't want to spend Christmas with you.

Ifcatshadthumbs Tue 17-Dec-13 19:16:47

This reminds of when I worked in a shop and the manager waved a box under my nose and told me he was confiscating all staff's mobile phones during working hours.

I pointed out that my phone was in my car (no lockers or safe place to leave it inside) and that as a grown woman in her 30's I don't need to have my possessions conficated like a naughty school girl and that if other members of staff were using their phones on the shop floor then he should address it with them directly. He went of with his little box and blush

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Tue 17-Dec-13 19:10:26

How bloody rude of her to treat you as though you don't have any manners and need telling!

If you had children with phones I could just about understand her saying that 'we have told our two they aren't to use their phones during dinner or constantly over Christmas, would you mind very much letting your know that's what we have done so ours don't feel too put out?' but you don't - she's being rude.

I'd ask her if she wants us to come or not and if she does then to stop dictating like a twat to two adults.

If she has a problem with her DH she needs to discuss it with him - like an adult. If she has a problem with her 7 & 10 year olds having phones then she needs to deal with it - like a parent. None of this requires you to do anything.

She is acting like a complete twat.

Ifcatshadthumbs Tue 17-Dec-13 19:09:39

Although that said I would never text people or make phone call when I'm at other people's houses and I only answer my mobile in company if I think it is important.

AphraBane Tue 17-Dec-13 19:06:44

I think it's a great idea and entirely reasonable to ask people to refrain from using the phone in company for the entire period of two whole days. But it's none of her business what you do when alone in your room (providing it's legal, of course wink)

CSIJanner Tue 17-Dec-13 19:03:54

Does your sister object to your handing out her LL to friends etc to contact you over the Christmas period/on Christmas Day? If no, YABU.

If yes, DSis-IBU.

Having said that, if the children are in bed, does she still object to mobiles being off (family time)? I wold object to no mobile for 24 hours constant

Ifcatshadthumbs Tue 17-Dec-13 18:59:02

I think anyone who gives their 7 year old a mobile phone has no business telling others what they can and can't do with theirs <judgy and don't care>

GeekInThePink Tue 17-Dec-13 18:55:32

Agree with her and make regular trips to the bathroom to check phone if you must?

It's fine, honestly!

foreverondiet Tue 17-Dec-13 18:45:43

I actually think this is reasonable. No need to be in constant contact. Turn phone to voicemail and leave in your room - respond to everything in the evening. Take with a stand alone camera for photos.

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 17-Dec-13 14:19:54

Dreamingofsun - err, because OP actually said that the husband has an ipad and a blackberry for work.

dreamingofsun Tue 17-Dec-13 13:45:46

grendelsmum - thats a bit sexist isn't it? how do you know its not her on the phone for work all the time?

Ephiny Tue 17-Dec-13 13:43:49

I think she's being very silly and rude. She can impose whatever rules she wants on her own children, but you can't 'ban' adult guests from using their own phones confused.

dreamingofsun Tue 17-Dec-13 13:36:52

is she also unplussing the landline? surely if you ban mobiles you should also ban any phone.......why should it be allowed because it has a cable?

but then i always think non-mobile carriages on trains are a bit odd.....people are allowed to speak still, just not via a piece of equipment. How is this different, other than the fact you can't hear both sides of the conversation with a mobile user?

for that matter, it may be improving family time with those present, but it hardly improves it with any family that isn't if you can't speak with them

NotYoMomma Tue 17-Dec-13 13:35:38

I would go along with her tbh, what do you need it for? people (myself included!) are constantly on phones/ tablets /pcs these days

GrendelsMum Tue 17-Dec-13 13:29:47

I think it's a great idea - I wouldn't be surprised if the issue isn't that her DH is constantly online for "work" etc, and the rest of the family is feeling increasingly neglected as a result. Brilliant idea to get everyone back talking face to face again.

beanandspud Tue 17-Dec-13 13:23:52

The sentiment (family time, being in the present, not spending the day on Twitter/FB) is absolutely fine - it's the way that it has been communicated that seems very heavy handed.

Katiepoes Tue 17-Dec-13 12:21:35

I think it's taking things a bit far but I also think it's just a reaction to the fact that more and more people never leave off messing with the wretched things. I know far too many people who simply cannot put them down - and now here there is an actual campaign telling people not to use Facebook/Whatsapp etc while driving! If grown men and women need to be told not to be that stupid while behind the wheel of a car it's hardly surprising people feel the need to blanket ban them for a while.

DowntonTrout Tue 17-Dec-13 11:20:16

I think she has brought this "rule" in for her DCs and has extended it to everyone.

It's one thing banning phones at the table or in family time/company but quite another to restrict and control adults in this way.

I would find this difficult. It's Christmas, I will want to take photos. If I was staying away from home there would be a number of people I would want to talk to over Christmas. Including family abroad- who we would FaceTime or Skype, and who will want to "see" DCs on Christmas day.

Plus my DH will have his phone switched on as he will need to deal with any business emergencies. That would be non negotiable. Just because it's our Christmas doesn't mean it is everywhere in the world.

thebody Tue 17-Dec-13 11:19:00

oh to add being on a phone and texting constantly is bloody rude but by banning things she's not teaching her children self control.

thebody Tue 17-Dec-13 11:16:55

I really wouldn't worry, her kids are 7 and 10 so she's got a lot to learn. grin

personally I would worry about anyone that controlling really.

don't you have parents or other older relatives that may need to contact you at any time.

eurochick Tue 17-Dec-13 11:13:09

I think it's a silly idea. Much better to demonstrate to her how phones and tablets can be used sensibly. Family would be calling me to wish me merry christmas/thank me for gifts and I would want to do the same. Asking you not to be glued to it would be reasonable.

whois Tue 17-Dec-13 11:05:58

I think it's a stupid idea for adults. DP and I spend Christmas apart and I would be bloody annoyed if my sister told me I wasn't allowed to contact him over Christmas! No harm in exchanging the odd text during the day and calling for a catch up on each other's Christmas!

Rufustherednosedreindeer Tue 17-Dec-13 11:03:17

I can't see a problem with it

In fact I must remember to put my ipad down over Christmas

I was sat watching a film with the children the other day and 3 out of 4 of use were on iPads or touchs sad

May bring in family time....thank your SIL for me, that's not meant to be snarky

Hope you have a good Christmas

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