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To wonder how the Hell you limit screen time on this day and age

(83 Posts)
ThePassionOfHoneydragon Mon 21-Apr-14 20:29:21

Obviously other than the obvious

"You've been on XYZ long enough, do something else"

As long as dcs are not totally sedantry and passive how important is it?

Eg, if you have a strict two hours a day only rule, and their homework on the pc takes 2.5 hours is that it for the day? No tv, no pc, tablet, kindle or whatever it is you might have in the house?

Does a child happily absorbed in say, Percy Jackson, for 3 hours on an ereader/tablet count as reading a book or screen time?

On here and in RL I find some people really unnecessarily snotty and judgemental about other people's children apparently having too much "screen time".

So what is too much for you and what do you class as screen time?

cakeymccakington Mon 21-Apr-14 20:33:41

we had very strict limits for a while. 1 hour a week. because I got so fucking sick and tired of the arguments and the constant demands for screens.

so... yes. basically a lot of saying "no, you can't" until they got used to it, which tbh really didn't take that long.

they got 1 hour on a sat or sun morning and that was that.
was actually reallly nice.

recently we relented and increased screen time but the effect it has on my kids is horrendous, esp the eldest. he has high functioning autism and tends to obsess over stuff like this and he just gets so ridiculously wound up over it that I am about to set some new limits! won't be as strict as before. we'll maybe make it an hour a day max or something. and that includes ALL screens.

i was impressed at how nicely my lot played together when they didn't have the option of screens actually.

ThePassionOfHoneydragon Mon 21-Apr-14 20:36:30

So is that any kind of screen including tv, games and reading?

Do they have to do and homework on the pc or anything, and if so do you include that?

Sorry I'm coming across as really nosey

Legologgo Mon 21-Apr-14 20:37:45

I never did. They got bored themselves. All kids still alive and achieving

Legologgo Mon 21-Apr-14 20:38:14

Tbh it's more hassle than it's worth. Just let them self regulate

joanofarchitrave Mon 21-Apr-14 20:40:49

Until ds was a year he didn't see any screens. Until he was 2 it was 30 mins a day. Until he was five it was no screen time until 5pm.

Things have gone massively pearshaped since, to the point where I think some other parents are wary of playdates at our house since they will usually be heavily screen based. But any absolute rule makes life easier, as the rule does the shouting for you. Now the most straightforward option is to have screen free days. I have friends who are a lot better at it, they have screen days on the days when their children have the most club activities etc, whereas I do the opposite. Some friends also ban screens if friends are around to play - I don't as I quite like it when they do minecraft together or whatnot.

I wouldn't count an e-reader as screen time myself, unless it has internet access. I also wouldn't count homework, provided it HAD to be screen based.

ThePassionOfHoneydragon Mon 21-Apr-14 20:41:11

I reckon that does depend nod the child though. My Ds can, one of my friends children really couldn't and did much better once he was given an "allowance" of gaming time.

CocktailQueen Mon 21-Apr-14 20:41:51

I try to get dc to do homework using books, not screen. Much better practice.

Neither has a kindle - though I don't count reading a book in kindle as screen time!!

I try to take them out whenever possible - they are so much nicer to each other and play so much better when they have outdoor time. Today we spent the day out on various walks and they were climbing trees, running ahead, absorbing and noticing things.

Dd is 10 and if she spends too much time on her laptop, she's like a zombie - gets grumpy, forgets manners, doesn't talk. Gah! So we really have to limit her time.

How old are your dc? Why would homework take 2.5 hours?

BadRoly Mon 21-Apr-14 20:42:18

I limit their PC use by having time limits set for each log in - 1hour slots - with it switching off at 6 (7 for dc1 in case she had homework to get done).

I don't let the younger 2dc have iPods/DS/Wii after tea but they can watch cbeebies. The older 2 have to hand over their 'technology' at 7 but can watch TV until bedtime and read kindles (old style kindle pre-paperwhite).

During the holidays I will encourage them to do other things but don't have a daily time limit.

TeenAndTween Mon 21-Apr-14 20:46:29

Time spent doing homework does not count as screen time here.

Otherwise we limit with the following rules:
- no screen time in the morning
- generally screen time only later in the day once they've done other stuff including exercise
- occasional screen time straight after lunch if we know we're going out later, e.g. going swimming, meeting friends out etc.
- no tech in bedrooms

They still get quite a lot of screen time with these rules, but they do other stuff too.

ThePassionOfHoneydragon Mon 21-Apr-14 20:47:53

I'm thinking of older secondary aged children when I refer to say 2.5 hours homework.

And on occasion Ds gets computer based homework at 10.

cardibach Mon 21-Apr-14 20:57:47

WHy are books automatically better, Cocktail? I'm an English teacher, so massively in favour of children using books, but they are not necessarily better for research/homework. I got a PGD using only internet resources as I live in a very rural area with no useful libraries less than 30 miles away.
I think labelling it 'screen time' makes it a bigger deal than it is. There is a massive difference between, say, watching a Shakespeare play with a parent and playing a violent computer game. Other things fall along a spectrum. Where would/should you draw the line. Just watch that there is a good balance of physical/sedentary and educational/recreational activities - what difference does it make how they are achieved?

Perfectlypurple Mon 21-Apr-14 20:58:56

My dsd was a nightmare when she had been on computer too long. She turned into a totally different child - rude, cheaky, argumentative. So I limited her screen time and the difference was amazing. I did try increasing her time by letting her go on it for longer and not telling her. Then when I told her time was up she would argue which showed the length of screen time had a link to her behaviour.

Now she is nearly 17 I don't limit it but if she has been on a very long time I mention it to her and that I don't want all her time to be on the screen but she pretty much self regulates now.

itsnothingoriginal Mon 21-Apr-14 21:01:06

It all goes a bit awry in the holidays but generally it's DS that needs some regulation as he would happily spend all day staring at a screen of some description.

We don't have any technology in the bedrooms and he doesn't get to go on anything before breakfast or after dinner. It's a very good bargaining tool for homework and getting ready etc. He's probably staring at a screen for a good few hours a day though blush

KatieKaye Mon 21-Apr-14 21:02:45

House teen has dyslexia and finds reading on a Kindle, PC, phone etc much easier than reading hard copy.

WhoKnowsWhereTheChocolateGoes Mon 21-Apr-14 21:08:46

I don't have strict rules, DCs are 8 and 10, but do boot them off them at intervals, they generally go and play pretty well at that point, or do something worthwhile like cooking. We use them a lot for spellings, times tables etc as well as purely recreational use. The main rules are no usage in bedrooms apart from listening to audio books at bedtime and no using them at the table except if you are eating alone.

They are allowed to use them when friends come round, it has made a real difference to DS who has AS and struggles a bit with friendships, I'm happy enough to see a pair of heads together concentrating on something on the Ipad so long as they don't do it the entire time. I also try and get them to use the Wii as at least it gets them off the sofa.

catbus Mon 21-Apr-14 21:12:10

We don't impose limits- our children self regulate. It can be hard to bite your tongue and sit on your hands, but it does happen smile

cakeymccakington Tue 22-Apr-14 23:32:22

Yes that's all screens.
Home end, so no homework :-D

Mine don't self regulate. Ds1 would happily sit playing on the Wii u all day, even to the point of missing meals.

nikki1978 Tue 22-Apr-14 23:36:02

We let them self regulate to a certain extent. But we did block YouTube as they were obsessive with mine craft videos. We were at home all day today and I reckon they only played on the pic for 2 hours out of 12. I do get them out as much as I can though. They are at an age where toys don't hold much fascination anymore so they get bored and play on the pc. I keep an eye on it but they seem ok.

nikki1978 Tue 22-Apr-14 23:38:06

Oh yes and we don't allow it on school mornings or in their bedrooms.

2kidsintow Tue 22-Apr-14 23:49:37

DH set our router/home network so that after a certain time it switches off the girl's access to the internet. And we set DD's laptop (that she uses for homework) to switch off an log her out at a certain time too.

They do also have a tablet and an e reader each. They have to put tablets away at a certain point - but the e readers are not back lit and are viewed as books.

Apart from DD1 being a tad obsessed by writing her own novel, they don't always care about their tablets etc. In fact neither of them have been on theirs since last week so far.

That said, I do make sure that I drag them out of the house for some fresh air at least one of the days at the weekend to achieve a bit of balance.

manicinsomniac Tue 22-Apr-14 23:49:51

By not having the screens for them to use.

No working tv, no ipods or pads, no consoles, no phones, no computer, no kindle.

I have a phone and a work laptop they can use if necessary but it isn't often needed as eldest does most of her homework at school and others are too young.

HicDraconis Wed 23-Apr-14 05:10:43

We differentiate between "play time" (can do whatever you like as long as it doesn't require a screen), "golden time" (can do whatever you like including play on iPads / computers / PS3) and "computer needed for school work time".

So the boys (6&8) get playtime every day. They get golden time Friday and Saturday but it can be reduced or removed for bad behaviour (and they can earn more for good behaviour) and is at max 1h chunks. Computers for homework time is supervised as I haven't installed parental controls on the net access so I work in the same room with them - that's unlimited. Last week DS1 spent hours researching the Pyramids and then recreated them (including interior chambers and passages) in Minecraft for a presentation - that was allowed unlimited time.

Reading on a kindle until now hasn't been an issue because we didn't have one - however ds1 is getting one for his 8th birthday. I think we will treat that as a book and so unlimited.

Flux700 Wed 23-Apr-14 07:06:45

Obviously reading and homework are different but most kids aren't spending hours doing that! Most kids are watching/playing brain and body numbing crap for hours.

We limit it. My kids have screen time 4 or 5 days a week. Occasionally they watch a film or animal documentary but normally it's restricted to an hour. Ill always remind them about when its going off and my kids are happy with that. There are lots of other things to do.

Flux700 Wed 23-Apr-14 07:10:57

Obviously reading and homework are different but most kids aren't spending hours doing that! Most kids are watching/playing brain and body numbing crap for hours.

We limit it. My kids have screen time 4 or 5 days a week. Occasionally they watch a film or animal documentary but normally it's restricted to an hour. Ill always remind them about when its going off and my kids are happy with that. There are lots of other things to do.

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