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Fair Internet/Screen Time

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Fair Internet/Screen Time

Hi, I'm interested in what other families are doing out there. I have a 15 & 13 yr old (girls).


We had unlimited wi-fi for their phones/devices and placed time limits during school days of 0800-1500 where they could not access phones, then they had to be placed on the bench where they could check them but could not 'be on them' from 4pm until 7pm when they could have them for 2hrs until 9pm before they are plugged away from bedrooms. Things were a little more relaxed on week-ends. 


My 15 yr has been angry about this arrangement so I gave them unlimited time periods daily but changed their plans to using their data (which I pay for ) of 10gb per month. In the hope they learn to manage their time. The younger has been able to manage and the older has not. Do you think this plan is harsh?

I'm finding no matter what I do they are just on them as much as possible & for the 15 yr old nothing I do is enough. They had a residual credit of data approx 40GB each & the 15yr old went through, called her Dad who questioned why I was not giving them unlimited wi-fi... My partner is so irate about all usage & we cannot find a happy medium which is causing a lot of stress, anger & resentment, my 15yr old now tells me she doesn't want to live here & hates my partner. I want to throw it all out the window lol, but I'm conscious that they need the connection with their friends at the moment! Advise is greatly appreciated as I am really lost. 

Star contributor

Re: Fair Internet/Screen Time

Hey @DMQ71 


Thanks for bringing up this topic. I'm sure this issue is one that resonates with many parents. In fact, I recall my dad hiding the internet cords from my brother and we when we were younger. So you are not alone! 


I imagine it would be quite tricky in your scenario given that your (ex?) husband isn't on the same page as you re. internet usage, and seems to be agreeing with your 15 yr old.


I'm not too sure what 10gb per month looks like from the top of my head, but I don't think the 7-9pm rule is too strict. What do you generally encourage them to do between hours 4-7? Is there anything else that your 15 yr old really enjoys doing?


I thought I'd tag some parents to see if they have any input or advice for you.

@sidneysdad @JAKGR8  @jbrowne @Fleurry @Pammy62 @Orbit64 @compassion @Keddie @Zayray



Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: Fair Internet/Screen Time

Hi DMQ71, 

my son is only 10 and doesn't have a phone as yet. However his Ipad can easily chew up 10GB of data in a very short time if he is out of range of the unlimited wifi in the house. I have him week on week off and before covid19 after I picked him up from school he would be in my ute while I was looking at jobs talking to clients etc he would use my phone as a wifi hotspot and my data would disappear at an alarming rate , I only have 5GB on the phone.

For peace I would go back to unlimited data.If the younger one can cope and doesnt feel cheated you could leave her on the 10 GB if it saves you money.Perhaps you could use the increased data as a bargaining chip in regards to help around the house, taking on a few extra jobs/chores . For me the hardest thing is limiting my sons hours of usage now that he isn't at school, and play dates are out.I got him a play station and a microphone headset. Using this he can talk to any of his school friends who also have a playstation and text them as well as playing games on line with them . This is proving to be a real winner for him and me both. If he doesn't toe the line with his standard "pocket money" chores and generally helping out I just mention that he will lose some playstation time and goodness  me beds are made teeth are brushed laundry is in the laundry not the bedroom floor etc etc. Your eldest will really be wanting to stay in touch with friends, I don't know why she needs so much data but maybe its online games or movie streaming but her phone is her life in her pocket and a good bargaining chip in yours . How you get this to work with your new partner is altogether another issue.  If your daughter can be as polite to him as possible it may help you persuade him . PS my son really dislikes his mothers boyfriend, ,I tell him that if his mother reports back that he is being polite to him at her home that he can have a few bonus treats at my house. Mostly the feed back i am getting is that he is no longer rude even if not super friendly. I think over time he will forget to pick fights with the boyfriend who is a kind enough human. You can always ask your daughter to be polite and that she doesn't have to like him but needs to respect you and being civil to him is showing respect to you.   As to her saying she wants to live with her father, is that at all possible or feasible? Is It meant as a threat or a serious life choice ? How would her father respond to that idea . If he isn't willing or it isn't actually feasible you need to let her know that it can't happen. if you compromise on the data  she needs to compromise and be more cooperative at home regarding your partner. Best of luck 

Star contributor

Re: Fair Internet/Screen Time

Hi @DMQ71 and @sidneysdad 


I really sympathise with what you are both working through with setting limits around internet time and can imagine that the current restrictions around the pandemic must really amplify this challenge. It sounds like having an agreement or trade-off for internet has been effective in your household @sidneysdad Smiley Happy


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