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Bloody screens, bloody attitude and general aaargh!!!

(16 Posts)
tactum Wed 13-Apr-16 08:08:04

DD 13.5 n DS just 12 seem permanently attached to screens and I'm not sure what to do about it and other stuff. They've just left for school and have already racked up 1.5 hours each - discovered DS had set his alarm for 6 am so he could go on minecraft and DD was similar on iphone. Want to restrict screens but not sure what to replace it with - they are past the age or inclination generally for being 'entertained' by playing board games etc. They would probably stare at the wall and moan about how boring it was.

They also seem just bloody ungrateful and lazy. I've ended up doing the 'you don't realise how luck you are' speech I vowed never to - they leave bowls and glasses everywhere, rely on me picking up their dirty washing and never pro-actively offer any help.

Outsiders always think they are model children - work hard, well behaved etc etc, but I just feel family life is bloody falling apart - is this what the last 14 years have been working towards? Feel like a pathetic skivvy in my own house who no one listens to and who is invisible - and recognise clearly this must be my fault as this didn't happen overnight. Aargh - please help!

SavoyCabbage Wed 13-Apr-16 08:23:05

When my dd was ten she was taken over by reading. Which sounds like a proper MN stealth boast but it was just the same as screens.

All she did was read. In the back of the car, in the park with friends after school and every spare moment she had at home. She d walk in the door and disappear upstairs and that was it.

As she'd emerge from the classroom taking a book out of her bag people would be saying 'oh, that's so lovely to see' or whatever and there was no way that would be happening if she was on an ipad.

One night we were in the park after school with all her friends and I just thought "this isn't right. I'm sitting here in a park and my child isn't involved with what is going on at all. She's cutting herself off from the world" so I took her book off her and off she went with her friends.

Then I talked to her when we got home and I stopped letting her take a book when we were going out for the day or to read on the way to school. I told her when she came home she needed to stay downstairs and talk about her day and help with setting the table or whatever was going on. If we have people over then she needs to be involved with that. I kind of pulled her back in I think.

She was eleven, I don't think I said that.

She's nearly 13 now and my other dd is nine. I restrict screen time. And I make sure they have hobbies and things to keep them busy! And access to other things to do. My oldest lives drawing so she has a lot of stuff for that for example.

Artandco Wed 13-Apr-16 09:05:30

At those ages I wouldn't let them take any screens to bed. I would turn the wifi off also between 8pm and 8am also.

What other things do they like? We play board games as adults so they suit many diffenent ages, maybe you need so diffenent ones?

claraschu Wed 13-Apr-16 09:12:02

I also have a "model" child, who is polite, has friends, does quite well in school, and is generally happy and agreeable. I am struggling SO much with her, because all she wants to do is chat on her stupid devices. She has no interest in all the things we spent years doing when she was younger, and I feel her brain and spirit are rotting away.

People tell me this is normal and she is a lovely girl, etc, and I have to bite my tongue, but I do feel very sad about it.

I do think turning off the wifi for long periods is probably a good idea. I use it too much also, if I am going to be honest.

tactum Wed 13-Apr-16 09:25:05

claraschu - glad I'm not the only one!!
artandco - they don't have screens in their rooms after lights out at all, ever. DH wfh and often works late so wifi turn off isn't an option

Artandco Wed 13-Apr-16 09:39:40

How were they on screens since 6am if no screens overnight?

You can turn wifi off on certain devices it's the parental lock stuff. So can keep adults access if needed

tactum Wed 13-Apr-16 09:41:17

Son was up, showered, dressed, downstairs and ready by 6.20 and Daughter came downstairs for breakfast and picked up her phone. Will look at individual wifi access, thank you.

Artandco Wed 13-Apr-16 09:43:14

Hmm, maybe just say not screens before school then

fancyacoffee Wed 13-Apr-16 10:09:00

You can change the wifi password so that to can still use it and they can't

tactum Wed 13-Apr-16 10:12:36

It's not just about the screens - although thank you for the suggestions - it's about their attitude and the general disintegration of a pleasant cohesive family life!

SecretSquirrils Wed 13-Apr-16 10:57:09

It's all normal up to a point. The lack of enthusiasm for the things they loved as eight year olds, more interested and influenced by peers. Thoughtless and messiness. All normal.
You have to decide which are the important things to tackle. The old "don't sweat the small stuff" is really true for teenagers.
The gadget thing will be difficult because the stable door is open. It's always easier to relax rules than to tighten them. I'd deal with that first if that's most important to you and ignore the rest for now. I'm not a great believer in switching off access unlike the rest of MN. You don't tie a small child's hands to stop them touching you teach them not to. I'd set out the rules and expect them to be followed with consequences if they don't.

As to family life, find new things to do together - cinema, skating, eating out, bowling, watching box sets. Not necessarily what you would choose but a way to enjoy their company.

This is a good book.
Get Out of My Life: But First Take Me and Alex Into Town

HormonalHeap Wed 13-Apr-16 17:50:55

At least they work hard. Ds16 being an absolute pig, demanding room and maid service, only working with tutors. I'm humouring him as only 8 more weeks of GCSE hell but Is he gonna be in for a surprise after thatgrin

BG2015 Thu 14-Apr-16 20:28:50

My 2 sons are the same. They are constantly on their phones/PS4/X box.

Ds16 is not interested in anything to do with me. We went to a Mumford & Sons concert last November and that's the last time we really did anything as a family he only came with us because a girl he was seeing like them

DS13 will still do the odd thing with us and will come and chat with us. DS16 by passes the living room with a grunt of a hello and we don't see him again. He barely speaks. He is a text book teenager in every way.

It's normal.

The screen stuff I have no answer for as I'm just as bad.

inastew Sun 24-Apr-16 22:51:42

" a good book.
Get Out of My Life: But First Take Me and Alex Into Town "

BabyGanoush Mon 25-Apr-16 22:22:44

What's the phobia/angst about screens?

WE are on screens right now, looking at MN

And it is actually a nice way to compare notes and learn about parenting, and sharing our worries.

Our DC use screens to communicate with their peers.

Is it really so sad and bad?

In the olden days they used books, wrote letters, later on made phone calls....

Was that bad?!

JustDanceAddict Wed 27-Apr-16 08:50:56

Mine are pretty much the same ages/gender as yours and screen obsessed - DS more into ps4 and DD more into the phone. I don't wait for them to help, I get them to help. DD likes cooking so she makes dinner sometimes (and is quite a good cook). We try and get them out of the house, but I agree it's harder when they're older. Can you see family/friends at the weekends all together? I also get DD and sometimes DS to watch TV with us in the evenings so they're not holed up in their rooms on their own.

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