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Toddler video calls - realistic duration?

(15 Posts)
DrFosterPuddle Tue 31-Mar-20 22:29:24

My just-turned two year old's father doesn't live nearby and isn't able to visit due to the lockdown.

He is wanting to have video calls last over 30 minutes at a time, and doesn't like input from other adults during the calls. It isn't comparable to family call where toddler is present and doing own thing, popping in and out.

My child chats and engages for about 3-5 minutes then more or less ignores the screen and has to be repeatedly and discreetly cajoled to go back.

I've said shorter calls are more appropriate for his current age and this hasn't gone down well.

Does anyone have any advice or experience about what a realistic timeframe might be? Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Obsidian77 Tue 31-Mar-20 22:30:48

Yes that sounds absolutely normal

user3274826 Tue 31-Mar-20 22:32:43

Oh god, he is being unreasonable. Just stop cajoling him back until dad realises I suppose.

WestWasnt Tue 31-Mar-20 22:33:33

I’d put your foot down and limit them to 5 minutes. Like you say it’d be different if it was you talking to a family member and him joining in as and when he wanted to. Maybe you could have them twice as often as a compromise for them being shorter.
Even my 10 year old nephew struggles with half an hour on the phone to his Mum, he gets bored and barely responds, just ends up listening to her chatting after a few mins.

user3274826 Tue 31-Mar-20 22:34:13

Can you set it up so when he wanders away from the call dad can still see him playing? Then he can comment on his play instead of chatting. Maybe that's what dad is trying to achieve.

GirlCalledJames Tue 31-Mar-20 22:36:58

3–5 minutes is really good going with a two year old.

DrFosterPuddle Tue 31-Mar-20 22:40:15

Thanks everyone. It is helpful to hear that 3-5 minutes is good going. That was what I felt too but his reaction made me wonder if I was wrong.

@user3274826 thanks for the suggestion, this is already what I'm trying to do.

The issues though are that toddler wanders off, completely ignoring the screen, while his father calls him back and asks where he is.

Also, rather than playing by himself he wants to play with the people in the room with him, which ex doesn't want (and I also don't really feel comfortable being on screen much anyway as it was an abusive relationship and I end up feeling nervous)

OP’s posts: |
nellythenarwhal Wed 01-Apr-20 15:15:53

I think many Dads understand that a Skype call with a preschooler can mean watching them play (like a webcam) rather than an actual conversation. 30 minutes is far too long until they are old enough to play a game over Skype or something

HugeAckmansWife Sat 04-Apr-20 12:32:06

My tweens struggle to sustain much of a conversation with their dad over Skype.. Partly because he doesn't chat naturally, just goes through a list of questions about school, hobbies etc a toddler cannot possibly sustain interest for 30 mins. How about he tries reading a book to him or getting some similar toys and actually playing.. Who can build the highest tower or something. That might help prolong it a bit but 30 mins is crazy.

TriangleBingoBongo Sat 04-Apr-20 12:33:47

* Oh god, he is being unreasonable. Just stop cajoling him back until dad realises I suppose.*

This.

Such a tough situation, I’m sure you can understand why his dad wants as much exposure to him as poss.

NellMangel Mon 06-Apr-20 07:56:52

My 5yo hates video calls. He runs off. My ex will tolerate me talking on DS behalf though.

If its through messenger video call you can do funny filters which might buy a couple of minutes but youd have to be on the call.

Otherwise set up some toys and encourage them to play and plonk the phone in front.

FortunesFave Sat 11-Apr-20 23:56:56

My DH worked abroad for 10 months and our video chats consisted of us propping the phone or tablet up on the fruit bowl and DH observing the kids and I go about our daily life. The kids....then toddlers, would pop up and say a word or two to him now and then but 30 minutes?? no way!

CyberNan Sun 12-Apr-20 00:05:38

why don't you suggest that dad reads him a story... one with pictures that he can hold up to the screen in an attempt to hold the childs attention.

I think he is lucky to get 3 minutes attention... 2 year old children don't want to chat...

if I were you, I would set up the screen and make the connection, show it to the child and let them get on with it. as he doesn't want other adults involved, its up to him to hold the child's attention..

FortunesFave Sun 12-Apr-20 15:28:48

Cyber yes it's not up to the OP to suggest ways that this fool might entertain his child. He sounds like an idiotic man....expecting this and that from a toddler! AND demanding no adults are part of the call.

I would do just what Cyber Nan says and set the screen up and leave it there,

Don't engage with your ex on what he expects you to do! cheeky bugger.

DrFosterPuddle Sat 18-Apr-20 21:58:50

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions which are v useful. I'm sorry I am replying late - this dropped off my "threads I'm on" and I just found it again.

OP’s posts: |

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