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Do you have rules on how much screen time (XBOX/PS3 or You Tube) you limit your teenagers to ?

(34 Posts)
josben Mon 03-Nov-14 15:44:24

DS1 and DS2 (12 & 13) seem to be playing on their games more and more, i used to try and limit it to 1-2 hours per day but over half term that went out the window! smile

I am fed up of seeing them on screens (if its not the XBOX then its You Tube,... and they are not even on Face book yet)`) and so am going to write out some rules on how much time they can have in a bid to get them reading a book or something?!

But AIBU is this the norm....

TIA smile

Theherbofdeath Mon 03-Nov-14 15:49:26

We avoid the problem by not having screens in the first place, apart from the occasional DVD. There is still never enough time.

secretsquirrels Mon 03-Nov-14 15:53:31

I limited it long before they were 12 / 13. Horse bolted I think. As with all parenting I find it easier to relax rules than to tighten them.

When DC were about 8 /9 they had gameboys. They were allowed 1 hour a day and I used kitchen timers tyrant.
When they got a console it was shared and so they had a rota. That allowed 1 hour a day on school days (evenings only) and more at weekends. Plus one full day a week of zero.
I can categorically state that they hated it, I hated enforcing it but I stuck with it until they were about 14.
Good luck with getting them to read a book.

usualsuspect333 Mon 03-Nov-14 15:59:06

I didn't limit screen time at all.

fieldfare Mon 03-Nov-14 16:08:48

Dd is 12. After school or activities she must do her homework first (to a good standard), completed any chores, have hung up her uniform and got her stuff ready for the next day. She is then free to do whatever she pleases - hang out with a friend, play on the ps3, use her tablet. Although, everything gets turned off at about 7:30 as that's when I've generally finished my chores for the evening and it gives her time to wind down, have a shower and read for a little while to relax. Not a bad balance IMO.
In the holidays she obviously has a lot more time to play on any device. However, homework, chores, errands and exercise come first. Only once everything is done (to a good standard and willingly!) do I say yes, and then there is no time limit.

footballsgalore Mon 03-Nov-14 21:58:47

I came on here to start this very thread!
Yr 8 DS seems to be surgically attached to his ipad. He can't see any reason why this is wrong and says it's not harming anyone so why shouldn't he sit on it. How long do your boys spend on it OP?

Sparklingbrook Mon 03-Nov-14 22:04:48

DS1 (15) is pretty good, some days he is on it a bit longer than i would like, but if homework/revision is done....

He goes to school 12 miles away and his friends are spread far and wide. they get together to play PS4 online-it's his socialising.

footballsgalore Mon 03-Nov-14 22:17:33

Do you leave him to it Sparkling (or did you when he was younger?)
DS seems to have no idea of self regulation. He would sit on it for the entire day if I let him. Not sure if IABU to expect anything else of a grunting teen.

Sparklingbrook Mon 03-Nov-14 22:23:12

I would put my head round the door and say that's enough now, and urge him to do something else. We had a lot of 'I just need to finish this game' hmm

DS2 is 12 and now likes to Skype his friends-so more screen time. But he's chatting and socialising.

Both my DSs play football so at least 3 evenings a week DS1 is at footy training or helping with DS2's training. Same at weekends-lots of matches. So no opportunity for constant gaming IYKWIM.

DramaAlpaca Mon 03-Nov-14 22:30:25

In our house DS3, who's 17, can game all he wants as long as his homework is done. It's how he socialises. He has the headphones on & chats away to his friends.

I can't limit the older ones as they are adults and have their own laptops, but I've noticed that DS2 plays much less since he's started university & got himself a social life.

When they were all at school I limited them to two hours a day each. We only had one PC in the house at the time so we set a rota & controlled it that way.

footballsgalore Mon 03-Nov-14 22:39:12

To be fair lots of it is messaging so I suppose it's social. But a lot is also watching You Tube.
DS also has footy 3 times a week so it's not the exercise....more the 'in a minute'...'what did you say?'....'yeah I'll do it later'....comments that iritate me....oh yes and the fact that I have to say everything twice! ;-)

bigTillyMint Tue 04-Nov-14 06:45:25

I do like Sparkling - they self-monitor with a bit of reminding from us!

DD(15) is on social media a lot, but is also quite focused on her school work - she has cut down on using the laptop a lot recently, but her iphone is always in her hand. She skypes friends who live far away a lot.

DS(13) trains/plays footy 6 days out of 7 and also likes to be out with his mates, so not in that much on gadgets. He only ever plays xbox if mates are over for a sleepover (and then they tend to watch TV/films) but his ipad/phone are always in his hands. He gets his homework done. Just aboutwink

Up to secondary school we were quite behind the times with gadgets and they were only allowed an hour a night TV time, so I think they have made up for it now!

Travelledtheworld Tue 04-Nov-14 09:18:40

You are not being unreasonable.

I wish I had set strict rules when they were 10 or 11 years old.
Ds 14 will spend up to 16 hours playing online games, with only breaks to go to the toilet or to eat, unless he is forcibly removed. He rarely leaves the house though occasionally will go for a long walk with me.

The Minecraft video watching was also an obsessive phase.

I suggest you set a time limit now. Homework first. All sit down and eat together. Then an hour or two hours for playing, and leave at least an hour before bedtime. They need some time to unwind.

Be even stricter as exams approach. If necessary remove X box/ router and lock it in the car or give it to the neighbours.

secretsquirrels Tue 04-Nov-14 09:31:33

I stopped limiting screen time when they were around 14.
Another family living in the sticks here. None of DS2(16) friends live in our village and they are spread far and wide. Getting together and socialising involves much travel (no buses). He plays League of Legends together with friends while on Skype.
Neither DC ever watches TV.

WhereHas1999DissappearedToo Tue 04-Nov-14 10:36:53

I don't limit DD's (15) laptop screen time as she works or swims/plays hockey every day after school, then she goes home and eats tea, does her homework, have a shower etc. By the time she does all that, there's not a lot of time left and I think she can use it how she pleases. Though she hardly watches TV.

For the weekend, I don't limit either as she's usually with friends for some of a saturday, then she has Surf Life Saving on a sunday morning too and she has homework to get done as well.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 04-Nov-14 12:39:38

We sort of have a limit (DSs 14 & 13). During the week they have activities a few nights each. They can play for a bit when they come home from school. we eat early (5-5.30) and they do homework after dinner and can then play up until whatever activity they have on starts or if its a free night, we usually say to get off about 9ish to have supper and get ready for bed - they read until lights out.

At the weekend or on holidays if we have no plans, they go on and play when they wake up and other than a pit stop for breakfast, I leave them to it until 11ish and they get told to come off (usually a few times) and get showered and dressed. That's it for screen until after dinner.

They don't watch tv - we have occasional movie nights but at the moment we are all watching Breaking Bad (a couple of episodes a week as that's all we can fit in at times when we are all in).

Again we don't live near school friends so they also socialise on-line.

Floralnomad Tue 04-Nov-14 12:45:24

I've never limited screen time and mine self regulate quite nicely .

TheBigBumTheory Tue 04-Nov-14 12:56:01

Monday-Thursday they have no screens until after school (so about 4.15 by the time they've had a snack) then none after evening meal (6ish). So max 2 hours a night. No screens at all on Friday.

They can watch tv in evening but they usually have homework, music practice and they all read at bedtime.

At the weekend it's more flexible, we try to be out for a good few hours with the dog and they have activities, homework, work experience etc, but never any screens after dinner. Or during dinner, obviously.

They are 16,14,12 and 9. We agreed on theses rules years ago and they are so used to it we don't ever have an issue.i think it had helped them all to learn to enjoy reading and also helps us all spend time as a family. They are likely to watch something with us, which is good fun, rather than all being glued to separate screens. Also I think it means no one is in the habit of being up all night playing games.

TheBigBumTheory Tue 04-Nov-14 12:57:38

Even with our rules, they could be playing 10hs plus a week, which I already find very depressing..blush

Lovehorror Tue 04-Nov-14 13:06:00

I have no limit as long as homework is done first.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 04-Nov-14 14:01:09

I have to say that friends with older DC who are now out working or at Uni, and also for youngish guys (and it is usually boys) that I work with who all gamed a lot as teenagers, they all say that screen levels dropped drastically and they gained new there is hope!!

janinlondon Tue 04-Nov-14 14:03:28

Is it just me....or do your children not do online homework? Even if it is not set and submitted via the school website, surely a lot of the research is done online, and the work is prepared on screen.....? And children now rarely watch tv on a traditional set - they watch online catchup. So are you differentiating between screen time and "tv" time (and if so, are you limiting your own?)...How are you defining "screen time"?

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 04-Nov-14 14:14:13

Mine don't watch tv other than with us ....on any device.

All screen time is gaming time.

Occasionally they will say that they need to go on PC to do homework but that is a rarity. They don't get a lot of homework and what they do is things like Art (drawing) or Maths worksheets.

myotherusernameisbetter Tue 04-Nov-14 14:16:39

I don't watch tv either - a bit of news in the morning and Pointless is my guilty pleasure but I don't see it every day.

I do spend a fair bit of time on PC , googling, shopping etc

TheBigBumTheory Tue 04-Nov-14 14:37:17

They do use the computer for online homework, but they do that in computer time before dinner. I watch tv a little late evening usually after dinner, and I avoid using my iPad when they are not meant to be using their devices, mainly because it's antisocial. If we have guests to stay I don't use my tablet downstairs at all, for the same reason. I hate when people come to stay and spend all the time facebooking other people.

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