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Screen time hell

(10 Posts)
pjsgalore Sun 20-Nov-16 20:20:00

I've posted about this recently, as I've been having epic battles with my 6yo DS over screens. Literally, it is pretty much the only thing that causes shouting and unhappiness in our otherwise mostly jolly and happy and fun household. (Well, apart from my DD's poo-withholding...but that's a whole other thread....).

I'm getting so sick of talking about when/how/if he can have a screen. If you do this, you can have the ipad. If you don't STOP doing that, I'm going to ban the ipad for a week. If you don't do your reading, you won't be able to watch TV later. Over and over again ad infinitum. It's driving me MENTAL.

It seems to have escalated a lot since he started Year 1, which apparently is a bit of a shock after the more play-based learning of Reception, so I do think tiredness is making him a bit emotional and causing a) the desire to sit on the ipad or watch TV as soon as he gets home and at the weekend where he used to play more and b) causing the meltdowns when I take it away - ie because it's supper time or bed time. Necessary things!

Historically I've always been relatively lenient with screens as we're always out doing stuff, he's at school till 3.15 etc. He also loves playing - and would watch for a bit, then play, then do a bit of minecraft etc.

But, because since starting school in September, he's been doing way less playing and just choosing the screen - and getting so angry every time it was time to give it up - I decided to ban the ipad during the week and have no TV until after 5.

Anyway, since enforcing the rules, it seems to have become so much worse!! He's utterly obsessed with when he'll get to play the ipad/playstation/watch TV. I feel like I've created a monster. By drip-feeding it to him I've made it into this incredible treat. It's almost like I've given it too much power or made it forbidden fruit.

I guess what I want to know - again! - is anyone is experiencing or has experienced the same thing, if anyone has NO restrictions and just lets them get on with it or well - ANYTHING really. Any insights at all - interesting ways of dealing with it.

I love him so much and I love his company - and I hate that at the moment we're fighting so much. It's so boring and negative and soul-destroying.

Thoughts? Help? Please!!!

pjsgalore Sun 20-Nov-16 20:22:10

Sorry - didn't realise what a total essay that was!!

HeCantBeSerious Sun 20-Nov-16 20:24:30

My DS is 6 and in year one (it's not so academic here as it is in England). We don't limit screen time much but have noticed that if he's on kids' YouTube videos for more than an hour he gets a little stroppy. So after about 40 mins I'll suggest something else to do after that video has ended. He can go back on later if he wants to. He doesn't play PlayStation or minecraft or anything and isn't choosing the iPad every day - I think today was the first time he had been near it since last weekend.

HeCantBeSerious Sun 20-Nov-16 20:25:07

Maybe not making such a massive deal about it or tying it to other things makes my DS more relaxed about it?

Mol1628 Sun 20-Nov-16 20:30:58

I would just set times when he is allowed to use the iPad or watch tv. Set a timer for when it's time to stop. Using it as punishment or reward will just make him more obsessed with it.

idontlikealdi Sun 20-Nov-16 20:36:52

DTs were 5 in August and in year 1. They can have the Ipad Friday after school, Saturday and Sunday but no later than 5 on Sunday.

Since we've put this in place they no there is no point asking during the week so it's much better. One in particular was becoming very obsessed with it and it was clearly impacting her behaviour.

They aren't allowed to before school unless they are totally ready to go otherwise they start at the bloody screen and don't get ready. They can watch it when they get home, after reading and homework.

idontlikealdi Sun 20-Nov-16 20:37:29

They know, not no...

Getnakedorgohome Sun 20-Nov-16 20:39:04

My 4.5yo was getting a little obsessive over screens so I've tried to take away the 'forbidden fruit' element. I've banned TV from the kitchen and meal times. If we're in the lounge (and school reading is done) then we can have TV on, the tablet is freely available (she currently mainly plays phonics games and writing/drawing games). I figure that technology is a pretty important part of learning and life now so don't see taking it away as beneficial. Since I stopped limiting I've found she's doing it herself. So whereas we used to have a battle to switch it off after 30 minutes it turns out she switches it off herself after about 40.

I make sure there's lot of other stuff to do like drawing, toys etc and if the weather is dry then we go outside for at least 30 mins straight after school.

With regards to rewards we have marbles which we give for nice behaviour and take away for not so good. Saves having to threaten the removal of screen time etc

allegretto Sun 20-Nov-16 20:39:37

Watching with interest as my DS (6) is like this. Even when he has been told no, he is asking how long until the next time he can use it. It's doing my head in.

HeCantBeSerious Sun 20-Nov-16 20:57:12

It's worth noting that 6 is a critical age in child development. It's the age where the centre of their universe moves from their primary caregiver to themselves. Trying to regulate their every minute can backfire because of this. (Not suggesting they have completely free range but very worth picking your battles. wink)

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