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What are your rules about phones and gadgets in bedrooms overnight?

(73 Posts)
Dancergirl Tue 31-Dec-13 00:06:05

Dd is 12.5 and has an itouch and a phone (not smartphone). She's reasonably sensible regarding their use as far as I can see. Up to now she hasn't been 'into' her gadgets as much as some teens but I think that's changing.

She's not interested in Facebook but she's on Instagram like her friends and also texts a fair bit. In term time I try and encourage phones and gadgets off by 8.30ish but it's not completely set in stone and there's a bit of leeway. However I've realised that her phone and iPod are still by her bedside. She told me tonight (quite late) that a girl she knew was on Instagram as she saw her iPod flash so she had a look.

Would it be unreasonable to insist that phones and gadgets are left downstairs overnight for the sake of good sleeping habits?

What are your rules and do they differ in term and holiday time?

usualsuspect Tue 31-Dec-13 18:54:15

I never took gadgets off DS at night.

Floralnomad Tue 31-Dec-13 18:56:25

I've also never had any rules about gadgets .mine are 20 and 14 and no problems so far here , but I have never had bedtimes either .

poisonedbypen Tue 31-Dec-13 19:02:48

DD keeps hers & is on it too much, but she is 17 and it's up to her really. DS is14 & can't self regulate. Phone goes on charger in kitchen at 10.30 latest & wifi doesn't work to his laptop (can set each device) after10pm.

Knit2togtbl Tue 31-Dec-13 19:05:53

No gadgets

Knit2togtbl Tue 31-Dec-13 19:08:50

No gadgets in bedrooms after bed time.
Ds is an avid reader and i had to resort to taking the bulb l out of his bedside light one evening at gone 11pm to get him to go to sleep . He got it back the next day.

ggirl Tue 31-Dec-13 19:10:58

bigtill-thanks, we're talktalk so I'll have a look

MaddAddam Wed 01-Jan-14 12:27:09

13yo and 12yo have laptops which close down between 9pm and 7am. That was a condition of having the laptops and they don't get a choice in the matter.
They don't have smartphones but if they did I'd go with the rule of smartphones being downstairs at night, if they were using them. 13yo would self-regulate anyway probably, she barely uses phone or internet. 12yo wouldn't self-regulate so I'd insist, again as a condition of having a smartphone.

The laptops still turn off in the holidays as it's a setting they have and not easy to keep changing.

GraduallyGoingInsane Wed 01-Jan-14 12:36:43

None of mine have TVs in their rooms, and the mobile phone chargers are kept in the kitchen, the idea being they are on charge overnight. If I see or hear them on phones, laptops etc after bedtime then I get to keep them for a week. It's not fail safe but it seems to be working. For now.

Totally agree nothing good ever happens after 10pm!

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 12:38:32

Gadgets, at night, are where ever in the house they happen to be. Always have been.

DD2 has had a lap top since she was six. they had MP3 players at about the same time. We now have iPods, phones, a portable CD and 3 lap tops.

I'm am not going to attempt to keep track of them.

So long as no one uses them so late at night they miss the school bus and no other parent complains about late night texts, I do not care!

I hate rules for rules sake, they just cause rows and constant age related plea bargaining.

Stupid arbitrary rules are for school!

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 12:42:34

As for after 10pm, I suspect my DD2(15) face times her best friend and a great deal of good happens.

They go to different schools (DF to a private sixform with long hours and lots of HW).

Given DD1 has acquaintances only at her school, these late night chats are very important.

Dancergirl Wed 01-Jan-14 12:46:46

starball they are not rules for rules sake. I also wouldn't impose rules for no good reason.

But I do believe having gadgets in the bedroom interferes with sleep as dd's example the other day confirms - iPod was on her bedside table, she saw it flashing so had to check. Would have otherwise been nodding off to sleep.

It's not just about being tired for school; teens need enough good quality sleep when they are going through such a rapid period of growth.

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 15:56:02

And my older teen would not sleep before midnight from 12-14 if you tied her into her bunk.

Anymore than I would have done at her age.

Take her light bulb out and she'd have found a torch or just gone and read on the loo, or slipped into our room.

I'm a natural night owl, I have read in the loo on Guide trips with 10.30 lights out.

Now she's almost 16 and has more HW and revision she often does go to sleep a bit earlier, but it has to be her choice.

Bedtime has been pretty much her choice since she was born, it's how she is. Bed at 8 as a small toddler and 8.30 in infants and gradually later in primary is what worked.

I do not understand this British obsession with bed by 7.30 until DCs start 9pm ending Scouts and parents are finally forced to see sense.

NoComet Wed 01-Jan-14 16:00:37

Good quality sleep comes from going to sleep when your body wants to go to sleep, not finally falling a sleep after an hours hush pat, rapid return, sneak up and down stairs, turning the light on and off, sneaking you iPod under the covers. Delete according to age of child.

DameDeepRedBetty Wed 01-Jan-14 16:02:02

I've got twin 14 year old dds, dtd1 is a night owl and I have to keep an eye on her to stop late night twitting about online. dtd2 is too determined to get A's to allow stuff to stop her getting her rest and her homework done. Also she likes to be up before everyone else in order to wallow around in the shower.

Lottie4 Wed 01-Jan-14 16:22:34

My daughter is free to play on gadgets downstairs until bedtime as long as she's done homework and something else with her evening like see a friend, play a game, read her book, but bedtime has always been for sleeping. Even as she gets older and maybe wants to spend more time in her room, once lights are out she will be expected to switch off all gadgets.

Gymbob Wed 01-Jan-14 16:55:06

just posted a long winded reply on post 're 16 year old. its very relevant my daughter was groomed. please read it as can't type it all out again on my phone!

TeenAndTween Wed 01-Jan-14 20:34:20

14 yr old. Gadgets out of room at bedtime.

livinginawinterwonderland Thu 02-Jan-14 09:10:12

If kids don't want to sleep at 10pm, they won't, whether you take their laptops off them or not. There are plenty of ways to stay awake if you're not ready to sleep - books, TV, games, or just laying there awake.

I agree with star. If they want to go to bed at 10pm, they will, regardless of whether they have internet access or not. If they want to stay up until 1am, the same applies. I find that if I go to bed before I'm tired, I get to sleep fine, but wake up 3/4 times in the night. If I stay up until I'm ready for bed, I stay asleep until my alarm goes. It's not actually healthy to force yourself to sleep before you're ready. It's bad sleep hygiene.

Dancergirl Thu 02-Jan-14 10:23:27

No you can't force them to sleep but far better to rest/relax than engage in a screen based activity IMO. A lot of late night brain activity isn't conducive to sleep.

I also have a night owl but the problem is she has to be up at 6.45am for school! You can't completely indulge teens' sleep habits during the week. I don't think it does them any harm putting a boundary in place for night-time, they can still wind down and rest if not actually fall asleep.

bigTillyMintspie Thu 02-Jan-14 10:46:35

living, that is so true re them not sleeping if they are not tired. We do try to encourage them to come off the gadgets before bed-time, but they have to start to take responsibility for their own sleep/well-being too.

NoComet Thu 02-Jan-14 10:57:14

Boundaries have to be negotiated and accepted, not imposed.

Any child over 9 is likely to resent non negotiated boundaries.

8.30 is ridiculously early, DD2(12) doesn't get in one night a week until 9.15 pm (when she did Scouts it was two nights). She still wants some Me time before bed.

Me time is phone, lap top, music for our teens as reading and radio 4 were mine.

I'm really not convinced that reading Dick Francis or Lace was anymore worthy than playing Subway surfers or SIMs. Certainly a good thriller was massively harder to put down when you were tired.

TantrumsStoleSantasBalloons Thu 02-Jan-14 11:07:11

I have a 15 year old and a 14 year old.

I am deemed as strange because I do not tell them what time to go to bed and they are allowed iphones/ipods/laptops in their rooms.

They know how much sleep they need, dd knows that in order to get up at 6.30 she needs to be asleep by 10.30 at the latest.
Ds1 doesnt sleep that early and he never will. I could lock him in an empty room and he still wouldnt sleep.
He has football training 3 nights a week that finishes at 9pm anyway, so he comes home, eats dinner, winds down anyway before bed.

Having access to the internet after 10pm doesnt stop dd from getting enough sleep, she is almost always asllep by 10.30, but it doesnt keep my ds awake, he would be awake, with or without an ipod.

mathanxiety Thu 02-Jan-14 19:57:43

Starballbunny I agree with your points.

I wish I could be otherwise for DD4 but she can't handle late nights and getting up in the morning. Everyone else self regulated and thrived, and they had all sorts of gadgets from an early age.

Dancergirl Thu 02-Jan-14 20:34:22

Interesting reading, a wide range of views.

starball for me, it's not about reading being more worthy than screen based activities. I just don't feel comfortable about a lot of screen time near bedtime. I also think there is a big difference between an older teen, say 16+ who should be learning to self-regulate and a young teen who's just starting out.

Thinking back to my own upbringing (obviously before the days of social media etc), my mum was very, very relaxed about most things to the point of me doing more or less what I liked in terms of what I watched, ate, what time I went to bed etc. Did I like it? Surprisingly no. It occurred to me at some point that my peers 'weren't allowed' to do some things that I was and I wondered why. Did their parents cared more about them than mine? Looking back I think I was craving some rules and boundaries.

I'm not saying that I'm going completely the other way with my own dc but I do believe that even during teen years when they are developing independence and making their own decisions, they still need some boundaries in place. Plus I have always thought that it's better to start out on the strict side as it's easier to slacken off as and when than the other way round.

Just my opinion though.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 02-Jan-14 20:38:38

Until they were 16, they weren't allowed in bedrooms. They need their sleep, especially when they are at school.
Don't be fooled that they won't be using them at midnight, because they will. It is also easier to avoid bullying, peer pressure etc if they aren't allowed in bedrooms.

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