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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NoodleFan
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby NoodleFan » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:46 am

I’m inclined to agree with BP1. There is a middle ground here. You don’t want him to be that kid that wasn’t allowed to watch tv when we were young.
But I hear the other side to the argument that he’s only 6.5. Do you think you could reason with him that he’s only allowed 30 mins a day?
I read a good article about sitting and chatting with them 5 mins before their time is up so you bring them back into the real world gradually, rather than shouting TIME’S UP and creating a meltdown.
Best of luck... (also to the poster above who has put a lot of identifiable details on their holiday description :D).
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parentpractice
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby parentpractice » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:07 pm

It is indeed a thorny issue and you are so not alone as many parents struggle to get the balance right. I'll give you both sides of the argument for a balanced discussion.

On the one hand you will hear from addiction experts that giving a child under the age of 8 a smartphone or gadget is akin to " giving them a bottle of wine or a gram of cocaine" as they just don't have the ability to self regulate. The concern is that you say your son is currently crying and having meltdowns every day about wanting to access to his own gadget. which I think speaks volumes about the effect it has had on him already.The reality is that children of primary school age do not need their own i-phone/i-pad -and for many due to the survival part of their brain , they are hard wired to either avoid  pain and seek the repetition of pleasure,so if they do own their own technology, getting them off it can cause untold meltdowns and arguments.

However I have to say I am a big fan of technology and gadgets and our role as parents is to ensure our children learn how to use technology safely and the analogy I use is of a swimming pool.There is no point putting up fences and alarms round the pool to prevent your kids from drowning, as they do need to know how to swim and water will find them at some point in their lives. The same can be said for gadgets -they will  have access to them eventually so we do need to work out how we can manage this in munchable chunks and teach them to be good digital citizens 

The decision has got to be what works for you and your lifestyle and your values as there is no right or wrong here but what I can say  is that all the research currently indicates that those children who have parents implementing clear boundaries and rules and guidelines,consistently, positively and firmly, tend to be more able to self regulate when they are older.Good luck making the decision that works for you and your family
Yours Aye Elaine x





 
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wenlinchineseschool
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby wenlinchineseschool » Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:33 pm

Is it true that Bill Gates did not give his daughter a phone until she turned 13? Same principal applied by other well known techies.

My 9 year old came home asked me when he can have a phone. Because many 8 year and 9 year olds in his football camp already got theirs. I asked, to use it for what? They are not allowed to go home alone yet. You will get a phone from the day you are going to school and coming home all by yourself so mummy can reach you. Those kids have the phone, the smart phone purely for playing games on them. A lot of people asked us how did we get our boys love reading so much.

They read all the time. They read their books when we are in restaurants. People looked us always ask how did you do that? They are so good. We simply do not give them electronics.

They are very busy with their books, Lego, chess, music and sports. They have no time for those games. When my son asked me said his friends all play that game. Can I download it for him. I let him to read the reviews. He then doesn’t want it any more.

I am very saddened that nowadays parents are so easily using electronics to get peace from their little children who really learn much more from communicating with their parents.

We read together, play family games together. The only time children are allowed to be on ipad is for doing animation and coding learnt from school computing club. They are not allowed to play any “time waster” addictive games what so ever.

We are very mean on electronics. Will stay this way.

A popular question in our house is “do you want mummy to play with you or do you want an ‘electronic nanny?’ Fortunately the answer is always Mummy.

Now my nine year old started saying “thank you mummy” looking at his achievements in music, sports and reading.

An old school mum :-)

Hold tight there ☺️
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Southsider
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby Southsider » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:43 pm

Agree with the Parent Practice.  On balance I'm pro-screens. My nearly 6 year old and (shock horror!) 3.5 year old use iPads sometimes - but not a great deal and never anywhere that we can't monitor what they are doing. They're not allowed them in their rooms, they need to check with us if they are watching something new, and they get them for a limited time. Any problems with this and they don't get to use them, it's quite easy.

Am a firm believer that we need to teach them to use these things responsibly.  Anything I was banned from as a kid became a bit of an obsession for me -  still can't get enough of a pic n mix at the age of 40!

They use them for a bit of down time. They are educational too -  my eldest uses it for Mathletics and for her birthday wants a keyboard and mouse to go with it so she can use Microsoft Office ("like at school"!).  We also have a Nintendo Switch that gets used very occasionally for dancing games when it's miserable outside - it's a lot of fun. They still read books and have lots of time outdoors - it's not a 'one or the other' situation.

Of course, being 'plugged in' all holiday is too depressing for words, and I think having them in restaurants is massively anti-social but each to their own.  I'd personally draw the line at a phone - seems unnecessary and much harder to set boundaries, especially at 6.  Had always imagined secondary school would be the time for all that (fingers crossed?!).  Good luck with your decision. And remember you can always change your mind if you find whatever you decide on isn't working out.  

 
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Janet14
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby Janet14 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:35 am

I agree re the balance and banning just makes them addicted later on when they’re in control themselves. I know someone addicted to the TV as an adult and am sure it’s because they were so restricted as a child!
We have second hand iPads for our kids purely with educational games and often because their school and music teachers are always suggesting helpful apps which meant we eventually felt we had to move with the times. The only thing non educational we have is Minecraft and we limit the use to 20/30 mins depending on the age!
I also agree ipads are a life saver on long flights but also when we go abroad there are strictly no iPads or TV during the day when I insist they are outside enjoying activities!
We also have a WII but I figure that’s ok as it’s all sports/dancing etc and again it’s used within reason.
Re the phone i’ve Used the same arguments ‘you don’t have anyone you need to call so you don’t need a phone’ (and my child is 8)
The next gadget i’m toying with us a kindle to increase the reading!
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sloaney donkey
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby sloaney donkey » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:08 am

wenlinchineseschool wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:33 pm
Is it true that Bill Gates did not give his daughter a phone until she turned 13? Same principal applied by other well known techies.

My 9 year old came home asked me when he can have a phone. Because many 8 year and 9 year olds in his football camp already got theirs. I asked, to use it for what? They are not allowed to go home alone yet. You will get a phone from the day you are going to school and coming home all by yourself so mummy can reach you. Those kids have the phone, the smart phone purely for playing games on them. A lot of people asked us how did we get our boys love reading so much.

They read all the time. They read their books when we are in restaurants. People looked us always ask how did you do that? They are so good. We simply do not give them electronics.

They are very busy with their books, Lego, chess, music and sports. They have no time for those games. When my son asked me said his friends all play that game. Can I download it for him. I let him to read the reviews. He then doesn’t want it any more.

I am very saddened that nowadays parents are so easily using electronics to get peace from their little children who really learn much more from communicating with their parents.

We read together, play family games together. The only time children are allowed to be on ipad is for doing animation and coding learnt from school computing club. They are not allowed to play any “time waster” addictive games what so ever.

We are very mean on electronics. Will stay this way.

A popular question in our house is “do you want mummy to play with you or do you want an ‘electronic nanny?’ Fortunately the answer is always Mummy.

Now my nine year old started saying “thank you mummy” looking at his achievements in music, sports and reading.

An old school mum :-)

Hold tight there ☺️

Big LOL

Is it true that Wenlin school uses tv screens to teach kids?

In fact, much of the learning at Wenlin academy is on iPads linked to tv screens, so I hear from my neighbour ... she had to pull her son out partly because there was so little interaction.

Teachers just repeated words on screen.

Just like some institutions ... one rule for the leaders, another for everyone else.
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TFP
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby TFP » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:17 pm

iPads can be password controlled. You can also set an alarm [e.g. for 30 minutes] after which the screen will be become locked.

Something that, for whatever reason, worked well with my son was to tell him in advance that he'd get say 30 minutes, then hand it over to him with the alarm counting down, for some reason he always seemed to accept this & was never too upset when the alarm went off.
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mumoftwoboys
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Re: Screen time and young children

Postby mumoftwoboys » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:25 pm

Hi, this is a really interesting topic.

My kids have iPads which they are allowed at weekends only during term time. They are allowed 100% charge a day and only after home-work is done and their sporting activity in the morning. My kids know the rules and are pretty good at sticking to it during term time and home-work is usually completed on Fridays after school (which is a bonus). They are pretty busy during the week with school and activities that they don't ever ask for their iPads.

Holiday time is a little different as they will have access to their iPads during the day but mainly as a way of getting them out of the sun (if we are on holiday) and to have a bit of downtime from playing in the pool. Again, we limit usage to 100% charge a day (or as required). They often play games while watching a film on their iPads so the charge doesn't actually last that long.

My eldest is getting a phone next week as he is starting secondary school - not sure how long he will have it as he is an expert at leaving his belongings all over Wandsworth! I guess this will be a good test of responsibility for him. I'm also not sure what he will actually do with the phone but on one of the forms from his new school there was a space to fill in the child's phone number. My son will be on the school bus and travelling further out for school so my husband feels that he should have a phone in case he ever needs to contact us or vice versa.
 
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FirstClassCoders
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We want to teach children not to be consumers of technology but creators too

Postby FirstClassCoders » Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:14 pm

Hi Sandraf,

As a parent to an 8 year old and a 4 year old, I can empathise with your post and your worries about screen time and your son.

I don’t believe that avoidance of screens altogether is the right solution, Screen Time Limits are effective until a child or young person can regulate their own usage. Focusing on health behaviours within digital spaces is the way to go. Your son doesn’t seem to be there yet, You know what values you would like your children to learn, so I would say the way forward is to cultivate and reinforce those values with tech and his interactions with all devices.

I wanted to put forward another perspective, which essentially is to embrace tech in a positive way.

There has been an explosion in digital technology and globally as we move towards the 4th industrial revolution where a “range of new technologies are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries” Klaus Schwab of weforum

The use of screens and tech is only going to increase.

There is an impending skills gaps, in just 8 years, the UK alone is going to need about 50,000 highly skilled people in research and development in STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts and Maths related industries.

That's why in 2014 there was an overhaul of the National Curriculum to move away from teaching ICT - using applications such as Word or PowerPoint to Computing including Coding, learning how the applications work, so students can design and create their own applications.

Did you know that computing- Coding is on the National Curriculum from age 5?

Coding is the instructions given to a computer so that it understands. It's what makes it possible for any computer( games console), piece of software or app to work. 

Coding is revolutionising our lives.

I strongly encourage you to engage your son into creating tech through an extra-curricular enrichment activity/coding club such as First Class Coders.

First Class Coders was created as we believe it is vitally important that children and young people are prepared to succeed in tommorow's economy, through an understanding and appreciation of STREAM (science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts and maths).

We provide creative, unique, meaningful coding and digital literacy sessions for children typically age 3-8 years, to learn coding concepts and develop 21st century digital skills. We deliver weekly sessions in the community, enrichment classes in schools, nurseries, holiday workshops and via private tuition.

Reduce all opportunities for your son to only be a passive consumer of technology - eg playing recreational games on Nintendo Switch.

At First Class Coders we use a mixture of plugged and unplugged play to engage the kids in coding and the potential of tech. By doing this at an early age we aim to reduce the development of stereotypes and give kids the opportunity to see tech in a different way, potentially as a real career.

Even if tech, is not a career choice for them. Whilst kids are learning to Code they are also learning important academic and social skills such as:

Critical Thinking
Problem Solving
Collaboration
Communication
Confidence and
Persistence


Universally transferable skills, that are vital for the 21st Century irrespective of the field they go into. I hope I have been able to offer an alternative view regarding screen time and tech.

At First Class Coders we bring the tech! all the kids (and their grown ups) need is the imagination and enthusiasm to start on this rewarding journey.

Create Their Future with First Class Coders.

We look forward to seeing you #PlayCodeGrow with us very soon.😃

Marsha x
First Class Coder Ltd
[url=tel:07944 676 239]07944 676 239[/url]
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @1stClass_Coders

Or search #PlayCodeGrow to find us.
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We welcome all #teenytechies, creators & problem-solvers ages 3+

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