13yo DS and mobile phone- please comment/advise(7 Posts)
DS was given a smartphone this year. He promptly got mugged, it was stolen ,recovered and held as evidence for about 8 weeks. Anyway he got it back, and since he's been on it all hours, until we took it away for the night. It was hard to prise him off it, he seemed to have no ability to self limit (mostly playing games but also texting friends). It came to a head last weekend and we took it away. His behaviour has generally improved, less rude, less aggression towards DS2 (9yo). He has been bored but generally picks up his kindle and reads or plays with his lego (we have no TV and allow 1/2 hour on computer for games). I have also made a point of getting him to cook dinner with me every evening which he has enjoyed.
He is expecting his phone back this weekend, but frankly I have loved the new him without mobile, not having to ration the time on games, less aggression etc. Ideally he just wouldn't have one, but I know he'll be very angry if he thinks he'll never get it back. Previously he had it to take to school, and handed it to us in the evening. He refuses to consider a Nokia phone for texts and calls ("everyone will laugh at me").
Thanks for any advice on this tricky problem.
Limit the time on it?
Keep to to the hand it over but allow him longer if he is being the nice kid he has been for the last week.
It really is a tough balance sometimes, isn't it? We just have to do our best. For what it's worth here's my suggestion-
30 mins a day isn't long on the pc. I would strike (impose?!) a deal with him such that he can have an hour a day instead but in exchange limit the time he has on his phone.
Fyi my son has a pc in his room & uses it for some amazing stuff - learning coding & science on YouTube, he's been following Tim Peake & Nasa, plus playing some amazing creative games with dinosaurs & space engineering. It's not all bad!
(& we still cook & eat together and he still goes to the gym twice a week & meets up with his mates).
My 14 year old literally lives on her phone it got to much so I have limited her time on it. She has to do all her chores when she gets in from school and all homework needs to be done before she can go on it. It has to be away from her at dinner time and it has to be switched off at a certain time each night. It seems to have worked and I find even when she can have it she's on it less now
Thanks for your suggestions and sorry I've been away for a couple of days. I was busy trying to keep DS off his phone- unsuccessfully yesterday as DH gave it to him so he could play terraria with a schoolmate, and he ended up with it for most of the time between getting home and going to bed- I certainly noticed he was more boisterous and undisciplined yesterday.
Today he wanted to play Pokemon Go, which we allowed for 45 min. Then took it away after he came home. It is an ongoing battle, he has a low boredom threshold and needs activities lined up or he goes back to wanting his phone/ to get onto the computer. DH is being great this evening, they're playing badmington in the hall right now (we have a titchy london back yard).
Any more suggestions/ commiserations welcome.
My 13yo has trouble limiting himself as well, what helps a lot is having very specific rules:
no screens before 7am at the weekend and on holidays (he's an early riser),
no screens after 8pm,
no screens upstairs (where his bedroom is)
no screens on school days until homework is completed (and none in the morning).
Also, his smartphone has no data so he can only listen to music and text when he's not at home.
The holidays are the challenge! We go out for a long dog walk once a day and I sign him up for as many sports camps as he will do, plus we do days out probably once a week. If we are having a quiet day at home then I have to tell him to stop with the screens after an hour or two, he then mopes about looking miserable but miraculously finds something to do after a bit of grumbling! I suggested playing Cluedo with me the other day and he looked at me like I was insane .
You have my sympathy, they really do get addicted don't they??
It really is difficult and I find that the less he is on a phone/ computer the better he behaves. However this does put the onus on me and / or DH to suggest/ participate in other activities. I also suggest Cluedo/ ludo/ Crazy cat lady and occasionally he will play, but i guess it doesn't give him anything like the "hit" of Pokemon go, minecraft etc.
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