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What tactics do you use to get your family to look away from technology in favour of real quality time? – £150 voucher prize draw NOW CLOSED

(153 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 24-Jul-14 13:31:15

DTAC have asked us to find out how Mumsnetters encourage their family to look up from technological devices to spend more quality time with each other.

You can view their TV ad here.

So, do you ever find that you can’t drag your children (or DP?) out of their room away from their gadgets? What tactics do you use to get your family to put away their technology away and spend more quality time together? Perhaps you always make sure that mealtimes are screen free? Maybe you bribe encourage your children to spend more time together by letting them choose fun days out to go on together as a family? Or do you resort to switching off the wifi at home when you want to get your DC (or DP!) away from their computer? Whatever it is we’d love to hear it!

Everyone who comments on the thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


choccyp1g Thu 24-Jul-14 18:01:57

Food! D's will put down iPad to eat.

superbagpuss Thu 24-Jul-14 18:24:00

we limit screen time and ensure there ate alternatives like Lego and toys for outside

clangermum Thu 24-Jul-14 18:35:48

Something comes out of the games cupboard every night in the holidays - uno tonight - and gets put on the table. Sometimes they bite, sometimes not, but it takes very little effort

BrieAndChilli Thu 24-Jul-14 18:37:44

We never have electronics or books or toys at the table and always eat at the table.
I declare no electronics day every couple of weeks in the holidays.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Thu 24-Jul-14 18:39:15

Turn off the wifi and hide the chargers.

Nothing wrong with a bit of family quality time on a multiplayer game though!

ouryve Thu 24-Jul-14 18:55:05

For DS1, we limit computer/tablet time to 2 hours a day. He really can't cope with any more without it affecting his mood.

We don't need to limit DS2. He'll pick it up, play a few rounds of Minion rush, care for a few dinosaurs, then put it down and do something else for a bit, before maybe going back and watching a video. He rarely gets "stuck" on things like DS1 does.

Neither boy is fussed about TV, though we've had to hide one of the remotes because DS1 will spend hours trawling through the episode guide with it. Even though he could do it with one of the replacement ones we have, he doesn't, so it's not a problem.

ChippyMinton Thu 24-Jul-14 19:36:42

Flick the mains switch and fake a powercut. Screens rapidly lose their appeal without WiFi.

Head outside and get them firelighting and toasting marshmallows.

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Thu 24-Jul-14 20:06:24

I just tell mine to get off. They know if they don't do as they're told there will be consequences.

sararob140 Thu 24-Jul-14 20:15:38

It's easy if it's a nice day I just put the pool up and then they all hit the water. I even get friends involved too, and 20 year olds. It's great because the dog even gets involved, and then you've got the water slide too. It's great.

flamingtoaster Thu 24-Jul-14 20:55:30

We've never allowed electronic gadgets at the table - and all meals have always been eaten at the table. In good weather then the beach, etc. provides great diversion. In the winter we play boardgames or things like Jenga regularly - proves great fun can be had without a screen!

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Thu 24-Jul-14 21:06:26

I told the DCs that "the crocodile game" (Where's my Water) on my iPad is broken blush

CrewElla Thu 24-Jul-14 21:09:57

I take away the mobiles and tablets, turn off the DVD player and TV, and insist we go outside.

GretchenWiener Thu 24-Jul-14 21:10:42

i say ' turn it off' and we all do.

StuntBottom Thu 24-Jul-14 21:12:32

We go camping with no electric hook up. Difficult to run electronic devices with no electricity!

When at home, no electronic devices at the table at mealtimes. We also play games in the evenings - card games or board games. Not something they do with their friends so they're always enthusiastic. The current crazes are Yahtzee and Cluedo.

bauhausfan Thu 24-Jul-14 21:16:40

I just say no.

ClaudetteWyms Thu 24-Jul-14 21:18:41

No screens/devices at the table, limits to screen time (e.g. DD is on 2 tv programmes in the morning, 2 before tea at the moment).

Banning screens is the first threat/action for poor behaviour. Sometimes I find that after a 2 day ban DD gets out of the tv habit and doesn't ask for it as much (for a few days anyway).

Or go out.

scottishmummy Thu 24-Jul-14 21:19:13

Tactic?switch iff internet.feign surprise it not working
Disable internet on kindle,laptop,ipad.they're too wee to know how to switch it back

ClaudetteWyms Thu 24-Jul-14 21:19:45

With games in my mobile, I lie and say the battery is about to run out if I don't want DD on it.

rockybalboa Thu 24-Jul-14 21:39:39

Yup, I'm in the "that's enough now, turn it off" camp. Works fine. There is no screen time during family meals but if it is just the kids sitting down to eat then actually sticking Netflix on is a good way of getting them to and keeping them at the table to eat. It's all about balance.

afussyphase Thu 24-Jul-14 21:43:13

Our DC are young so we just say it's time to put that down (after 20 minutes or whatever). The issue is me and DH! I feel like evenings around here are him on his device, me on mine, even if it's sometimes a book on Kindle. Unless we cook together, play a game, or, er, do more intimate things than scrabble, I feel like we have to get a sitter and go out to get the devices off. They are always off at mealtimes, at least, though.

iwantavuvezela Thu 24-Jul-14 21:46:09

I allow small amounts of time, it's not a big thing, and I will always say okay you can have 15 mins in the iPad. After that it's taken away as I usually say something like, "who wants to show me some tricks on the trampoline". I think knowing that it can be used makes it less attractive. My dd and I also have two runs a night on a game like subway surf where I try and beat her. She looks forward to these 5 mins. After that we start reading.

Hassled Thu 24-Jul-14 21:58:10

I don't see that using technology is incompatible with spending quality family time together. My youngest and I have spent long happy hours playing historic city building games together - it's a shared interest and is of just as much value to me as say skimming pebbles on a beach (which we also do) is. And at the moment there's a bit of an obsession with watching rollercoaster videos on YouTube together - it's as quality and fun a time as prodding some manky playdoh together would be, as far as I'm concerned.

With my glued-to-playing-on-his-phone teenager, I find asking "am I boring you?" works when I'm trying to tell him something.

Wickeddevil Thu 24-Jul-14 22:23:40

Not sure I can honestly call this a tactic, but we are planning to take our year old Labrador away on holiday with us soon, so last evening I suggested we all drove to the forest to take the dog for a walk and get used to the car.

What a lovely evening I thought, proper family time, together oh what larks we'd have. I fantasised.

Unfortunately it was an epic parenting fail. 8 pm might be good time for a dog walk on a hot day, but it is a terrible time to take a 5 yo who is usually in bed at that time of night. What was I thinking?

Dd grumbled and stropped all the way and then trod in a cow pat wearing jelly sandals. Oh my days it wasn't good, and being the type of laissez faire mother who takes a 5yo on a dog walk past bed-time, naturally I didn't have any wipes with me either....

Still nothing digital involved whatsoever smile

-I am guessing that might not be quite what you are looking for--

rmutalima Thu 24-Jul-14 22:27:18

We have refused to buy a tablet and ds only watches tv between 5 and 7 after preschool. Rest of the time is spent at the park or playing in the garden.

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