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To limit my son's screentime?

(82 Posts)
Emmasheenan Mon 23-Nov-15 00:33:17

I've always felt pretty confident as a parent, gone with my gut. But I'm starting to freak out about whether I'm doing to right thing! I've always limited screen time with my DS, now 8, and almost everyone I know does that - saves it for a reward or an occasional treat.
Then my SIL posts this to my wall And now I'm like confused
We are a Steiner family, love nature, always felt okay about limiting but now I feel like I need to change whole philosophy??!
What do you do with screen time?

pinotblush Mon 23-Nov-15 00:38:35

grin why on earth would you do that?

Ive always had the telly on in the front room and the radio on in the kitchen. My DS hasnt died because of it.

I dont get this "screen time" thing.

pinotblush Mon 23-Nov-15 00:40:20

Same way i dont get the chocolate and sweet thing. Surely its about balance? Take things away and kids want them more.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Mon 23-Nov-15 00:41:19

With my DC I don't.

ATM they are obsessed with AXL and the school has set up usernames and passwords. It would be criminal for me not to allow ds who has LD not take full advantage of this while he focused.

pinotblush Mon 23-Nov-15 00:42:15

Whats a "steiner" family?

pinotblush Mon 23-Nov-15 00:43:39

The more you "diss-allow" the more they want, why cant everything just be normal?

Mrsfrumble Mon 23-Nov-15 00:51:57

I think it's a good article. I don't think it's saying it's "wrong" to limit screen time, just that iPads are not the work of the devil; they can be useful, educational tools and that most children will naturally self-regulate anyway.
Mine do; it's evening here and DS (5) is currently outside with his dad, supervising a bonfire. Waaaaayyy more fun than he could ever have on an Apple device!
What do you think your SIL's motive was for posting it?

reni2 Mon 23-Nov-15 00:56:30

I presume you mentioned being a Steiner family to underline you discourage the use of electronic devices by young children.

You have thought long and hard about it, talked to dp and lots of others and come to the decision this is how you will bring up your dc. Whilst I applaud parents who do not stubbornly stick to some original plan if it no longer works, it seems a bit hasty to throw out your parenting philosophy on account of a blogpost linked on social media by your SIL.

Emmasheenan Mon 23-Nov-15 02:31:43

Yes sorry ^ I mention Steiner (an education philosophy that favours natural I guess) to illustrate just how little our current world like technology!! Like seriously NONE of my friends let their kids have free reign over TV or iPads or anything!
I have always just assumed that was for good reason and now see how damaging that is - that need to control something becoming so crucial??

Emmasheenan Mon 23-Nov-15 02:33:57

The idea of having the TV on the whole time would be like shock !! Even though I grew up with that!!

Now I am thinking what would my childhood have been like without the Thundercats?! I'm depriving my son!!

RealityCheque Mon 23-Nov-15 03:30:09

"Screentime". Another daft mn-only concept that doesn't exist on planet real life.

claraschu Mon 23-Nov-15 04:22:50

I like the article, but the author's message is complex. It does not boil down to: let your kids play on their ipad all day long. She is saying that the problem is not the ipad, which can be a wonderfully enriching part of our lives; the problem is how we use it.

I have found that it's 100% not true that limiting things always makes people want them more. The truth is more complicated and random than that.

The children I know who had interesting, exciting, creative family life when they were young, including parents who enjoyed doing loads of different fun activities- messy art work, outdoor adventures, varied and creative cooking, etc, and who also limited screens (without making them into a special highly-valued reward or treat), tend not to end up obsessed with their electronic devices.

If you love cooking, are good at it, and have a fun and relaxed attitude towards a wide variety of foods, you can bring up vegan, sugar-free children who do not crave sugar. I have seen this done.

In order to limit things like junk food and screens, which are addictive, cheap and easy , you must be a parent who genuinely enjoys the alternatives.

The problem is that it is very easy to slip into using screens as babysitters, bribes, and ways to fill up precious empty time when young children should be doing all sorts of things.

Supermanspants Mon 23-Nov-15 05:03:29

Oh FFS.....The term 'screen time' always sets my teeth on edge. Utter bollox.
What exactly do you think will be damaged?
According to MN, my daughter should be damaged beyond belief. She achieved AAAA in her AS exams and has an Oxbridge interview coming up hmm

munchkinmaster Mon 23-Nov-15 05:10:51

I didn't read the article but in real life does anyone not limit screen time. Do people really stick the TV console on after school and let it stay on till bedtime?

I don't know as my kids are smaller but whilst my 3 year old would watch TV for hours if I let her it has a really detrimental impact on her behaviour.

Senpai Mon 23-Nov-15 05:18:04

I don't know as my kids are smaller but whilst my 3 year old would watch TV for hours if I let her it has a really detrimental impact on her behaviour.

DD wanders off and follows me to the next room. On the other hand I'm flattered that I'm more interesting than Bubble Guppies. grin

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Mon 23-Nov-15 06:25:02

When I was a child (and dinosaurs still walked the earth) I would have sat in front of the telly from the minute I got up, to the minute I went to bed. Most of us would.

My Mum, doing the adult thing, didn't let me.

The same way I would have lived on "chips and choc ices" (now really showing age)

Of course YANBU to limit screen time, in the same way no parent is being U when setting boundaries and rules. I imagine a lot of children would quite like not to go to school, or go to school but not do maths (I'm about to get one out of bed as we speak) or <insert any one of a million other things that kids don't/do want to do>

I do think a rigid "Horatio can only use his computer on a Friday between the hours of 5 and 6" is silly, yes. But reasonable rules? "Horatio, it's time to put the PS away and come and do your homework/go to bed" or "Horatio, no you aren't taking your Nintendo to your friend's birthday party"


PS Mentioning Steiner on here has the weird reaction always of telling you YABU even if it's about something completely unrelated. T'is the way. wink

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Mon 23-Nov-15 06:27:07

Superman- quite. But this isn't real life. This is Mumsnet, where one chicken feeds a family for 13 days, children eat cabbage willingly, and precious little flowers mustn't be damaged psychologically by having rules and boundaries. wink

wannabestressfree Mon 23-Nov-15 06:31:38

Screen time....teeth itch
Family time....teeth itch
Soft play.... Teeth itch

Utter bollox.

Enjolrass Mon 23-Nov-15 06:58:05

It's about balance.

We limit 'screen time'. But in a natural way.

Dd has a phone so it goes off half an hour before she goes to sleep is the only set time.

We do thinks as a family, so phones stay in pockets, unless she is taking a photo. The iPad (ds mainly used the iPad not dd) stays home.

If we are baking or visiting relatives they are switched off too. There is no rule. Just 'come on let's do xyz' and they turn them off.

Personally I think it's about a bit of balance.

My mum was really strict with dbro. He was only allowed 30 mins to play on his computer at a time. He just to play it on the quiet.

Even if his homework was done, or he didn't have any he was only allowed 30 minutes. Always seemed pointless to me as he used to play if she was out and ignore the rule. Stay up when she went to bed etc.

Both my kids are doing very well at school and have plenty of screen time.

I need a new word for screen time because it does annoy me.

reni2 Mon 23-Nov-15 08:47:46

Op, almost nobody on earth allows free reign over TV and iPads, nor over sweets or bedtime at 8.

I'm still intrigued you question your whole parenting philosophy on account of a random blog on the internet. The article you quote is mildly interesting and has no earth shattering news.

Is it possible you are questioning the Steiner philosophy anyway and this was the last straw? Or did you get cajoled into Steiner and never quite thought it the best way?

Ladyboluna Mon 23-Nov-15 08:55:10

Video games in particular can teach important skills such as team work, hand-to-eye co-ordination, reaction time, communication/reading skills and learning to work hard towards a goal.

But because it's a screen, baby boomers and the generation below constantly tell young families it's bad for them all because screens weren't a big thing when they were a kid so children today automatically have a worse upbringing!

I get sick of the "I went to home when the street lights came on, we played with balls in the street not phones" posts as if back then good, now with screens bad.

Of course, everything should be in moderation. So why an issue?

Helloitsme15 Mon 23-Nov-15 09:16:41

My son would spend every second in front of a PC if he could.
But we don't let him.
No TVs, PCs or other screens in bedrooms either. Ever.
I don't care how many other parents think we are wrong. My house, my child, my rules.
And I call it screen time without shame - there are so many damn things with screens on, it is just shorthand for playing games on gadgets.

Pranmasghost Mon 23-Nov-15 09:23:00

My two youngest grandsons have limited access to electronic games, and do a lot of Lego building and read avidly. They have a laptop for homework and watch age appropriate tv/films.
They also play football and rugby, swim, go on long family bike rides with mum and dad, camp and do hill walking and are Cub/Beaver members.
In moderation 'screen time' can be useful wind down time.

definitelybutter1 Mon 23-Nov-15 09:25:41

Unlimited screen time here.

atticusclaw2 Mon 23-Nov-15 09:30:19

We also "limit" screen time. DSs are able to play on the wii or PS4 at weekends only (and then only for a couple of hours max), we also watch movies at weekends and they will be allowed to watch a bit of tele doing the week if everything else is done (homework etc) but would always ask first rather than just putting it on.

Its certainly not something that exists only in MNland.

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