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About screen time...

(14 Posts)
Nena7 Thu 22-Jan-15 09:34:34

I am struggling with this!

We have always been quite strict, and I guess "aware" of screen time, its benefits and down sides. Recently the time our 9 year old is spending on the tablet has increased more than we like to. -He played for 30 mins each morning but then started to get up earlier, rushed through breakfast and getting ready in order to play and the 30 minutes is now more like 90 each morning. I feel that this is too much and more the point, we can see a direct link to bad behaviour, poor attitude and concentration.

We now want to go back to the 30 mins with more flexibility on the weekends where he gets to play longer (1-2 hours maybe) and we might also watch a film or TV together.

He is now really upset and angry about this and NOT willing to collaborate! This morning he was furious, we ended up having a huge argument and I have taken the tablet until further notice.

I have talked with his friends' parents and they all have similar times, if set up a little bit differently.

Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas what to do next and how to handle the situation and come to a conclusion we all can accept? Thank you!

DeliciousMonster Thu 22-Jan-15 09:39:51

I feel that this is too much and more the point, we can see a direct link to bad behaviour, poor attitude and concentration.

This morning he was furious, we ended up having a huge argument and I have taken the tablet until further notice.

And he is proving your point.

Until he can self regulate, and stick to 30 minutes without getting grumpy and angry, surely you can just point out that he is just proving your point that it is affecting his behaviour.

aquawater Thu 22-Jan-15 09:43:15

In our house no screens are allowed on school mornings. Their heads are then not filled with rubbish before school. Post school it's no screens until homework/music is done. It is difficult but it's worth while keeping to the rules I think.

GoldfishSpy Thu 22-Jan-15 09:43:21

Our DS (5) gets 30 mins screen time a day, usually on the computer playing cbeebies games. He can lose time by not coming off straight away or poor behaviour. He can earn an extra 10 mins through good behaviour.

He's not allowed on until he has done his music practice and homework.

Would a similar system work for your DS?

GoldfishSpy Thu 22-Jan-15 09:43:50

Oooooh Aqua, are you mesmile

donkir Thu 22-Jan-15 09:49:31

Same here. Ds is 12 and not allowed any screens before school. When he gets home from school all homework must be completed before any screen time. Depending on the game depends on if he comes off at 6 or 7.
He knows bad behaviour results in a ban.

Nena7 Thu 22-Jan-15 10:03:32

Thank you for answers! The reason why we have it in the morning is because we felt it wasn't then affecting time when they could be doing something more "constructive" (being with friends, football, music, outdoors, drawing... anything!) and it has worked. Until now... perhaps stopping all TV/tablet time (his younger siblings have their TV time then too) in the am and move it to the afternoon would be a start. And then, as you suggest Goldfishspy, "earn" more time if behaviour is good/rules are followed.

More thoughts welcome!

squizita Thu 22-Jan-15 11:12:20

I work with kids and teens and what Goldfish suggests is pretty much what we do!

Also the kind of screen time is relevant.
It's not all rubbish: if it is in your household you could try learning about what screen time is used for in school. There are some social and inventive learning activities that could add on to school learning.

wigglesrock Thu 22-Jan-15 12:01:28

We don't have screen times on weekday mornings. After school - after homework is done, other bits and pieces, the occasional after schools club they can play on their tablets. They obviously put them away for dinner, baths, tidying up rooms etc. I take them away about 30 - 45 mins before lights out. I have 3 kids, the older 2 (9,7) have tablets.

00100001 Thu 22-Jan-15 12:11:35

Sometimes - you have to be a bit tolerant - eg. I will allow mine to finish the level they are on, if appropriate, which might be a few more minutes than the 'allocated' time.

However if they attempt to re/start a level after that, they are banned the next day!

If it is an endless game - its a 1 minute warning, then off.

Most important for me though, is my DS(13) has to hand his mobile phone in to me before bed. I know his friends are up 'til gone midnight texting and whatsapping etc. So, I am strict about that.

Sundayplease Thu 22-Jan-15 12:26:48

I find only allowing 30 minutes is more trouble than it's worth. It's not long enough and then when it's time to put it away, there is frustration and anger.

I allow screens after school but also encourage other activities and get things out eg colouring, playdough.

It's more difficult in the winter because it is dark after school and they can't go out to play.

Sometimes I think if I allow them a bit longer, they're happy and I get a bit of peace to do the tea or tidy up.

I collect in all devices at 7pm. Everyone gets ready for bed then we play a game together. They seem to accept this as they have had enough by then.

I do worry about it but have discussed it with friends and their dc are exactly the same so I console myself with the fact it is typical young people's behaviour and some parents don't police screen time at all.

Nena7 Thu 22-Jan-15 13:19:02

Thank you for your answers! Sundayplease, that is an interesting point. That is why he kicked off this morning. Perhaps moving screen time to afternoon, allowing 1 hr (which would still be less than what he does now and less than "recommended" time and allow enough time for other play/activities) would make him feel a bit happier. Of course, providing his behaviour is OK.

PopularNamesInclude Thu 22-Jan-15 13:22:38

We do not allow screen time in the morning. I found my ds was waking himself early to get more time in! Afternoons/ evenings only now, and none if there is any whining or aggro. Also half hour only on schooldays.

DeanKoontz Thu 22-Jan-15 13:29:56

We had exactly this with our 9 yr old. He was getting up earlier and earlier and being less and less prepared for school.

We now have ban on all screens in the morning and in the evening until all relevant homework has been done.

I completely cleared the floor in his room and then just put out all his lego, which he his enjoying rediscovering.

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