When should I limit my kids' use of their electronics?

Keyosha - posted on 05/26/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have two daughters, age 15 and 7 1/2 years old who love being on their tablets and sometimes their dad and I phones a lot. It has begun to really consume them and taking away time from other activities which are more valuable than those electronics. How can I talk to my oldest about not spending so much of her life on that tablet and also my youngest daughter about not wanting to stay up at night and thinking its okay to do so! They are not bossy or disrespectful kids in any way, just a little too overdrawn by the devices.

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Jodi - posted on 05/26/2016

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You should always set limits with devices. My daughter (she is 11) has a limit of 30 minutes on a week night and 2 hours a day on a weekend. The exception is if she needs the computers for homework. Outside of that she involves herself in other activities, such as reading, craft, chores, playing with friends or other activities. I don't limit her devices because she is naughty (she's a really well behaved kid), I limit them because it really isn't good for them to spend so much time on them.

Sarah - posted on 05/26/2016

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I agree and I think no matter what you say to your kids, they won't self limit. You have to enforce it. My kids get two hours of total screen time (computer, phone, iPad, iPod and TV) a day at the most. Devices are turned in at night.

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Keyosha - posted on 05/26/2016

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Wow that is so true. My oldest daughter has a nervous breakdown if she has to put her tablet down, and I say to her, "there's more to life than these electronics", not that they can't have them, but just don't let them take away your time for other necessary things! Thanks for sharing this!

Raye - posted on 05/26/2016

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My step-kids get 30 minutes after they do a language lesson, and sometimes longer on weekends. Kids brains don't keep track of their time. I let my SD go a few minutes longer while we were waiting on her brother before dinner the other night. We went to dinner, got home, and she's was like "can I use the rest of my time." I'm like "what time? you were on longer than 30 minutes." She was like "oh." They really don't realize how much time passes. That's where parents need to step in. It's not to be mean. It's really for their well-being.

Electronics can be addictive. They stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain with all the flashy colors and instant gratification. It can also stimulate aggression if they're playing games that they don't win or get to the next level easily. It can even make them short tempered even when they're not playing the games. So definitely screen time should be limited in general daily life. Special occasions are fine to allow some extra, but going over 2 hours a day (including any homework done on computer), should be the exception and not the norm.

Keyosha - posted on 05/26/2016

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Thank you! That I agree with because it seems hard to do at times, but as a parent yes I should be enforcing that more.

Keyosha - posted on 05/26/2016

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Thank you so much for that! I will definitely put setting limits for them into practice!

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