Today I thought I would share with you guys the guidelines I have setup for device usage in my household. With the ever constant prevalence of technology (specifically phones and tablets) I have devised a plan to manage the use of these in my home:
FOR THE KIDS
The kids get home between 4-5, they are allowed on their devices at 7:30. My son goes to bed at 8:30, my daughter 9:30.
On Fridays they can use their devices as soon as they get home from school.
They can use their devices all day Saturday.
On Sunday they can use them at 7:30pm.
They can use them until noon and then again at 8pm, every day.
On long trips they can take them to use in the car
I only use my phone to post art on Facebook/Instagram and then check the comments occasionally. Other than that my phone sits on the table and I don’t mess with it. My phone is a tool I use when I need to. I control it, it does not control me. I think sometimes we get in a mindset that we have to answer every text, tweet and message immediately; not so.
So far our family has been pretty good about this. My son is good about taking breaks and going to play but my daughter can really get sucked in and once she gets in that zone she can play on the tablet for hours and hours.
I don’t mind my kids playing on the devices, especially when they are having fun or creating something. The device, apps and internet connection can be great sources of entertainment as well as powerful tools to create and learn.
I don’t like the games where there is not much point, or all you do is shop or upgrade or walk around. I do have to admit I was never into YouTube very much until my son started watching videos and telling me all about what he was learning. His summary always ends with “did you know that?”; so cute. After that I got more into YouTube and have learned quite a bit from it.
So there it is, my plan for our family. It’s a balancing act, and everyone has to discover what works best for them. I limit the device use because I want my kids to also take time to read books, play outside and inside, and just relax without constant stimulation. I really enjoy when my kids show me something new they’ve learned on YouTube or some new game they’ve discovered; but I equally enjoy it when I hear them laughing outside or playing LEGOs in their room. And I firmly believe that it’s completely unfair and ridiculous to limit their device time and not mine. Adults need just as much time away from the screen; to engage their own sense of wonder and exploration. So there it is. Have fun!
For more info and insight into parenting in the digital age check out DIGITAL DADS website and blog. They have a ton of information available!