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Old 07-11-2017, 07:46 AM   #1
Earthmummy07
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Default What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

I'd love to hear as many perspectives as possible on this. I'm trying to figure out how I want this to look for our family. Every system we've had so far has failed but BB has proven himself incapable of self regulating and needs some boundaries to stop it taking over his life. I'd particularly love to hear from families that have a child with obsessive tendencies, ODD, ASD etc but all perspectives are valuable
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

I set both a time it can start ("screen time starts at 5pm") and duration (1 hour). My kids don't react negatively to screen time though, so they're able to have some every day.

I have several friends whose children get really negatively affected behavior wise by screens, so they only do it on the weekends which has improved things a lot in their families.

Also, plenty of outside time (including dirty exploration in creeks, forest preserves) seems to help them behaviorally too.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

In our home, the kids must ask before using screens. Before I'll say yes, they must have completed school work and chores. The rules are not hard & fast, so some days, if I feel they need outside time first I'll say so. We have few games for them to play, so that's not a huge issue. We play more computer games in the winter when the weather is not great. Much less use in the summer.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

We recently purchased Circle and it allows us to regulate the times of day that the kids are allowed on each device as well as a daily time limit for each kid. It also reports what sites are being used. We love it. It forced our child who would 'go downstairs to take a nap' (and instead was sneaking screen time) to find other things to do. For example, he has been on the trampoline and listening to audio books all summer long instead!

---------- Post added at 09:19 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:18 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tickle Momster View Post
In our home, the kids must ask before using screens. Before I'll say yes, they must have completed school work and chores..
Should add that we do similar. The internet doesn't even 'come on' until 1:00 pm every day. They have to have done their Bible, reading, chores, piano (and also outdoor play) before they are allowed to access it.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

I'm so glad someone here has Circle!!! I've read about it a lot but a personal review is so much better!

I have a child with odd, OCD, & add tendencies. For us, tight regulations actually increased his anxiety, quite a bit. I had to let him "overdose," so to speak, so that he now chooses to take a walk and be outside (most days) and moderate his usage. And this took awhile and it won't be the answer for everyone. There were long periods where my kids had no screen time at all except for a family movie night once a week.

Does he do well with clear expectations that never change? Mine doesn't, but many kids do.

Also, many devices have time limits that parents can set. Windows parental control makes it so a child account can only log on during set hours. (Although I don't know if Windows 10 has that, I haven't looked.) And our WiFi is on a timer.
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

Our rule is no screens of any kind until school is done and after lunch. The "after lunch" part is because their behavior deteriorates horribly the rest of the day if they watch in the mornings. Don't know why, but it is our reality. We watch 1-1.5 hours per day when we watch. I read Reset Your Child's Brain, and it was quite enlightening. Simply watching a screen from across a room has far less of an effect on the brain (though still an effect!), than screens you interact with and/or are closer to. So I allow basically zero computer, video games, iPad use, smart phone use, etc right now. Eventually we will have to introduce those things and work through how to not abuse them (we have both psychiatric and addiction issues in our family history on both sides), but in the meantime, I want to set them up for success since they are still so young (ages almost 4 to 8.5).

We don't watch anything on weekends, and sometimes, like this week, we have a screen-free week just to focus on playing and doing other things outside.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

He's been overdosing for the majority of my pregnancy due to me not having the energy to fight anymore. I was hopeful that he would eventually self regulate, but even though he knows and acknowledges that too much screen time makes him grumpy and gives him headaches, he still doesn't seem able to apply that knowledge until after the fact.

Just to give you an idea, if I don't interfere, he will put on either the Xbox or his tablet when he wakes at around 6.30, pause it for bathroom breaks and to come fetch his food and not actually leave it alone until we insist he comes off to get ready for bed

Clear expectations that never change were helpful up until recently. I have a whole other thread (that sparked this one) in the tweens and teens section about the issues we are having with rules lately They do help *me* atleast, if not him, in that I have something to refer back to and don't get pulled into negotiations too often.

He's having a big 'thing' about us being controlling lately (again, the tweens thread) and someone on there suggested attaching the screen time to something else so that the limits are there, and he is in control of it via his actions. So different activities earn him different amounts of screen time. I'm playing with that in my mind figuring what it could look like and if it would work.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

If you're interested in a cut & dry system that earns screen time, I recommend the Chore Monster app. You can customize chores, responsibilities & activities and customize the point values, as well as customize the point values for earning screen time.

Unfortunately, this did not work for my oldest who has similar struggles (as we've discussed before). If we ever left the house, if the day didn't go as it usually does, he would be so upset/mad/stressed out about not having enough time to do his chores to earn that screen time. And they were playing 60 minutes a day max, most days only 30.

So we moved to a different system. Do most of your chores with a positive attitude during the week, do most of your school work with a good attitude, and you can play Friday night for about an hour and Saturday for 1-2 hours. No planned time on Sunday, though sometimes we switch the days (depending on if we're getting together with family, church picnic, other responsibilties, etc.).
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

I've done different things through the years. It's hot TX summer now, so regulating screen time means

1. The one tv in the house is hooked up to a timer Mon-Fri and turns on at 5pm.
2. When it's chore time,shows go off and pandora comes on.
3. Fighting and name-calling is almost always going to result in screens going off for an hour or two (they have one,shared tablet).
4. Everyone goes outside around 7pm (or when it's not so hot)

My kids have heard me say many times "Tv and games are not important in this house." They can pause their show before they turn it off,but I'm not going to prioritize shows or games At All in our lives with the exception of a family movie night when we are together making memories. I think this mindset has helped them be able to let go much easier. My husband is the same way.
To be fair,I consciously put down my phone very quickly when my kids come to me. I tell them "you are more important than my phone" and do my best to live by it.
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

I have a friend who uses Circle and it seems like a great idea. The cut off happens automatically, which removes the parent-child tension I'm used to.

IME, setting a time limit was very stressful for my young kids because time would be up when they were in the middle of a level or something. It works much better for me to say "one level" or "one episode." Same with reading at bedtime. I do also have a no-screen time until after school rule. I don't limit my 18yo and 20yo. An automatic cut off would probably be healthy and keep them from looking at screens too late, but 20yo has been working nights which means that wouldn't work for him.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

Yes, he doesn't transition of the screen well when his time is finished if he is in the middle of something, which is a big reason why previous attempts have failed. But his favourite things to do are Minecraft, which doesn't have specific levels, but there are things you 'cant' just stop in the middle of without loosing progress until you are in a safe place to save, and watching YouTube videos, which have very variable lengths. I've tried being 'reasonable' and letting him finish the bit he's on when it's time to come off, but I don't always have time to watch over his shoulder and make sure he doesn't take advantage of that. I need to find a solution for that. If he's in the middle of defeating the wither or something and I make him come off and he dies and looses stuff out of his inventory, that doesn't seem fair to me. I'd be frustrated if someone interrupted an activity I was doing at a point that made me loose my place (hence why I don't crochet complicated things with the kids around )
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

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Originally Posted by Earthmummy07 View Post
Yes, he doesn't transition of the screen well when his time is finished if he is in the middle of something, which is a big reason why previous attempts have failed. But his favourite things to do are Minecraft, which doesn't have specific levels, but there are things you 'cant' just stop in the middle of without loosing progress until you are in a safe place to save, and watching YouTube videos, which have very variable lengths. I've tried being 'reasonable' and letting him finish the bit he's on when it's time to come off, but I don't always have time to watch over his shoulder and make sure he doesn't take advantage of that. I need to find a solution for that. If he's in the middle of defeating the wither or something and I make him come off and he dies and looses stuff out of his inventory, that doesn't seem fair to me. I'd be frustrated if someone interrupted an activity I was doing at a point that made me loose my place (hence why I don't crochet complicated things with the kids around )
I totally understand this. What I've done in this situation is let the child know that if they don't turn off after finishing in a safe place is that next time they ask, the answer will be no. Whether that is to play at all, or if they ask to get to a safe space. The bigger the resistance, the more likely I am to say no screen time at all.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:59 AM   #13
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

I have their devices locked down: they can play games until their allotted time for the day is used up, and then they have unlimited access to e-books (well the ones that we own or borrow through overdrive) or audio books. They can also play on their computer which is stocked with educational shows. My 9 year old has recently gotten a bit obsessive about her computer time, she's discovered website building and blogging and she spends a lot of time on our school computer working on that. But she still regularly stop for several hours to read. The only time we ask them to reevaluate their screen time is if they're being grumpy/touchy/or rude. I also try to be sure I am getting outside with them for 2-3 hours a day, but when I had a new baby it was hit or miss.

For us it is being sure it is quality content, they can binge on it all they like if it's good stuff (like they can only watch PBSkids shows or Bible story shows on TV on weekdays, there is only so much Wild Kratts you can deal with before you would rather go play).

That said none of my kids are really Obsessive about screens, they enjoy the down time but if offered the alternative to go outside with me or go play with friends they would much rather do some thing else.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:07 AM   #14
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

I allow two hours of screen time per day per kid (I have six). They have to wait until after school is done and after whatever errands need to be run that day. I also give warnings when their time is almost up.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: What does 'regulating screen time' look like at your house?

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Originally Posted by kdhfly View Post
Our rule is no screens of any kind until school is done and after lunch. The "after lunch" part is because their behavior deteriorates horribly the rest of the day if they watch in the mornings. Don't know why, but it is our reality
We also have this rule. My son is also more affected when its in the morning as opposed to later.

I like this rule because as things change and fluctuate in terms of rules this one as been steady and gets us through a big chunk of the day with no screens.

Plus my son will negotiate so much if its chores based or whatever (I've done threads on this trait), so it's also a nice way to just not have to hear about it bc this has been a rule since he was little.

Also we have the no screen until rules and chores are done. During the school year we are so busy with sports and other activities just naturally it doesnt happen a lot.

In the summer its harder bc there is so much free time they could have done all chores, played outside for 6 hours and still have plenty of time for screens.

If its raining I allow more than if its nice out. eta: he is neurotypical.
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