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5 yr DS obsessed with screens - any screen

(5 Posts)
hollingbury Tue 26-Jan-16 06:22:09

My 5 yr old DS loves anything to do with the screen. Currently, his usage at home is limited to the TV. He watches about 45 mins when he gets home from school. At weekends he'll watch the same amount in the morning - sometimes a film - and the same amount at the end of the day. We have an iPad but no games on it. Sometimes he looks at photos on it etc.

I think this is a fair amount but he could watch 10 times as much. He talks about TV and ipads and computer games a LOT. He knows which of our friends have Ipads and Xboxes and he associates going there with playing on their gadgets. And now he's having playdates with school friends without me, I feel another world has opened up. Yesterday I picked him up from a new friend and they were both standing inches away from a massive screen playing Wii and he was shouting and ordering everyone around - it's like a heightened excitement when he's doing anything game like.

I worry that he's going to end up playing games all the time. I don't know how to be relaxed about it. I hate video games, myself, which makes it harder.

ANy thoughts? I know it's an age old problem.

HPsauciness Tue 26-Jan-16 08:46:30

I think you could end up doing your own head in over this. I don't think screens are intrinsically 'bad' once past a certain age (about 2) and it's just what you feel comfortable with. We are a tecchy family, have lots of screens (each), kids have tablets and computers but also have social lives, do their homework, and so forth.

I think you need to strive for balance, but this tends to develop over time, and both mine have had phases, one of mine in particular aged 10/11 where she was always on the computer and never socialising, I was worried but now she's out all the time.

I would set your own limits at home, and we used to have a rule that if you were rude or cheeky coming off the computer when asked (after 5 min warning) then you wouldn't be allowed on it the next day, This worked well aged 5-7.

I also think you have to understand that a lot of socializing takes place around games like Minecraft or online multi-player games, and it is socially isolating if absolutely everyone is doing stuff and you are not, I had this as a child as we had no TV.

That said, there's a lot of hours in the day, so why can't he watch a bit of telly, play a game (this will replace telly at some point), go the park after school, have friends over and still go to bed on time. It's not an either or situation, but I think I would try to get over your game aversion, it's part of everyday life for these children now.

Kiwiinkits Tue 26-Jan-16 22:46:06

HP yours is a good reply. Do you think it's a coincidence that you use lots of screens / games now and you were banned from tv as a youngster? Did the ban create that desire in you to use screens a lot? Or is it just the times?

Kiwiinkits Tue 26-Jan-16 22:49:01

OP, I hate games too. I just can't see the point of them and think they're time-wasters. A game being on just annoys me straightaway. But I guess I have to get over that as my kids grow.
There are good and educational iPad games. Google them. Also mine craft isn't bad.

HPsauciness Wed 27-Jan-16 08:00:21

Kiwi yes I do watch a lot of TV (or on demand TV) and have always wondered if it is connected with not having TV as as child. It was just embarrassing in the playground, not having heard of certain shows. We did get TV when I was about 9 but it was very heavily limited.

Now I like to have the TV on for company!

I don't think there's a moral here, though, sometimes on these type of threads children who grew up with no TV come and say they don't like TV either.

I have a lot of screens now as I work on a screen most of the day, my husband is a computer engineer and so screens are just part of our everyday lives.

I also have more faith than perhaps my mum did that my children are quite sensible and have found their own way through using screens, which has included lots of watching at some points, and now they just use them as and when, and do an awful lot of other stuff (creative making and doing, clubs, Guides, going out with friends). My husband isn't into placing restrictions on them particularly about screens, I would have probably been tougher.

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