To allow teens to turn off gadgets when they want to or set boundaries?(50 Posts)
I realise we all parent differently and our teens are also all very different. I have 13 year old, who (I think, for now) is very sensible
more so than me at times and quite grown up for his years!
Option A. Allow a teen to self regulate use of the internet at night time (during the school holidays) be it gaming, messaging, face timing and (hopefully) no conflict. With a "keep the noise down" attitude as us oldies slope off to bed knackered!
Option B. Enforce a "turn it off at a certain time" be it 10pm/11pm etc rule and have certain conflict together with a stroppy, sulky teen for the school holidays?
Does depend on the teen.
I have 3
dcs1 and 3 definitely need Option B, dc2 has always been absolutely sensible with Option A
All parented the same.
This hasn't changed with age. dc1 (now 19) still can't see the correlation with having get up before 5am for his P-T job 2 days in a row, and the fact he's knackered. dc2 (now 17) does the same shifts and manages to think 'Oh, I'm missing quite a lot of sleep in the mornings, I'll turn everything off and go to sleep at 7.30/8pm for a couple of nights' but dc1 is still thinking he can stay up until midnight or 1am.
dc1 is a ds and dcs 2 and 3 are dds, so, in this house anyway, it's not even gender related.
Option A with all mine.
DS (18) has been working for a few days this week and it is a shock to his system, doing 8 hour days starting at 9am. He is going to bed so early.
Say no to self regulating, I wish I had. I did try and there were endless battles. DH didn't help matters. All kids are different but gaming and internet can take hold and that brings a whole other set of problems. Hindsight is a wonderful thing...
In term time B is the only way. In the holidays A.
14yo. She appreciates it really...
Option B. My DD has to put her gadgets outside her room every night at 9.30pm. She actually said the other day that she is glad I installed this rule!
Option A, with the proviso that Option B will happen if they misuse it.
And in my case I changed the wifi password to something slightly sarcastic which they then had to type in, in the morning, to re-gain access.
P.S. Bet strikeout fails again!
Option B and also absolutely forbidden to take any gadget upstairs at all, ever.
That way no looking at phones until goodness knows what hour. Kids need time and space to switch off before bed. It allows them to concentrate on their homework too if their text, WhatsApp, SnapChat is not pinging away.
Option A has always worked for me. I never minded the older kids staying up late on their phones because if they were tired in school the next day it would be their own fault. I let them self regulate because they know that if they're doing badly in school then it will really be time to chat about it.
I realize this approach may not work with everyone, but it worked fine with us.
At 13 we were fairly fierce, set bedtime and devices outside of the bedroom after we caught dd a couple of times texting and facetiming her friends (dd gets migraines if she is over tired so we had good call to police her). Consoles have always been in common rooms.
We've had very little conflict about it though, even though we had the same rules for weekends/holidays. It's only been fairly recently that we have relaxed and our teens are 16/15. It probably helps that ds's online friends are mostly from a timezone three hours later than ours, so his 10pm is their 1am.
We used Option A too, but the teens knew that if they couldn't get out of bed for school or their grades slipped then we would step in. We told them we were teaching them to take responsibility and be sensible. They learnt to self-regulate and it hasn't been a problem. Oldest are now at university.
Some of their friends, even at 17 and 18 have to leave devices with their parents in the evening and one 18 year old we know gets them confiscated by parents for any infringements of a very strict set of rules (and then can't do their work). How the parents think this is preparing them for university goodness knows.
Option A doesn't work with DD as she cannot self regulate at all. During school holidays and weekends she is online till 3 or 4 am.
I have given her plenty of opportunity to be sensible, but it just doesn't work. During term time I have to remove devices. She does get grumpy about it, but she has GCSEs in 6 weeks and has wasted so much time procrastinating over the Easter holidays watching stuff on Putlocker and messaging friends instead of revising that I have had to take a hard line. Now is not the time to let her fail.
I envy those of you with teenagers who are mature enough and sensible enough to be able to concentrate on their work without the constant distraction of social media.
I have told DD that once she reaches 6th form she will have to be more responsible for herself because it doesn't prepare her for university. At a very young 15 she just isn't emotionally mature enough to understand the consequences of her actions.
Option B, I have 18 year old through to 9 years, and at lights off all gadgets have to be outside of bedrooms. It's not a trust issue, I just feel more comfortable having everything charging outside of their bedrooms, and it stops their phone pinging through the night and disturbing them.
Option B - I would love to have the sort of teen who can self-regulate because they know that if they're doing badly in school then it will really be time to chat about it. - I wish it was that simple. .
I think it depends entirely on the personality of your teenage DC and yes, it does worry me that he might not be able to self-regulate his screen time when he goes to college/university
if he ever gets there.
Option B but with you following the same rules. Or B in term time, A in the holidays on a provisional basis.
And there's option C- a case by case basis.
Mine is a little older- just 15. I have no idea what time he went to bed last night, because he was having a brilliant time gaming with a group of friends (real life friends who I know) He will no doubt emerge about lunchtime.
He has a bit of homework he's going to do today, and a few other jobs, but nothing major. Tonight we'll have dinner together with Masterchef and then he'll go to bed, because he's got to be up early and has a full on day tomorrow with a late night.
I've never found laying down arbitrary rules works with teens. A bit of discussion, advance planning and negociation is the only way.IMHO.
A in holidays, B in term time.
But my two love their sleep so tend to wind down an hour or so later in hols than term time so they don't spend too long on them at night
daytime is a different matter
I have my nephew who is 13 staying with us for a holiday. The first night DN and DD stayed up until 3 on their ipads doing whatever. They then got up at 3pm (despite much shouting). I was not amused as I had taken the week off work to spend with them and spent the whole day by myself waiting for them. The next night I issued a no tech upstairs rule and they were both up at 9.30, we wnt to town and had a lovely day. This is now the rule for the whole stay.
I did the removing the gadgets on school nights but let dd self regulate at weekends and holidays when she was at school. She now has her phone all the time as but can't control herself and is up till all hours all the time. Its a constant cause of tension in our house.
She's almost 17 now and I'm hoping that one day soon she will sort herself out. I wish I'd been stricter from an earlier age.
As always I compromised. At 13 we allowed option A for weekends and holidays and option B for school nights. When they got to 15/16 I went with option A.
As BackforGood says they are all different. DS1 now 20 and at uni but doesn't see a connection with hating morning lectures and going to bed at 3am.
DS2 (18) is happy to crawl into bed at 8pm if he's tired.
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