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To restrict my teenager's internet use at night?

(77 Posts)
Blossom777 Fri 04-Nov-16 09:43:33

My 15 year old DS is constantly on his computer and/or ipad, from the time he gets home from school until going to bed. He does stop every now and then to do homework/revision etc so I'm not worried about that aspect. At the moment I have parental controls set to turn the internet off at 11pm weeknights and 12 Fri/sat nights. He's not happy with this as until recently had no restriction on time, as I naively thought he was going to sleep when the lights were out. Yesterday we had a big argument with him wanting a 1am curfew weeknights and unrestricted at other times. The compromise I made was midnight and 2am but neither of us are happy with this and he wants to continue negotiating today, saying none of his friends have any time limit.

BarbarianMum Fri 04-Nov-16 09:46:41

<<saying none of his friends have any time limit.>>

Yeah, and I bet their parents let them go out when they want and never ask them to help around the house either hmm

You do what you think best as a parent for your child.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Fri 04-Nov-16 09:48:48

When he's 18 and has his own place, he gets to control the internet usage

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Fri 04-Nov-16 09:50:53

Actually 2am at weekend is still too late.
All that does is shove his sleep patterns more out of kilter so that he'll be wrecked on Monday morning

ReallyTired Fri 04-Nov-16 09:51:18

I have an Internet curfew at 10pm in our household

SarahOoo Fri 04-Nov-16 09:52:06

His whole world (bar revision/homework) is that computer, at 15 I'd be ensuring he is having much less time on it. Does he read books or have other hobbies? One of my friends nieces and nephews are in their teens and their mum gives them iPads when they go out (the last time I saw this was my friends engagement party). They didn't speak to anyone or go on the dance floor. A slippery slope!

ErrolTheDragon Fri 04-Nov-16 09:54:57


We used to have controls on DDs usage, think it was off 10:30 till 6:30am. She is a sensible girl and knew it was wise, she was hmm at some friends who'd be on FB in the small hours. We took them off when she was about 16 because she's responsible and knows she needs sleep to work well.

The school did a session for parents on how to support kids during GCSE years and they strongly recommended internet curfew (to groans from kids and approving nods from parents).

The exact times depend obv on what time your DC needs to be up on a schoolday.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 04-Nov-16 09:59:55

I think 11pm week nights is already generous op and would have stuck to that. Teenagers need sleep, whatever they tell you. Their brains cannot function adequately at school if they're substituting sleep with constant communication.

SovietKitsch Fri 04-Nov-16 10:00:18

Stick to your original limits, they're late enough. Teenagers are notoriously poor at impulse control - you need to do it for him. Ignore the strops about what his mates have, teenagers need something to rail against anyway!

Bluebolt Fri 04-Nov-16 10:03:27

My internet is on a timer and goes off at 10.30 pm, it stops the endless debates of just 5 minutes to finish a game.

Blossom777 Fri 04-Nov-16 10:04:11

I know I really need to grow a pair and put my foot down, but I find it difficult when he's taller than me, has anger issues (has previously been for anger management) and I'm just not used to being 'bad cop', which his late dad used to do.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 04-Nov-16 10:09:15

Blossom you need to practice your calm monotone voice: "Ds, I am not prepared to negotiate with you. My decision stands." Calmly close the door, ignore any retorts, do not be tempted into arguments and negotiations. Repeat words as necessary. What you have proposed is fair. It doesn't need to escalate if you don't feed his anger.

ElspethFlashman Fri 04-Nov-16 10:10:19

You changed it to midnight and 2am?

Fucking hell, he's only 15 and you're effectively telling him he doesn't have to go to sleep till 2am at the weekends?

Lucky boy. hmm

waterrat Fri 04-Nov-16 10:13:04

Blossom 1am is much much too late for a teenager to be up and staring st a screen

Have you read the research on how bad screen use is for sleep? They were talking on the radio this morning about how screen use is causing huge damage to sleep for young people. Have a read online and you will feel stronger I resisting him.

Screens are addictive and as parents we have the responsibility of ensuring our children know thst.

I am 39 and wpuld feel terrible if I stayed up looking at a screen every night until 11pm let alone 1am.

Bluebolt Fri 04-Nov-16 10:16:15

Oh, I wish you had put the update in your OP, the internet and the anger and both your loss. I think you both need someone to act as a mediator.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 04-Nov-16 10:51:55

flowerstough situation. But you're the adult. Maybe you need to tell him that you've now researched the matter, checked what actually is considered acceptable to other teens and their parents. That this indicates that your previous restrictions were about right. But that you will allow what you have now agreed for a trial period. If his schoolwork suffers you'll put it back to what it was before.

Mishegoss Fri 04-Nov-16 11:00:46

Please put your foot down. I had completely unrestricted Internet at that age and now as an adult reflecting back, I can't believe the things that happened and the people I ended up talking to. It really concerns me to hear of teenagers whose life revolves around their computer as I've lived that way and it was really damaging.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 04-Nov-16 11:02:49

Ds is 15, devices get left on the landing at bedtime.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 04-Nov-16 11:04:27

2 am, Seriously?!shock

paxillin Fri 04-Nov-16 11:05:27

Your original curfew is exactly what we do with a 16yo. We'll stop soon, because he's getting to a point of relatively reasonable self-regulation.

Of course he'd say none of his friends have restrictions, same as a 6 yo tells you his friends are allowed ice cream for supper and an 11 yo tells you all his friends own an iPad.

jayisforjessica Fri 04-Nov-16 11:09:22

Tell him he has two choices.
a) The internet can go off at the time YOU choose, or
b) The internet can go off, and stay off permanently.

You are the parent. You are the one paying the bills. You need to put your foot down. It's your way - no highway option.

comoneileen Fri 04-Nov-16 11:12:27

Go for it. I think sometimes help is needed for self-regulation.
Once the good habit is created it is more likely to come as a second nature.
But I fight the same fight as you.
I have noticed that my DS has not opened a book at home since he has had a smartphone.
As he always to have to just do this I feel that the best option to stop the nagging that I do is to turn off the WIfI around 8pm. he is 13 yo.
There is life without WIFI.

WindInThePussyWillows Fri 04-Nov-16 11:15:15

I assume he has a smart phone. How do you restrict his internet access on a phone through 3G/4g?

CocktailQueen Fri 04-Nov-16 11:16:47

OP, those times are far too late. It's not doing any good at all for your ds's social skills, brain development, attention span, etc. Do some research on how the internt affects brains - especially teenage/children's brains. It's not good.

And if he has anger issues, then too much screen times makes this worse!! I notice that with my 9yo ds, so God know how much worse it would be with a teen. You're going to need to woman up here.

It only takes 10 days for a new habit to form, apparentrly. Why not try doing something else with your ds? Or else he'll look back on his teen years and he'll just have been staring at a screen and will have missed it all. What a waste.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Fri 04-Nov-16 11:17:16


DSS has no restrictions at all at home and an Xbox in his room which has meant more than once when stepdad has got up for work in the morning DSS has ark been on it.

We don't turn off the wifi here but the Xbox is in the living room so he can't spend too much time on it!

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