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To ask how you deal with digital media and young teens

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SkiFiend Tue 12-Mar-19 10:18:53

DS is 14. He's a lovely boy, doing well at school etc etc, no background issues.

I'm worried about the amount of time he spends on Xbox and computer/phone. His limit is supposed to be an hour a day (excluding any time he needs to use his computer for homework), which I think is quite a lot- he mainly spends it playing Fifa on the Xbox or a football trading game on his phone or computer, plus a bit of chat with his friends.

Recently, he has started doing more. He took his computer up to his room last night "for homework" but none of his homework actually required a computer. He then left it in his room (not allowed) and I think went on it after he was supposed to be in bed- certainly when I went up before my own bedtime I heard him hurriedly closing it and leaping back into bed. I took it away and spoke to him about the fact he's not supposed to have it in his room at night- he denied everything but I'm afraid I don't believe him.

This morning, he got up at 6 (his usual time is 7) and took the computer back up to his room, where I found it later. Again, he said he hadn't been on it but I know that's not true (for one thing, it was very warm and had definitely just been used).

Not sure how to deal with all this. I have read countless books about teens that say that they will sometimes lie about this sort of thing and not to get too furious about it but keep communication open. That said, I really don't want him using digital media excessively, having his computer or phone in his room at night or getting up early to use them. I also hate the idea of having to lock them away to stop him using them when it's not allowed- that's not the sort of parent I want to be at all and I think making children feel they're not trusted just creates further lies and distrust. But what to do?

(PS I am not worried that he's using the computer for anything age-inappropriate but I guess in time I'll need to worry about that as well.)

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