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To ask how much screentime your 12-13 year olds have?

(58 Posts)
VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 10:23:32

And what time they go to bed? Especially during the week.

My DD is 12 and unfortunately, she seems to be having a very emotional and grumpy journey towards her teens.

She has nice friends etc and doing well at school....but she's SO moody at home. I know it's normal....she's always been "dramatic" about things...so when she was younger, if she got a common cold, it was the END OF THE WORLD and SHE WAS IN AGONY.

That type.

She's lovely when she's lovely but a lot of her time after school is spent pouring scorn on her younger sister and being moody and snappy.

Unless she's allowed to sit on her phone for hours on end which she will do...she watches shows on Netflix mainly.

She won;t join any out of school clubs...she did ballroom till last year but now has lost interest...I've offered her a choice of any club or activity but no...she hates them all.

She occassionally spends some time sewing...she does read...and goes out on Saturdays to meet her mates etc....but is this it?

I've decided this week that during the week, she can only have 2 hours on the phone and has to be off it by 6.00pm. She tends to go to sleep at about ten pm.

Does this sound ok? Normal? What are your rules? I'm hoping that by reducing her screen time she will be a bit more cheerful!

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 23-Aug-16 10:30:44

Really? As long as she's being sociable (not showing signs of depression and such), I don't know why you're taking away 'screen time'. She's not a toddler, she's nearly a teen, there's only so much of her free time you can dictate! As I a teen, my main hobbies were reading and video games, I would have been even more of a grumpy teen if the things I enjoyed were limited without good reason e.g. not doing chores/homework. Really, this isn't a battle worth starting.

eyebrowsonfleek Tue 23-Aug-16 10:34:15

I have a similar aged child and the problem is if I had your rule, they would end up rushing their homework which requires them to do research online or log into a site like MyMaths.

I turn off the Internet between 6 and 8 so they have to do online homework around that. The 2 hours are for dinner, baths, getting ready for the next day, offline homework etc and not an excuse to switch on the tv. They have 4g on their phones and moan about it but it help keep bedtime at 10pm too as they pack bags etc in the Internet free time.

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 10:39:03

Edmund I think it's because I worry that spending hours and hours solidly watching tv shows isn't healthy or creative.

She should spend SOME time reading actual books, maybe drawing or writing or sewing....which are her hobbies really. Staring at a screen for that long isn't healthy.

Eyebrows DD doesn't have any online homework. We're not in the UK and it's not the way her school does things.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 23-Aug-16 10:48:25

Why isn't it healthy? She's a teen, she'll very likely grow out of it in a couple of years and want to do interesting things again. In the meantime, pick your battles. Don't take away the things she enjoys, unless there's a good reason. Wanting her to do clubs or ballroom dancing is really not a good enough reason, in fact it was this attitude that drove me to drop most of my extra curricular things as a teenager. Children change, things that once interest them now seem childish or silly. She needs time to figure out the person she will be, not the one she was. At least in her room, watching Netflix, there's no sibling fights!

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 10:50:10

Edmund there's growing evidence that it's not good for them. Steve Jobs himself limited his kids to half an hour.

But this wasn't meant as a debate regarding computers and health.

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 10:59:20

Anyone else?

purplevase4 Tue 23-Aug-16 11:02:49

My 13 year old son has far too much screentime including TV, mainly sport. But he doesn't spend it on social media (yet) which is one less thing to worry about. And he does a fair amount of sport as well as the hours he spends watching it.

I can't switch the wifi router off at certain times because I need to work. I do however ensure that all the electronic gadgets are left downstairs at bedtime although he does use his phone as a music player so it gets sneaked up from time to time.

I know what you mean about reading, I'd also like ds to read more. But I don't think you can force it. I spent all my time reading - maybe my parents would have liked me to do more stuff outside and be active, but I didn't.

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 11:07:21

At least if she's reading, it's usually good quality stuff. What she watches on Netflix never is. If she were obsessed with good quality films I wouldn't mind but I don't think reality shows for hours are good.

Wigglewogglewoo Tue 23-Aug-16 11:09:53

You obviously think you're doing the right thing as you keep agreeing against the points people are making. Why post if you're so sure it's the right thing?

I have 4 teens, 14,16,18,19. I never limited screen time and they're all healthy happy kids. They all are doing/did well in school and college and the eldest 3 started working as soon as they left school by their own choice. They are fantastic children and I'm super proud of them all.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 23-Aug-16 11:11:02

Well, Violet, you asked if you're being unreasonable and I believe you are. I think you're making a rod for your own back in terms of making a moody teen an even bigger grump. I also think that you should lead by example if you decide to follow through - everyone in the house should have limited 'screen time'. Shouldn't be one rule for her and different for everyone else, right?

Allthingscat Tue 23-Aug-16 11:13:05

If she were obsessed with good quality films I wouldn't mind but I don't think reality shows for hours are good.

That is you're opinion. She might think the stuff she watches is good.

I have no doubt that people think the stuff I watch is crap but it's what I like so why should I care what they think? grin

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 11:19:00

Do people really think 2 hours a night isn't enough? I let her have it as long as she wants at weekends...

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 23-Aug-16 11:22:09

Is 2 hours a night enough for you, op? How much 'screen time' would you say you have in a day? Hopefully doing something more 'intellectually challenging ' than being on Mumsnet when using said 'screens'!

Allthingscat Tue 23-Aug-16 11:24:57

No it's not enough, my 4 year old probably has more screen time that 2 hours!

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 11:25:18

Edmund I don't watch TV shows hardly at all...I spend less than that online usually. In short bursts and it doesn't affect my moods.

ffon Tue 23-Aug-16 11:29:38

OP I get your angst. My kids spend hours on electronic devices and it worries me.
However it interests me that some parents would advocate not restricting screen time at all.
Maybe we are worrying too much.
Certainly I hate being the screen time police with alarms on my phone to remind me to get them off their tablets, daily battles, debates about whether using them to have music on at night is ok etc. It's draining.

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 23-Aug-16 11:30:32

Her moods are affected because she's a teenage girl, not because of Netflix hmm. Plenty of people do watch more than a couple of hours TV at a time, and are perfectly healthy individuals. Just because it's not your idea of fun or something stimulating, doesn't mean you're right I'm afraid.

U2HasTheEdge Tue 23-Aug-16 11:31:39

As much as they want.

The rules are- no devices on at the dinner table and on a school night you turn it off and go to bed at a reasonable time.

I know my 13 and 15 year old have been up past midnight talking to their friends in the holidays. I am fine with that but they know they can't do it when they have school the next morning.

They get very little homework. Their school never gives them much but what they do get always gets done.

My teens are all healthy and happy. I am not worried.

Allthingscat Tue 23-Aug-16 11:34:39

I doubt watch tv is what effects her moods hmm More likely because she's a teenage girl OP.

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 11:54:26

Does nobody else worry about it? This generation is the first to have such massive access to a multitude of shows and bullshit on sites like Youtube. We don't REALLY know how it affects their brain development do we?

insan1tyscartching Tue 23-Aug-16 11:54:59

Dd 13 has as much as she wants. She doesn't watch TV at all (other than GBBO) her main hobby is drawing so that takes the majority of her time so when not on paper she has a graphics tablet too and is drawing on that. She also plays piano so I hear that throughout the day as well.
Only rules here are no gadgets at the table and turn them off at 10pm for bed on nights you are at school the next day. It seems to work for us anyway.

purplevase4 Tue 23-Aug-16 12:03:28

Does nobody else worry about it? This generation is the first to have such massive access to a multitude of shows and bullshit on sites like Youtube. We don't REALLY know how it affects their brain development do we

No we don't. I don't disagree with you that there may be implications that we are not yet aware of. But they will affect everyone. I read something just this morning that reliance on electronic gadgets is affecting our memories. I used to know all my friends' phone numbers. These days I know my mum's and my aunt's landlines and that's it although I recognise other numbers when they come up but I wouldn't know them if I had to ring them. Reliance on satnav is almost certainly affecting people's abilities to mapread.

But I don't think you can force someone to take an interest in something they are not interested in.

You might be interested in this course on Futurelearn (it is free): www.futurelearn.com/courses/childhood-in-the-digital-age

EdmundCleverClogs Tue 23-Aug-16 12:06:59

Well to avoid 'bullshit' on YouTube, you'd hope you have some parental settings to avoid any unsuitable material being viewed. YouTube is a fantastic thing though, so many informative and educational videos. I've learned how to fix many a thing that I may otherwise needed help with, for example. Instead of seeing technology as the enemy, learn about it, ask her what she's interested in and find something to talk about/share. Sounds like this is more about you being upset she's not into the things you want her to be into.

VioletBam Tue 23-Aug-16 12:07:00

Insan but my DD doesn't draw online...she doesn't play the piano and she watches hours of quite crappy shows.

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