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Please help my survey. Am I too strict? - what are your screen house rules for teens

(70 Posts)
Gymbob Wed 21-Jan-15 11:14:30

DD2 is 15. the Wi-Fi on her screens goes off at 9pm on weekdays, and 10pm on weekends, and she is not allowed on a screen at all after that.

Since I found her on snapchat a couple of days ago at 11.20pm on a school night, I have said that all screens must now come out of her room at the time the Wi-Fi goes off, as she has been using her 4G allowance.

She is unable to self-regulate and she admits she is totally addicted, but that everyone is, so what's the problem.

She says I'm too strict, hates me, I'm not normal etc, as all her mates are only just going on Facebook when she has to come off it, and she is the only one who can't have her phone in her room overnight. She says she just wants to fit in, and I am stopping her from doing that. She says she can't fit in if she can't join them on Facebook late at night.

Am I too strict? Do you have rules for screens, and if you do what are they? Is she right that everyone has their phone with them 24/7?

dexter73 Wed 21-Jan-15 11:35:29

I've never had any rules about screen time with my dd. My dd does have her phone with her 24/7 but it doesn't stop her sleeping or doing her work. I have no idea if you are too strict or if I am too soft though!

Gymbob Wed 21-Jan-15 11:43:08

Dexter screens certainly stop my dd from sleeping and doing her work! Maybe I am too strict then! How old is your DD?

IHaveBrilloHair Wed 21-Jan-15 11:47:16

I don't have any rules, dd is 13

MrsMcRuff Wed 21-Jan-15 11:48:54

I can only say that in my experience it is unusual (not necessarily for the best, though!) for 15+ teens to have restrictions on their screen time.

TeenAndTween Wed 21-Jan-15 11:49:39

DD1 age 15, year 11.

Upstairs PC for schoolwork only. Social networking blocked on it. Internet turns off at 8pm.

Phone use 'discouraged'. All family on PAYG. Phone in schoolbag by front door by 8pm. She doesn't tend to have it on when in house.

Screen time in week only after schoolwork done (ie from around 6.30) until going up time, and hour before she needs to turn her lights out, as she needs to unwind from them.
Screen time at weekends only after schoolwork for day done, plus exercise activity (so generally not before 4 at earliest).

However She doesn't have a great social life, but I don't think the electronic restrictions are the cause.

I think all electronics out of room at bedtime are a must. Anything else is discretionary.

TeenAndTween Wed 21-Jan-15 11:51:42

Various of these restrictions will be lifted after GCSEs. If DD can self regulate well enough that will be fine, but if affects schoolwork, tiredness or behaviour things will be re-introduced.

CiderwithBuda Wed 21-Jan-15 11:53:57

DS is 13 and I'm fairly relaxed.

He has both phone and iPad in bedroom. Uses phone as an alarm.

I think he is fairly good at self regulating. Certainly no major problems getting up in the morning.

I don't think he goes on social networks much though. Not as much as the girls at his school anyway.

dexter73 Wed 21-Jan-15 11:55:35

My dd is 17, nearly 18. It is so hard to know what to do and how far to go. If she had been staying up too late and not doing her work then I would probably have had to restrict her screen time.

MilkThistle187 Wed 21-Jan-15 11:56:00

I have a 16 and 14 year old, soon to be 17 and 15, no restrictions on screen time here. They get their school work done and plenty of sleep. At their age it think it's important to teach them to self regulate, they need to learn that if they stay up too late on their phones they'll feel terrible the next day. Strict rules just cause dissent IME.

Gymbob Wed 21-Jan-15 11:56:44

Really Mrs McRuff? OMG!

teenandtween You're my kinda gal, but I sound slack compared to you! What does your DD think of the screen rules?

As I said, my DD was on snapchat at 11.20pm when she wasn't allowed. the reason? She couldn't sleep. I told her that was WHY she couldn't sleep!

morethanpotatoprints Wed 21-Jan-15 11:58:52

I don't have a problem because dd will use a screen to play very occasionally so don't have to restrict.
When i did with her older brother he was allowed up to an hour before bedtime, whenever that was, only when everything else was done.
This was right up to being 16, because if I didn't restrict he wouldn't have done anything else.
DS1 was good with self monitoring too.
They are all different, but your restrictions don't sound harsh to me.

Gymbob Wed 21-Jan-15 12:00:12

milk, my dd cannot self regulate, she doesn't see why she should have to. If she feels terrible from a lack of sleep she would never admit it, besides feeling terrible would be well worth it to her.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 21-Jan-15 12:02:25

We remove all screens from DD2 at the weekend at 11 pm. The reason we do this is that her BFF is in Texas and she will chat to her ALL NIGHT on Skype if we let her. I found this out when I got up in the small hours to get a glass of water and heard her friend saying "Well I don't know what time it is there, but I am being sent to bed now, so goodness only knows how late it is at your end!"

DD1 is 16 and less of a problem.

bobs123 Wed 21-Jan-15 12:03:58

As someone who has gone through it I agree with your rules Gymbob

When my DC were younger (pre unlimited time on mobiles) I had to install a programme on the computer restricting the time they spent on it as they would have been on it all day otherwise.

I am aware that they now get less sleep due totally to being on their mobiles late at night.

I would say stick with what you are doing...and of course when they say that ALL their friends do this, that and the other it's not true - only those that can get away with it!

Floralnomad Wed 21-Jan-15 12:07:03

I have a 22yo and a 15 yo , I have never regulated screen time with either of them ,but I also have never had bedtimes , they both self regulate ( always have) perhaps it's something that's easier to do if they learn to do it from a younger age ( same goes for bed times) .

TeenAndTween Wed 21-Jan-15 12:07:46

I don't think my DD1's too bothered. My girls have 'grown up' with the rules, we didn't let things get bad before we tried to impose them. e.g. First phone was provided only after discussion of rules. DD1 has always been a great reader so often prefers to curl up with a book. Also some of DD1's friends have greater restrictions (e.g. no facebook at all) so she doesn't feel she's missing stuff.

DD2 may be more problematic when the time comes though!

Some children self regulate fine. Lucky parents.
Some children clearly can't so need rules.

We have always gone for the have rules then relax them approach, rather than the no rules but impose when there's a problem approach.

TheFairyCaravan Wed 21-Jan-15 12:08:14

My kids are 18&20 now. They have had laptops with access to the Internet for 7 years, iPads and phones for around 3 or 4. We have never resticted the Internet with regard to what time they could use it. If they stayed up late and felt awful the next day, it was their own fault, they seldom did it again.

IME it is extremely unusual for a 15yo to have time restrictions on Internet usuage.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 21-Jan-15 12:10:13

I do not have rules like that but then it is limited anyway by our circs.
Do you not think you are being a bit over controlling for someone of that age?

SandStorm Wed 21-Jan-15 12:15:16

No phones at the table - that's as far as our rules go but then we've never had a problem with either DD and their screen time usage.

MrsMcRuff Wed 21-Jan-15 12:17:33

Yes, Gymbob, as many other replies bear out!

However She doesn't have a great social life, but I don't think the electronic restrictions are the cause.

I'm not so sure that you can rule out a correlation, TandT. Most teenagers, for better or worse, (obviously worse in your opinion, and that of many) conduct their lives largely over social media. I don't see how limited access could fail to have an impact on their social lives, if only by marking them out as 'different' to their peers.

I'm not saying this dependence on social media is a good thing at all, far from it, (I am one of the least media savvy people I know!), but don't you think there is inevitably going to be a 'culture clash', if trying to restrict the use of something for the well-being of your own children, when its use is so prevalent among their contemporaries?

Having just written that, I re-read it, substituting 'drugs' for 'social media', which totally changed how I would react! I suppose it all comes down to how damaging you feel screen time is.

TeenAndTween Wed 21-Jan-15 13:31:09

MrsMc You may of course be right. I put it down more to
- large time to do schoolwork means hard to organise things too much in advance, never know when it's going to build up
- inability to organise her way out of a paper bag anyway
- friends all living out of town
- unconfident of independent travel

MajesticWhine Wed 21-Jan-15 13:42:11

Bed time is around 9:30 (for DC aged 12 and 14), but enforced in a relaxed manner not strictly. I deny them access to the wifi (I can isolate them from us on the router) in the evening, between 9:30 and 10 or so if I remember. If I find they are on a phone or ipad or computer after 10, then they might get a warning not to but after that they get the item confiscated. I don't generally ask for devices to be handed over at bed time, because it's too much hassle. OP, I don't think you are too strict, I think you probably have it about right. I'm a bit lazy about screen time, and I should probably be a bit more consistent, because they can't self-regulate, and it's for their own good.

PeaStalks Wed 21-Jan-15 13:44:55

Those restrictions seem extreme even for a younger child.
Mine are 16 and 19.
I restricted screen time to some extent ( though nothing like as much as the OP) until they were about 12/13.
We live in a village and most socialisation is through digital media. DS may be on Skype or playing a game with a friend in the next village. It's the modern way of hanging out.

At some point they must learn. Do you expect your child to go to university? Because if you do the time to learn independent study, self regulation and moderation is now and not when they are 100s of miles from home faced with all kinds of new experiences and distractions.

Mabelface Wed 21-Jan-15 13:45:05

I have 3 nearly 16 year olds. Screens go off at 10 in the week and 11 at the weekends. Screens don't go on until homework and a chore has been done, then they can fill their boots. I rarely have to tell them to shut down.

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