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Sleep issues with 9 and 11 year olds

(41 Posts)
PDM31 Tue 16-Jun-20 09:48:43

With lockdown it's been a struggle to set a routine for our two children, one thing we're struggling on is getting them to sleep at a reasonable hour.

Last week I found a way to block their access from the internet at 10pm for xbox and Ps4 and 11pm for their ipads. However now they've resorted to watching offline stuff after 11pm.

I think now I'm going to have to take the ipads off them at 11pm. I'd say most nights my Wife is asleep before them.

Has anyone got any tips? It's also been difficult to get them out of the house for exercise. It's like living with two teenagers. The blame lies at the feet of myself and my wife however.

I'm more like the bad guy and shes the good guy. I'm more strict trying to get them into a routine than my wife.

OP’s posts: |
sleepismysuperpower1 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:16:44

Personally I would take the ipads off them much earlier than 11 (8pm ish). There is evidence that the blue light off of the devices can stop them feeling tired/ make them fall asleep much later
www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-blue-light-affects-kids-sleep
After 8 you can let them choose what they do, eg watch TV or read, but no electronics like the ipad.

PDM31 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:51:26

Yes i agree.

I love reading and tried numerous times to get my children to read but they say they don't like it.

I'm finding it really difficult to get them out of the house for exercise, for example my 11 year old could probably do with getting fitter and I've just suggested he come for a walk and he's crying and refusing to do so.

I even said well you're not going on the PS4 today if you don't come and was met with a torrent of abuse.

Is it reasonable for me to reduce time on their games if they refuse to do things which I feel is beneficial for them? ie going to sleep at a normal time and exercising etc.?

OP’s posts: |
sleepismysuperpower1 Tue 16-Jun-20 10:57:12

well, you could implement a system where they earn screen time through doing exercise? eg: a minute of exercise is a minute of screen time. You could write down how much screen time they have earned for that day on a whiteboard, and once they have used that up,they don't get any more screentime (use the screentime app already installed on apple to police this, you can set all apps to be shut off after a period of time).
That way, it is their choice whether to get any screen time at all. But I would also be firm that all devices are not allowed to be used past 8, with the exception of the TV.

Thesearmsofmine Tue 16-Jun-20 10:59:22

Why on earth have they got access to devices at that time of night? I presume they are unsupervised too? My eldest is 9 and goes on his iPad or a game for 45mins to an hour or so and that is not every day and an adult is always around too.

PDM31 Tue 16-Jun-20 11:04:47

Thesearmsofmine

Why on earth have they got access to devices at that time of night? I presume they are unsupervised too? My eldest is 9 and goes on his iPad or a game for 45mins to an hour or so and that is not every day and an adult is always around too.

Since lockdown started they have been allowed to go on their games until 10pm, then their ipads till 11 after that.

They are always on their ipads unsupervised. I have a look every now and again at their history and what they're watching and it's generally gaming you tube vids and tik tok things.

I've just found that my 11 year old (he's clever), has found a way to reset the password for the router and remove the restrictions I've put on there for the wifi access.

OP’s posts: |
sleepismysuperpower1 Tue 16-Jun-20 11:07:24

put screentime restrictions on the ipad
support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/ipad/ipadaf2aa9f2/ipados
the link above will show you how to do so

PDM31 Tue 16-Jun-20 11:08:18

sleepismysuperpower1

well, you could implement a system where they earn screen time through doing exercise? eg: a minute of exercise is a minute of screen time. You could write down how much screen time they have earned for that day on a whiteboard, and once they have used that up,they don't get any more screentime (use the screentime app already installed on apple to police this, you can set all apps to be shut off after a period of time).
That way, it is their choice whether to get any screen time at all. But I would also be firm that all devices are not allowed to be used past 8, with the exception of the TV.

My son will find a way to bypass the app.

The other problem is that whilst also trying to home school the kids I and my Wife are still working on our normal jobs from home. I have my own business so i'm more flexible but there are large periods of the day ie 12 till 5 where we both need to work and the kids are free to play on the games or ipad.

I was actually thinking of banning access to the ipads and games until after 3:30pm as if they were in school they wouldn't be going on them until at least after that anyway. However from 9am - 3:30pm is a long time for a 9 and 11 year old to entertain themselves. Unless I'm sitting next to them watching them to schoolwork it won't get done.

OP’s posts: |
sleepismysuperpower1 Tue 16-Jun-20 11:13:00

if they need the ipad for school work, then use the screentime settings to block all the other apps not needed for school work. You can change these restrictions to allow more apps from 3:30 until 4;30 for instance, if they have earned 1 hour of screentime through exercise.

It will be hard for your son to bypass it, since it is an inbuilt app into the device rather than an external one, so if you pick a really hard password he cannot edit the settings. But to be honest, if he keeps bypassing the screentime app, then his phone needs taken away because he isn't respecting your rules.

Thesearmsofmine Tue 16-Jun-20 11:13:42

I think you need to parent and set some boundaries because it sounds like your dc are the ones in charge here.

No iPads until work is done and you've been out for a walk or bike ride etc. No iPads/gaming after x time and actually take the devices away from them.

You can’t let them use them until 11pm and then be surprised they don’t sleep!

FATEdestiny Tue 16-Jun-20 11:20:34

I would stop Xbox/PS4 use at 8pm for the 9yo and, 9pm for the 11yo (is he Year 6 or Year 7?)

Then if you're happy with iPad for wind-down time, I'd allow 1h (so 9pm for 9yo and 10pm for 11yo) then remove the iPad completely for bedtime.

It is ludicrous to allow children to have screen use through the night IMO. I have teenagers (14 and 15, also a 10yo) and all screens go on charge downstairs at bedtime. I wouldn't allow the use of phones or tablets past bedtime.

mumonthehill Tue 16-Jun-20 11:22:13

No device rule up stairs in our house. Phone downstairs at bedtime and no iPads etc in rooms either. Xbox is also downstairs. Ds 13 is fine about this, with his older brother we relaxed the rules from around age 15. Although might be quite difficult to implement now that they are used to having them.

SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Tue 16-Jun-20 11:23:19

I'm pretty shocked by this - your 9yr old has unsupervised access to the internet late into the night, while your 11yr old is bypassing safety features designed to protect him, and you're just, what?

You need to massively step up here, and do some actual parenting. Sit them down, say that you're not happy with the way things are, and that there are going to be new rules. They'll push back massively, but that's because you've let them do whatever they want for so long that the new rules will be really upsetting for them. That's not their fault, that's on you, so cut them some slack for bad behaviour/pushback, while remaining completely firm.

Online time should be dependent on school work being done and exercise having happened, and all electronics should be downstairs from 8pm latest. Your children don't know how to entertain themselves because you've used technology as a babysitter for so long that they haven't had to learn. They're so old now that it's going to be tough to change, but it's vital that they do. Poor sleep is a development wrecker, and there is so much damaging shit on the internet.

You need to step up and lay down the law here, it is way past time.

collywobble Tue 16-Jun-20 11:28:34

"You need to massively step up here, and do some actual parenting. Sit them down, say that you're not happy with the way things are, and that there are going to be new rules. They'll push back massively, but that's because you've let them do whatever they want for so long that the new rules will be really upsetting for them. That's not their fault, that's on you, so cut them some slack for bad behaviour/pushback, while remaining completely firm.

Online time should be dependent on school work being done and exercise having happened, and all electronics should be downstairs from 8pm latest. Your children don't know how to entertain themselves because you've used technology as a babysitter for so long that they haven't had to learn. They're so old now that it's going to be tough to change, but it's vital that they do. Poor sleep is a development wrecker, and there is so much damaging shit on the internet.

You need to step up and lay down the law here, it is way past time."

This and this again and being consistent . I have a 15 and 16 year old who hand over gaming devices by 11pm with no internet access and a regular routine throughout the day . They would never say it but they actually like rules and routine . They know the boundaries and still try to push them but being consistent really helps. You'll get backlash in buckets at first but stand your ground they need to know you're in charge and what you says goes .

EnidsCrochetCorner Tue 16-Jun-20 11:33:13

I love reading and tried numerous times to get my children to read but they say they don't like it

I bet you just love housework, shopping, cooking, cleaning etc. Why do they get to decide that they don't want to read? In primary school they have to read for 30 minutes every day in the school I volunteer in. When they finish the book they have to sit a quiz which asks them questions about the book. This comprehension is key to not just books but English and part of the SATs paper, history, geography, science etc. Extrapolating information. It is a skill. If they do read ask them questions, why does X feel that way, why do you think Y did that? What do you think is going to happen next?

Stop allowing your children to tell you what they should and should not do. Playtime at primary and secondary is compulsory, you go outside. No one gets to stay in a classroom because the staff want a break from the children grin it is non-negotiable. It is not a democracy.

You are letting them set the rules. Remove the ipads at night, any bypassing of passwords etc results in an ipad ban for x number of days. They have to earn privileges.

And yes I have been through this, I have teenage sons.

EnidsCrochetCorner Tue 16-Jun-20 11:35:13

Yes, like colly mine are 17 and 14. They are off tech at 9.30pm and up at 7am voluntarily. They do chores then school work. Tech is a reward for that.

pinktaxi Tue 16-Jun-20 11:54:34

You and your DW both need to be the adults in this situation. Your children do not get to make the rules about when they turn off their iPads, or stop using gaming.

Sit down as a couple and set rules and boundaries.

Frankly I'm pretty disgusted reading your half hearted attempt to parent.

Krong Tue 16-Jun-20 12:01:19

I think it's fairly normal at the moment. I've been struggling to sleep!

What about some meditation before bed? I've done this with my children since they were babies (usually without voice, just music, and later as they were older some guided stuff) and it helps us all relax and reset. Especially before bed or when they're riled up.

Natsku Tue 16-Jun-20 13:06:49

If your son can get past security features then you just need to physically take away the ipads at a reasonable time, put them in your room. They can read/write in a diary/draw or listen to audiobooks on CD to relax before bed, its much better for helping them settle to sleep. They need exercise during the day, only allow screens after they've been for a walk/cycle ride/jog. They don't have sleep issues unless they can't sleep after these measures have been taken.

PDM31 Tue 16-Jun-20 13:19:25

Yes i agree with the majority of posts.

It's not been easy having to home school two kids and both also work full time all at home. So things have been allowed to slack.

Time to set some new boundaries.

OP’s posts: |
IndieRo Tue 16-Jun-20 13:22:09

I'm in the same boat, 8,10 and 12 year old. Hubby out working all day and I'm at home.Hit breaking point two weeks ago, behaviour was terrible, wouldn't do chores, bed time out the window. We made the decision to take all the devices. The only thing they had was the television. Then we set a 8.30pm bed time as it was taking them at least an hour to go asleep after lights out. They go to their room at about 6.30 and are allowed watch a film on TV but that's it. If they misbehave then bed time is at 8pm the next night. They feel we are being unfair and that nobody goes to bed that early. It's working for me as they are not like zombies during the day and I know they will be asleep at 9.30pm at the latest. It's hard with three to listen to the moaning but it's worth it.

PDM31 Tue 16-Jun-20 13:27:04

IndieRo

I'm in the same boat, 8,10 and 12 year old. Hubby out working all day and I'm at home.Hit breaking point two weeks ago, behaviour was terrible, wouldn't do chores, bed time out the window. We made the decision to take all the devices. The only thing they had was the television. Then we set a 8.30pm bed time as it was taking them at least an hour to go asleep after lights out. They go to their room at about 6.30 and are allowed watch a film on TV but that's it. If they misbehave then bed time is at 8pm the next night. They feel we are being unfair and that nobody goes to bed that early. It's working for me as they are not like zombies during the day and I know they will be asleep at 9.30pm at the latest. It's hard with three to listen to the moaning but it's worth it.

How are you managing to home school/entertain them during the day?

OP’s posts: |
GreyishDays Tue 16-Jun-20 13:28:56

Ours do go and find other things to do with a hard ‘no screen’ period. It surprised me actually, as usually the middle one is either out doing something active or on a screen. blush

Are you getting them up in the morning? I wake mine up at 8. Oldest is 11. She’s ok with bringing her phone down at ten. Younger ones don’t have screens after dinner.

Ours have taken on board some hard limits, you just need to stick to them. And tell them if they push it/sneak then they lose time the next day.

Do you need to set up a family account so you can monitor better? It sounds like you need better controls.

PDM31 Tue 16-Jun-20 13:49:30

GreyishDays

Ours do go and find other things to do with a hard ‘no screen’ period. It surprised me actually, as usually the middle one is either out doing something active or on a screen. blush

Are you getting them up in the morning? I wake mine up at 8. Oldest is 11. She’s ok with bringing her phone down at ten. Younger ones don’t have screens after dinner.

Ours have taken on board some hard limits, you just need to stick to them. And tell them if they push it/sneak then they lose time the next day.

Do you need to set up a family account so you can monitor better? It sounds like you need better controls.

Yes getting them at 8 is the plan. However they were like two dead dogs this morning trying to rise.

I thought by switching the internet off their ipads at 10 it will mean they would put them down. They didn't so now it's time to physically take them off it.

Just told my 11 year old the new plan. In addition to the normal bits of schoolwork they're doing of a morning they have to do at least 30 mins of reading and 30-60 mins exercise before being allowed on their ipads/computers. He's just told me thats not happening and he'll just start smashing things up.

We're off to a great start! ha.

OP’s posts: |
jamandtonic Tue 16-Jun-20 13:57:21

You are the parent. So parent.

And if your ds is threatening to smash things up, then you confiscate the the tech completely for a week and he will have to pay for replacements out of his pocket money.

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