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to limit 12 year old ds time on computer?

(13 Posts)
cheeryface Sat 19-Jul-08 22:14:55

after an hour and halfish i tell him to turn it off in the hope that he will find something else to do.
but, he doesn't, he either hangs around me, turns tv on or goes upstairs listening to music (under sufferance)
it has been this way for a very long time.

might i just as well give him free reign?

i am asking quite a few things about ds1 at the moment i know, but, i am a little worried /confused

LovelyDear Sun 20-Jul-08 00:28:23

i don't know but my ds is 8 and would stay on it all day unless i kicked him out to play football. my SIL chose to leave her son to stew over the PC as long as he liked and he's now 19 and perfectly normal and sociable and doing v well at university. So based on that tiny scrap of evidence, maybe it doesn't matter?!

BetteNoire Sun 20-Jul-08 00:34:07

DS1 (12) is pretty good at self regulating his screen time.
He's an avid reader too, and also likes listening to audio CDs, so he tends not to do a bit of everything.
DS2 (10) sometimes needs to be nudged to go and do something other than Runescape, or playing on the X Box.

BetteNoire Sun 20-Jul-08 00:35:20

Sorry, I meant he tends not to get obsessed with the pc, as he'll do a bit of everything.

SofiaAmes Sun 20-Jul-08 01:24:41

I find that it's easier to give them a set time limit and then they get to pace themselves within that. Of course there are a few kids like BetteNoire's who will self regulate with no restrictions, but I think they are mostly the exception to the rule from what I have seen.

My kids are only allowed screen time on Sat and Sun mornings before I wake up and as soon as I get up then everything gets turned off no arguments. This of course does have the added benefit of the kids having a vested interest in letting me having a lie in. It has also helped that several of ds' (7) good friends who spend far too much time on video/computer games are now spending the summer in summer school to be able to keep up, while ds gets to take all sorts of fun camps like science, woodwork and cooking.

Having said all of that, I truly think that computer/video games are going to be the downfall of our society. Our kids are not getting their brains stimulated by anything but violent, sexually charged, competitive screen images. They aren't learning how to entertain themselves, be creative or innovative. They aren't exercising (and please DO NOT tell me that that thing that's named after urine is good way to get kids to exercise).

sunnydelight Sun 20-Jul-08 08:23:58

I'm sure a lot of people will totally disagree with my reasoning, but having given it much thought I have really chilled out about my kids' computer/console time recently. Both my boys (9 and 14) are in a school that works them pretty hard with longish days, they get a fair amount of homework (obviously the older one gets more), they spend a LOT of time outdoors (Australian weather is better for this), play sport, do other activities etc. etc. SO in the free time they have I have decided to let them go for it. If I look at how they use the computer and gaming consoles over a couple of weeks I see a mixture of MSN/communication type stuff (older one only), co-operatative games where both boys and DH play together, browsing the internet for info on things that interest them (suitably net-nannied!), and age appropriate solitary games.

It is just ridiculous to take the "in my day ..." approach because it isn't our day, it's an era of modern technology and our kids communicate in very different ways. A lot of people seem to distrust the technology essentially because it is alien to many of us (and I will cheerfully hold up my hand here). I am raising and educating my children for the world they will be living in, and with all due respect the "research has shown" argument doesn't really wash with me. I have worked as a researcher and consultant and know just how easy it is to skew the statistics grin

Bottom line - if it bothers you, do something about it. If you just feel that you should because everyone else says so, relax.

seeker Sun 20-Jul-08 09:02:31

Very limited in term time but my two are very busy anyway so there isn't a lot of time for screen time.

In the holidays I play it by ear. If everyone's tired and floppy then they can watch telly for hours. Dd likes to keep in touch with friends on msn - ds on Club Penguin. We all like watching some tv together. But if we have a day like that there's no screen time the next day.

What I don't like is when they use the computer or watch tv because they can't think of anything else to do. It needs to be a conscious decision, not a drift if you see what I mean

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 09:06:43

I agree with you, sunnydelight

Nighbynight Sun 20-Jul-08 09:08:19

My children absolutely do not self-regulate. I am always a bit shockhmmwhen people come on mn and say things like "oh, my child turns off the tv in his room after 20 minutes viewing and does his homework without being told"

If I didnt regulate them, my children would have the tv blaring cartoons out all day, while they hang over the computer on the other side of the room, playing inane games.

I know, because I have tried the self-regulating thing. I am away at work a lot of the time, so they have had plenty of opportunity to show that they can be responsible, and sadly, they have proved that in tv/computer terms, they have the collective will-power of Knut left in sole charge of a fishpond.

So, our computer is password protected, and the tv aerial cable is available on ration.

Nighbynight Sun 20-Jul-08 09:11:11

they have learned a lot about using the computer, though. For example, they found the inane games site themselves via google [proud modern mummy emoticon]

WideWebWitch Sun 20-Jul-08 09:14:19

i think it should be regulated too. ds is 10 and is allowed a few hours a few times a week on ps2/wii/pc

sarah293 Sun 20-Jul-08 10:37:35

Message withdrawn

lljkk Sun 20-Jul-08 11:21:15

For a long time we allowed DS1 unlimited access and he NEVER learnt to self-moderate; he is 8yo & would be on there 8-12 hours/day, I reckon. He gets bored of everything else quickly, but computer games are very addictive, he'd much rather do that than virtually anything else (including eating). He isn't interested in any sport or other out of school activities.

So for us it's got to be limited!

Other DC are better at self-regulating (they get bored, have other passions). But if I restrict for one, have to have same guidelines for all.

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