Reducing Screen Time
I don’t know about you, but my kids get so grumpy and start arguing after being on a screen. They get so focused into what they are doing they don’t even know what’s going on around them. My middle son is the worst. He starts arguing with me and takes about 20 minutes to adjust to the “real world”. My kids go to great schools and they all have computers or iPads provided by the school. My older son can even bring his home. They are on screens at school, so I try to reduce time at home.
Here are a few screen rules that have helped my family.
1. No playing on phones. Yes, I do have some games on my phone in case of an emergency, like long waits at a doctors office and things like that. I tell them my phone is mine. I use to check my email, get directions, and text. I don’t like the battery low in case of an emergency.
2. No video games in the morning before school. This can screw up the entire day! Even if they get off in time, they are still in “game zone” and they can’t get moving. They also argue about someone knocking down their tower in Minecraft.
3. No ebooks. I try not to buy them books on their Kindle for required reading. We have tons of books and really don’t need them on their pad. I have downloaded some books when we were out of town and needed something to read, but I try to plan ahead and have books from the library.
4. No pads Monday through Friday morning. This was the hardest rule for my kids to adjust to. I took each Kindle and put it away. I don’t leave them out to tempt them. I make sure to get them and I hide them, so they can’t find them. We don’t have time to sit around and play games after school. They do snack, homework, practices, and outside play time.
5. No TV while eating. If we are sitting at the kitchen table the TV is off. Period.
6. No movies in the car unless we are driving over an hour. Before I implemented this rule my kids were always begging to watch a show when we were just driving to baseball practice or the grocery store. I decided they could sit there and we could have a conversation and listen to music. They should be able to occupy themselves for an hour.
7. No screens when friends are over. My daughter always wanted to watch a show when she had friends over. She can watch a show anytime. She has a friend over to play and I make them play. This is getting a little harder for my son that is 10, but we still have this rule. I make them play outside.
Good luck and I’d love to know some of your tricks to reduce screen time.
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