Homepage Forums TECA DISCUSSIONS Screen Time

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  • Maratea Cantarella
    Keymaster
    Post count: 18

    Screen time is an issue that I am currently struggling with. My son is 14. Until he was 12 he had fairly intense behavior problems and his screen time was highly regulated. But in the past few years he has really matured and his challenging behaviors are largely a thing of the past.

    So my husband and I gave ourselves a bit of a parenting break and allowed him to have as much screen time as he wanted so we could recover from the trauma of the preceding 10 years and invest some time in our relationships with each other and our daughter. But now we are realizing that we need to regulate his screen time and get him engaged in other activities. He does not initialize socialization. He does not read for pleasure. He does not know how to entertain himself and he does not tolerate boredom well. And I feel like learning to live with and alleviate boredom is an important experience. And I want him to enjoy reading and have meaningful relationships.

    We have decided to slowly scale back screen time and we have  engaged him in this process. We sat down with him and came up with a list of times when he would agree to be off screens, like after 10 PM or before school, and each couple of weeks he would pick an additional time when he would be off screens. Implementation has been bumpy but we are remaining determined to do this.

    Now we need some ideas about things we can help him do INSTEAD of screens. He sometimes reverts back to toys he played with when younger, like cars or lego, but he needs more age appropriate activities.

    How have you gotten your kids off screens and what activities do you have them doing? What do they like to do on their own? Please share your experiences with the group!

  • lmodell@aol.com
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    I have the same issue! The impulsivity, easily dsitracted and easily bored factors have gone through the roof. The other problem is it is an easy tool to use to keep my son occupied when I have to get some work out.I know – bad mom. But, it is what it is. This past week, after discussing the whole situation with my son (10), he siggested that he pick three days not to use his iPod. Yaayy!! Alternatives for us seem to be: Conversation, Rubiks Cube and learning new algorithms, Wood and metal puzzle, baking, reading articles about online games (listen – I will take it), magic tricks and science experiments. It has only been a week, and my kitchen is a mess, but I do like the days he is off his iPod and electronic games.

  • buchalter@mac.com
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    Same issue here My 10 year old is only truly happy when he’s on the computer watching YouTube videos of his latest area of interest. To Mara’s point, once I loosened up the restrictions with electronics he has stopped playing with his legos and isn’t reading books. To add to it, his younger sibling insists on the same relaxed standards for her! I need to set some limits but want to do so in a way that doesn’t feel now like punishment for him. This would be a wonderful support group topic! Thanks for bringing this up.

  • Kim
    Participant
    Post count: 3

    I can relate to all of you!! My son is 16 and lives online. We do take away screens, including his phone, at 10 on school nights. I get taking a break though Mara, I get so tired of the fight to keep him off line. One thing he’s interested in is gaming conventions and I think we might take him this year. I know it’s more computer stuff, but what do you all think about this kind of thing?

    One thing that he’s been willing to do lately though is baking! Not great for my diet, but he’s really enjoying it!! I wonder sometimes who this kiddo would be if he were born in the 70’s before electronics??

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