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AIBU to expect GCSE/A level aged DC to leave all phones/ tablets outside their rooms overnight?

(54 Posts)
Brynhildr Thu 17-Mar-16 08:45:55

I have 2 DC, one Yr11 and one Yr13, both Summer-born. They find the self-discipline needed for revision very hard and get easily distracted.

Following a letter from the school about revision and the distractions of social media and also everything I've read elsewhere I am making it a rule that all devices stay outside their rooms on charge overnight from 10.30 until after their exams.

They've complained that I'm the ONLY parent they know that does this. I do know others that do but apparently that means that my mum friends must also be controlling and unreasonable.

Yr13 DC needs to get A*AA for their chosen Uni and has no lower insurance offers. They 're keen to go and will be devastated if they miss it.

Part of me thinks at 17 they shouldn't need any guidance but then I think about kids in boarding schools/ public schools who have strict prep sessions and presumably don't have free access to the internet and social media and they seem to do well and develop a good disciplined work ethic.

To me it's not a matter of trust , it's a matter of removing temptation. It's analogous to my sweet tooth- if someone puts a plate of biscuits next to me I would find them hard to resist even if I'm trying to avoid sugar, but if I can't see them out of sight is out of mind.

What do you think is reasonable and what worked for your DC? AIBU?

Brynhildr Thu 17-Mar-16 08:47:34

To clarify- the devices stay outside their rooms each night and are returned in the morning.

RalphSteadmansEye Thu 17-Mar-16 08:52:56

Ds, yr 10, isn't allowed his ipad at all Monday to Thursday night. He doesn't have a phone.

Does that help your case?!

JJP123 Thu 17-Mar-16 08:55:30

I don't allow any devices / screens Monday to Thursday nights inclusive and it works really well.

SparklesandBangs Thu 17-Mar-16 09:16:39

I had the opposite approach, DD1 had her laptop and phone at all times, she knew that she needed A*AA to get into uni, and it was her future that she would be 'ruining' if she didn't study. To be fair I had not supervised her homework since Y7 and her school were very much of the self study & management opinion too. She learnt to self regulate and flew through her exams, she is now in year 1 at uni and has found the transition really easy.

DD2 is in Y12 and chose to go to a different school for 6th form were the study is more regulated, they do things like checking folders to make sure all notes are in, and weekly spot quizzes, plus are much more strict on setting work. She still studies with her phone in one hand and her ipad playing something from YouTube. I don't think I could remove her phone as it appears to be surgically attached to her hand.

However I have never restricted access so it would be difficult for me to start when they reached Y11, I am sure it is different if this has been your approach from the start. From conversations with friends I am in the majority.

phequer Thu 17-Mar-16 09:20:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

phequer Thu 17-Mar-16 09:22:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Drinksforeveryone Thu 17-Mar-16 09:24:44


Its theid choice to make time to study and do so.

DS is in y13 - jusr about to do A levels (ans HAS to get excellent grades). I dont interfere with his studying. Ive heard him up at all hours finishing off work but it seems to be how he operates.

I figure that at 18 it is his choice whether to knuckle down and achieve his goals or not.

phequer Thu 17-Mar-16 09:25:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

QOD Thu 17-Mar-16 09:30:02

dd self regulates. 10 GCSE's at A* and A another another 4 B's - I think they're either studiers or not
she'd be lost without her music and chatting to friends
I'm facebook.savvy myself so if I see her active after 11 on a school night I send her a ahem night night message
I didn't have social media as I'm a dinosaur, but I had radio and books and ya know, if I didn't want to sleep or study, I had plenty to do to distract myself. You have to let them.set their own path, unless you see them fall off it or they ask for help, let them grow independently

BaronessEllaSaturday Thu 17-Mar-16 09:37:21

The problem is once at uni they have to self regulate as you won't be there. If you don't let them learn now then uni could be a complete disaster.

whatwouldrondo Thu 17-Mar-16 09:41:45

How are they going to cope at uni if they haven't had chance to develop self discipline? No point getting on to an A*AA course if they then focus on new found freedoms, and DDs have seen that again and again at uni.

It is one thing to be the strictest mum in the village at 14/15 when they are bouncing off the boundaries, but by 17/18 your job is not to control but to help them develop self respect by offering them the respect of helping them find their own way to young adulthood.

My DDs avoided the temptation of the distracting elements of social media at this stage by getting friends to change their passwords. Why not suggest ways of avoiding distraction instead of cutting them off from all sources of social interaction and support? They are under a lot of stress and not all social media is bad, it can relax / be a source of support and help them share stress and worries with friends.

Bunbaker Thu 17-Mar-16 09:44:39

I am so pleased that some of you have perfect children who self regulate, do their revision and homework when they are supposed to.

DD is a very immature and young year 11 and seems to be unable to function without her iPad, Macbook and phone on different things at the same time. She also suffers from depression, social anxiety and lack of self esteem. Not getting a place at 6th form at her school would be disastrous for her. So I do have to step in and regulate device use every now and again.

I have told her that she won't be getting this level of intervention in 6th form.

I suggest you walk in our shoes before you criticise our parenting.

Balletgirlmum Thu 17-Mar-16 09:46:56

Self regulation is a joke when you have children on the autistic spectrum.

All devices are left downstairs at night. Dd is a day girl at a boarding school and that is the rule there too.

Bunbaker Thu 17-Mar-16 09:49:20

OH, and DD's school have advised all parents to regulate mobile device use when revising.

mrsjskelton Thu 17-Mar-16 09:49:44

I know plenty of parents who have plugs on the landing and all devices are charged there overnight. I think it's perfectly reasonable EVERY night - not just for exams!

TeenAndTween Thu 17-Mar-16 09:50:05

GCSEs - YANBU. Many 15/16 yo do not have the maturity to self regulate and GCSE year is not the time to practice imo.

A Levels, I'm not so sure. It should be a point of sensible discussion and self regulation. But I'm not convinced that all children can manage it. It would almost perhaps be better to have social media and phone bans when they are mean to be working then provide access later, not the other way around.

Bunbaker Thu 17-Mar-16 09:53:55

"Many 15/16 yo do not have the maturity to self regulate and GCSE year is not the time to practice imo."

This ^^

DD was 14 when she did her first 2 GCSEs and will still be 15 when she does the rest, and she is emotionally immature.

PeaStalks Thu 17-Mar-16 09:58:32

It is one thing to be the strictest mum in the village at 14/15 when they are bouncing off the boundaries, but by 17/18 Exactly.

I agree with your DC. I know no one in real life who does this, only on MN.
Who will make them leave their devices outside the room at uni?

Helenluvsrob Thu 17-Mar-16 10:12:39

A level years..... YABU here they have to self regulate ( it's a bone of contention with the youngest though and we do sometimes step in and turn off WIFI if she's getting sleep deprived- I know that's " double standards" but I can't cope with her getting a migraine and having to collect her from school)

Same with " have you done your work" . It becomes " up to to you but I'm here to help with organisation or anything else you need, I can't do the maths though!"

Brynhildr Thu 17-Mar-16 10:12:56

Thanks for your views- all fair comments.

As far as suggesting ways of DC avoiding distraction whatwouldrondo what specifically do you mean? I'm completely untechy. I'm not even sure of the relevance of her friends changing their passwords- passwords for what? AFAIK both DC go on facebook, snapchat, Instagram etc.

Can you point me in the right direction for ideas?

noblegiraffe Thu 17-Mar-16 10:57:00

Given the research that shows screen time before bed adversely affects sleep this would seem to be good for health as well as revision.

Many teens struggle with self-regulation. It's getting worse and worse as social media saturates more of their lives - parents with kids who did A-levels a few years ago can't compare to the level of snapchat, Instagram and so on of today. It's becoming a real issue that directly affects achievement. Asking your teens to self-regulate is throwing them to the wolves of an industry deliberately set up to make them want to engage 100% of the time, or they're missing out.

whatwouldrondo Thu 17-Mar-16 12:03:55

All of those brynhildr . Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat are all accessed via a password which can be changed and if they don't have the password they can't be tempted to look. I totally agree they are all addictive but by 17 they need to be able to cope with that or they will be getting addicted to worse things at uni (again from experience of DDs friends sad However I think the real issue is to discuss it with her, if she has ownership of the steps she takes then she is much more likely to keep those good study habits for university, which both of mine have done. I assume she is motivated to achieve this offer? That is a starting point, to discuss how she can achieve her aims and how you can help her, rather than deciding for her and making it a fight. Apart from anything else it is a really stressful time and by showing an interest in their strategies, not just use of social media, but their academic work, projects, coursework etc. and helping where you can , and some of one of my DD's subjects I didn't get past Year 9 in. It helps them feel it isn't overwhelming, that they are not alone. It is for that reason I would have had no problem with them being able to text their friends or watch some crap American programme to wind down before bed. In fact in term time my DDs would often not have finished working until after 10.30, since they had a break when they came home and then for the family meal and perhaps to watch something as a family if there was anything worthwhile on. And during the serious revision time, Easter and study leave, then regular breaks to relax and chill are reccommended by the teachers, and both of mine have inherited from me being better at working later in the day /early hours on top of the fact that neurologically teenage brains work better that way.

I don't disagree with imposing the boundaries at 14/15, it is just that it should be a process of letting go and discussion taking over from dictatorship. I don't think not being technically savvy is an excuse. Up to around 14 mine were not allowed to have anything on their computer that I could not look at. So I was the parent who knew exactly what some of the DCs were getting up to whilst their naive parents had no idea. To a certain extent that is still the case though now it is them taking MDMA rather than posting about their imaginary sex lives on Facebook to appear cool.

Maddaddam Thu 17-Mar-16 12:38:48

I sort of quarter regulate my yr 11 and yr 10 dc. Their laptops still go to sleep automatically at 10pm-7am.
But they have phones, and dd2 has a tablet, those don't turn off at night automatically.
If I thought they were up half the night on social media I would regulate at this age still.
But they seem to go to sleep at a reasonable hour, certainly they get up promptly in the morning and go to school while I'm still lounging around in bed. So I don't regulate the phones and tablet. However I would if they seemed unable to switch off or get to sleep or wake up in the morning.

That's at GCSE age. I wouldn't in 6th form. By they they'll have to learn sense or take the consequences.

boredofusername Thu 17-Mar-16 13:00:28

The inconsistencies on MN do make me laugh.

You get the "if you don't let them make mistakes now they'll go off the rails at uni" coupled with "why don't parents parent?"

It's the same with the school. At the Y7 new parents meeting the headteacher very earnestly says that we've got to let the kids make mistakes and it's much better they forget their PE kit now than a bit of coursework in year 11 etc. Except, that if your child consistently forgets their PE kit they'll get a detention and you'll be phoned up and nagged about their forgetfulness.

I don't screens in my room except once a week I use my mobile phone as an alarm clock. I don't have a TV in my bedroom. I charge my devices in the lounge and expect my 13 year old to do the same although in the daytime it's not so important.

I don't think you are at all unreasonable OP.

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