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Any advice, please, on screen usage for a 10 & 12 yr old?

(10 Posts)
libbii Wed 08-Jul-15 12:07:45

Hi- I really would appreciate knowing what other parents do regarding the above. My 12 year old daughter claims I'm far too strict, and that everybody she knows has a lot more freedom with time allowed on their phones/ tablets.

So I thought I should check if this is true. I'm so tired of the ongoing arguments, and if I AM being unreasonable, compared to what others do, I'll change my ways.

We have a rule that my son (10) and daughter (12) only have 1 hr screen time. By 'screen time' I mean using their tablets or iMacs. This doesn't include watching TV (although they don't have that much interest in watching telly anyway)

My daughter can only use her iPhone in this hour, although she has it to take to school.

It may seem very controlling, but I just fear the obsession with Instagram (daughter) Stimpy Longnose (son) taking over, and want them to spend their evenings also communicating with us/ doing other things.

What restrictions/ time limits do you please, please?

Heartofgold25 Wed 08-Jul-15 13:39:25

An hour max is our rule at home after all homework, piano practice, showers etc are all done they can play if there is time. During term time they don't tend to have screen time because there is very little time at the end of the day. During school holidays they have much more free time and we do limit to an hour at the upper end.

I make an occasional exception if they are ill, we are travelling long distances on flights or major things such as moving house. We try to fill our days with interesting activities so that there is little time or need to rush back to stumpy. I feel it really eats away at their childhood like a piranha, and it does nothing for their concentration levels or social skills.
In my view you have a perfectly healthy balance. My dc are definitely less interested now than they used to be, the novelty has truly worn off especially with my eldest dd. They have learnt the value of of enjoying other hobbies and do not always choose stumpy over everything thankfully now, although they were both firmly in his clutches before. They even tell ME what a waste of time it is!! That caused a few raised eyebrows between dh and myself smile smile Definitely stick to your guns on this one, they will thank you in the end smile and even if they don't at least you won't have a huge guilt complex when they eventually publish how bad screens are for children, or have regrets about wasting their childhood.

GummyBunting Wed 08-Jul-15 13:48:03

I think an hour max dicking around on the internet is fine, but I would advise looking at other ways to incorporate screen time, so it's not always just seen as a massive treat that is superior to everything else.

Making quizes together as a family in Scratch, or creating online text adventures in Twine, maybe?

At the end of the day they will most likely be using screens in their future careers, getting them used to seeing screens as creative tools as well as entertainment can't be a bad thing.

ShirleySmears Wed 08-Jul-15 13:50:52

We have the same rules as you OP, although in reality, it works out as 2 hours because when the screens are on they're joined at the hip, so they each share the others screen time IYSWIM.

Absolutely no screens or phones allowed in bedrooms either.

TV does count as screen time but I slightly more relaxed about allowing extra, if there's something they wan to watch that I approve of.

From time to time I have a week of no screens allowed in the week (if for example, I've been slipping or they've been taking the P) and TBH those weeks are always far more pleasant.

libbii Wed 08-Jul-15 15:21:01

Thanks so much for you replies. It's good to know that other parents are doing pretty similar things. In fact, I may just show my daughter this thread, so that she stops telling me how strict I am all the time.
Can I just check though, that your kids are similar ages? As I know her first retort will be that the children discussed here are way younger than her....

ShirleySmears Wed 08-Jul-15 15:32:01

Got her! Mine are 12 & 14 grin

ShirleySmears Wed 08-Jul-15 15:34:17

FWIW, I don't do what HeartofGold does and insist HW etc is done first because I was finding the computer had such a pull, homework was being rushed through to get on the PC. If we get the screen time out of the way first, homework and music practice seems to be better quality IYSWIM

libbii Wed 08-Jul-15 22:01:51

Thanks ladies. Really appreciate your input!!

Preciousbane Wed 08-Jul-15 22:10:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

olivesnutsandcheese Wed 08-Jul-15 23:36:09

My DSS is 11 and it's strictly no screen time before homework or music practice. Thereafter he might get 30 mins or so on his phone. He doesn't have a tablet but likes playing FiFa on the PlayStation. He is not really into TV.
I know I'm strict about it but don't really care about being compared to others (as I frequently tell him) DH and I are totally on the same page about it.
Weekends and holidays are much more relaxed. However I notice that behaviour is much better when he has limited screen time. HTH

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