This is the year we get a handle on screen time in our home.
Like a lot of parents these days the iPad or a cell phone has become a tool when occupying our kids in any given situation. Personally we’re pretty tech savvy in general. (We’re millennials after all.) We’ve got multiple gaming systems & TVs, a VR headset, iPads, Kindles and the latest phones. When you mix all that together then look at how our family interacts (or doesn’t) it’s obvious that there is a serious screen time addiction across the board in the family, and we don’t want that to be the case anymore.
Beginning New Year’s Day we rearranged the gaming systems. Placing them in more visible rooms of the home (Hello parent supervision tactics.) and only left a basic DVD player in the kids play area. We also set stricter time limits on those gaming devices (2 hrs per day) along with a daily time frame, all a creen time must be used between 9am and 7pm. After 7pm all screen time ends unless there are special circumstances at play. This applies to adults too, not just the kids. We still haven’t perfected the system but we’re trying and that’s the most important part. However this is just the beginning, I’d like to narrow it down even more but I’m trying hard not to do this to an extreme because if we did I think we’d fail miserably.
The point of this isn’t to make life harder we’re really trying to make life simpler and more imaginative. Instead of screen time we’re opening up opportunities for playing board games, reading, exploring new hobbies and just talking to each other. This has been easier for some more than others but it’s slowly starting to sink in to everyone that this isn’t going away, which I feel is the biggest hurdle. In this short time frame we’ve been going to the library regularly, had more family dinners together, enjoyed time by the fire and have read lots of books. Its been a really nice change of pace that I look forward to enjoying more and more as the year goes on.
At the end of the day I know this approach doesn’t work for everyone and it’s something even we’re working on but I’m really glad we’re doing it. It was truly time for a change. Has anyone else out there changed their screen time habits this year or recently? How’s it going? I’d love to hear about it.