Listen, you have probably heard it a million times by now. EXCESS SCREEN TIME IS BAD FOR YOUR KIDS. Right?!?! We get it. Thankfully, that’s not what I’m here for. I am of the firm belief that you do what works best for you. However, for those of us that would like to put some parameters around how often our kids are playing with some electronic device or another, this is for you. Here are some steps to help you limit the amount of time your children spend in front of a gadget.
- Screen time is a privilege. Outside of assigned homework on the laptop or tablet, kids do not need to be on their electronic devices/video games. There should be a limit when and where they can use their devices as well as what they are allowed to do on them. To help limit this time, set a daily/weekly time allowance that will set some firm boundaries around how often your kids have access.
- Make them earn it. In our home, our children do not have electronic devices other than video games and they are not allowed to play them on school days (other than Friday night). We also have a chore list. Their reward? It depends on how many days they do their assigned tasks. If they do four days of chores, they get one day on the video games (time allowance from step one is still in effect). If they do five days of chores, they get rewarded two days and six days earns them three days. If they choose to do their chores less than four days in a week, you guessed it – no video games. This has really helped my husband and I avoid any arguments with our kids because the access to those little addictive machines is determined by their actions. When kids begin to feel a sense of control and responsibility, their behavior changes and there will be a lot less of a struggle when it’s time for consequences.
- Make it visible. A lot of kids (and adults) are visual learners. Allowing them to see and track their progress will not only help them see their accomplishments, it will also help them plan and strategize to get them to their reward. Bonus: you will avoid any arguments that they earned their reward because they will be able to see it for themselves. If you would like a FREE copy to customize for yourself, CLICK HERE.