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Houseguests with different rules on screen time

(6 Posts)
BeaArthursUnderpants Tue 05-Jul-16 13:10:25

We have 2 DCs ages 6 and 3. We allow them what I think is a very reasonable amount of screen time, which varies but averages maybe an hour 2-3 days a week and 2 hours each weekend day. They clamor for it other times though, and both of them would drop anything they are doing if a screen is offered.

We have friends coming to stay with us for 4 days with their DCs ages 8 and 6. These kids have been allowed unlimited screen time since they were tiny. They each have their own iPads and are pretty much attached to them.

I want our friends and their kids to feel welcome in our home and not judged, and I'm certainly willing to relax our rules a bit while they are here, but I would also like my kids to play with their friends (whom they rarely see) and not just be on screens constantly. I also wonder what message I am sending to my kids if I throw the rules out the window just because our friends do it that way. It doesn't help that my kids always behave worse after they've sat in front of a screen for a while, and scream like banshees when it's time to turn it off.

What's the right way to approach this?

NapQueen Tue 05-Jul-16 13:11:59

I think they way I would do it is not to harass the other kids on their screen times or restrict your own kids so much either.

No tech at mealtimes. Encourage games as much as possible - paddling pool on a sunny day, board games, get the paints out etc.

Or just out every day!

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 05-Jul-16 13:13:50

Activities. Plan an outdoor/active activity for each day plus set up some irresistable home-based activities (a new outdoor toy, getting to use all the duvets in the house to make dens, a huge roll of lining paper for drawing). Basically if they're at the park/pool/up a local hill in the morning, then lunch, then doing something cool in the house, you'll all be happy for them to sit down with screens in the evening.

redhat Tue 05-Jul-16 13:16:25

I have been in this position and have actually stuck to my guns (ok Ive been slightly more flexible but not much). I've therefore allowed more screen time for mine than normal but then I have actively said to all of them "ok enough screen time now, lets all get out into the garden (or something similar). Mine know not to argue and the guests have been dragged along.

BeaArthursUnderpants Tue 05-Jul-16 13:44:09

Thanks for the responses. We will be busy definitely, but these kids literally watch iPads during meals, in the car, and even when they are outdoors. I will do my best though!

Gillian1980 Tue 05-Jul-16 16:30:42

Tricky one.
If we were going to visit friends I would ask them how they do things at their house and tell DD that "when in Rome".
If people came to stay with us I'd make a point of saying to my kids in frontier of the other parents "you've had your screen time now" (though I might be a little more flexible than usual) and hope that the other parents picked up on the hint.
Other than that I'd probably just leave it unless it becomes problematic and than have a quiet chat with the other parents.

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