Screen time and young children

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sandraf
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Screen time and young children

Postby sandraf » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:51 pm

Hello all

My eldest child (6.5 yrs) recently discovered the joys of a Nintendo Switch (a friend of his has one).  Up until now he has had very little exposure to ipads/ games etc as we really want to limit this as much as we can until he is much older. He doesn't own any devices to date.

However he is now literally begging and crying (almost on a daily basis) for a Nintendo Switch, or an Ipad/Phone of his own.  Everything else he used to enjoy is suddenly 'boring' and all because he has discovered the joys of the gaming world!  Some of his friends also have phones of their own and he is finding it hard to understand why we are refusing him all of these devices.  

So my question is, does anyone have words of wisdom they could share?? Have you found anything that has helped to curb screen time (if your child already uses an ipad/game etc) or has anyone managed to keep their children off these devices until they were much older?  I would love to hear your feedback and any tips/advice you could share.

Thank you! :-)
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jg75
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby jg75 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:39 pm

Hi, I think you’re absolutely right to hold out, it seems ridiculous that other 6 year olds have their own devices. I say, don’t cave in to the peer pressure, they will thank you when they’re older. I often get the complaint from my two that they’re the only ones in their class without an iPad or phone or access to games. Firstly, that’s highly unlikely (I think there’s an element of kids bragging and fantasising - maybe one parent has an iPad and they claim it as their own). But really, I think that many games are highly addictive and don’t want to expose my kids to that kind of thing at such a young age. Keep them busy with outdoor/ imaginative activities and they’ll be happier in the long run!
I do think 6 is too young, but maybe at age 8 you could offer a game on your phone as a treat every now and then?
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Historytutor
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby Historytutor » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:13 am

Don't do it!
We just came back from a week long hokuday with some friends. I love the family, but the approach to childcare has been plug in the kids so the adults can have some quiet time, pretty much as long as I've known them.
Their three are 10, 14, and 16, and all three were plugged in for most of the time we were away. So much so that they didn't want to go do the things we had planned for the days out, including swimming, hiking in the mountains (we were near Morzine), or anything else.
My three are younger (8, 7, and 2) and have never had much screen time. They wake up in the morning and play, draw or read. More importantly, they were happy to go on a 5 hour hike without complaining once.
Avoid the games. I'm sure he's exaggerating, but it's a slippery slope and difficult to turn sound once they get addicted.
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sandraf
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby sandraf » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:09 am

Thanks for your replies! I will definitely find other ways to keep him busy :-)
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Bunnypigeon1
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby Bunnypigeon1 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:42 pm

I might make myself a bit unpopular and post a contrarian point of view. My children do have iPads- all hand me downs from wider family/our old ones. We keep the time they can go on them very controlled but we do let them have them half an hour a day (more often than not in lieu of television). With the amount of extra curricular stuff they have on, and all the activities (educational and just fun) that we do already, it feels like a harmless way to keep them busy whilst I make dinner! My middle daughter is the only one who seems to be very attached to it and she loves playing Mario on it. My husband has suggested getting her a switch or similar for Christmas and whilst I do worry about her becoming too attached to it, I don’t think her playing a little bit now and then is harmful. I would never let the iPads or the games get in the way of doing other stuff, but for little intervals where you need a bit of peace and they need a bit of quiet time, I don’t think they are harmful. We also fly transatlantic quite often and for they they are a life saviour!!
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sandraf
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby sandraf » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:37 pm

Thank you Bp1! It's good to hear another perspective on it and I appreciate you taking the time to answer my post.
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