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Time limits on electronic device usage!

(6 Posts)
lottiebear69 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:27:00

Anyone any ideas how i limit electronic device usage once the new year starts? My 11 year old DS will use any opportunity to sneakily check phone or i pad and i feel that this is becoming a problem. Homework is suffering as i feel he rushes it to get online.I have tried to put in limits 1 hour on a weekday etc only when homework finished and have always had a no devices in the bedroom rule when going to bed, but i get the moaning back saying all my friends are allowed to have their devices at bedtime, all my friends can go on their devices whenever they like etc etc - you get the picture i know they are pulling a fast one and i need to be stronger but any ideas on how to set these rules and follow through would be greatly appreciated without being hated! as i'm feeling like a pretty crap mum about it at the moment!

AuntieStella Wed 30-Dec-15 18:34:13

Might something like this help?

It stops you doing certain things online (using nominated sites and apps).

But if you just try to impose it, he may seek to find a way round it (and may well be able to achieve it in ways you do not spot). So can you reach a negotiated agreement on its use, that he is genuinely OK with, or at least respects.

PettsWoodParadise Wed 30-Dec-15 22:05:05

We have a DD due to turn 11 in Feb. House rule is no iPad unless for homework during the week. It then come out Friday evening and can be used at weekends in moderation. If there are ever any quibbles then it gets taken away. Also no more than one hour a day at weekend of Minecraft related activity (Stampy videos, gameplay etc). She sometimes doesn't like the rules but we point her to examples other children who don't have the rules and she usually decides she is really rather lucky we are so strict and happily goes to brush up on her chess or read a book, make a mess with Lego or play with her dolls (but how long the latter will last I don't know...). No scenario is perfect but if they get addicted to one thing it can make them getting involved in other things all the more difficult.

TheLesserSpottedBee Thu 31-Dec-15 08:27:05

Ds1 is in year 8, he gets home around 3.30, I return with Ds2 at 3.35. He gets changed, has a snack then starts homework.

Our rule is, that no tech until 4.40 no matter what. So if he doesn't have any homework then he reads, plays with brother, piano, chats, preps dinner with me.

Whatever homework he has he stops it at 4.40 for a break. Both my children play minecraft/Trove games. We eat dinner at 5.45ish then there is no more isolated tech ie we watch a tv programme together as a family.

But if he has a heavy load of homework then he restarts it after dinner.

Mornings, they eat breakfast and watch tv for a bit (which means they watch YouTube and Stampy/Paul Soars Jr/Pat and Jen. No computers.

I will tell you that Ds1 gets out of bed in the morning at 6.45 and gets into the shower, has breakfast at 7 with his brother and has a good attitude most of the time. By contrast his best mate is allowed to play x box whenever he likes, is tired, difficult to get out of bed and has lower grades.

Ds1 begrudgingly understands why we have this rule, but I will confess that on the weekend they are allowed a lot more tech. But they do voluntarily play chess/other games and take themselves off the computer/x box. It is hard to fight the whole but but X person is allowed to play x box until his eyes bleed, why are you so strict blah blah blah? grin

Bolognese Thu 31-Dec-15 15:08:11

I find this debate frustrating. I dont think young teenagers should be arbitrarily banned/restricted from things that all the rest of their peer group are perfectly safely and happily doing Its not as if playing minecraft which is quite educational, or watching you tube no different than TV is a bad thing, like smoking or bullying etc. It has always been my experience that banning normalized activities is detrimental in the long run, it makes them want it more, they do it behind your back , they feel alienated from other normal children and they might build up resentment all of which they seem to be doing already.

I am not a perfect mum, I got this idea from an expert parenting book and it has worked for me for several years now on a range of issues. The only matter the op highlights is suffering homework, so address that. Have a conversation with DC about it and jointly come up with how that will be addressed and what any implications are if its not addressed, they will feel the solution and consequences are fair because they were involved in creating them so they will be invested in making them work.

Here is what my DC and I agreed to a few years ago. He wanted unlimited internet, I said ok but you can't stay up all night on it, he said ok how about I switch everything off at 10pm, I said ok as long as your in bed at nine thirty. Then I brought up homework, he agreed to get it all done before eight oclock, I expressed concern about its quality and he agreed to have it checked/tested by me. I said I wouldn't bug him about internet if he did what he said he would and he agreed to lose internet time if he didn't. Over the year we adjusted the deal to include school grades etc for different rules on Fri/Sat night and school holidays etc.

With hind sight it has been working beautifully, his grades are all high his homework good quality, sometimes he 'breaks' the rules and we reduce internet time but not very often, I turn a blind eye if he is watching the end of a video at night. I do not use banning the internet as a catch all punishment. He feels like he gets what all the other kids get and I am happy his grades are high quality. He has agreed that we will adjust the plan when KS4 starts so as to pritoritse revision more but he tells me he actually feels like he has some control over his own life rather than being dictated to all the time.

I find children are reasonable when you have a reasonable conversation with them and treat them with respect. But you do need to explain what being fair on both sides is as its not always cosmetically obvious to them.

PettsWoodParadise Fri 01-Jan-16 08:22:45

I think parenting styles change as a child gets older. As said DD is only ten so similar in age to the OP's DC so needs guidance and is learning to make judgement calls about these things. Bolognese your DC is quite a few years older. I don't think at 10 complete self regulation is healthy. i want to parent and at this age this involves direction and guidance but with good reasons so they understand why and your motives. DD already thanks me for encouraging her to try new foods when she was little as she sees other fussy eaters whose parents let them eat what they want and gave no direction. To parent effectively means to get them to the point they don't need such any parenting and they are thoughtful, kind, happy individuals - but there is a lot of work in-between.

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