In a world driven by technology, the new first world dilemma seems to be how much screen time (ie. TV, ipads, video games etc) is appropriate for kids. I struggle with this as of course I understand the fun and relaxation that comes from using these devices (I’m a closet Candy Crush addict myself!).
We came up with what we think is a workable rule in our house. During the week, the kids are allowed to watch TV in the morning until 7am, as long as they are already dressed for school. We then put on the news for half an hour to see what is happening in the world.
There is no television or screen time in the afternoons. This time is for homework without distraction and good old-fashioned play time (swimming, playing with the dog, backyard basketball etc). Mind you, most weekday afternoons are crammed with kid’s extra curricular activities so there isn’t a lot of free time outside of homework.
We record the evening news and watch that after the kids go to bed, so dinnertime and bedtime are distraction free. Before we implemented this rule, I was always nagging the kids to do things to be met with a zombified silence or a mumbled ‘Okay, after this show finishes, it hasn’t got long!’
Friday afternoons, weekends and holidays are time for relaxation and the kids are free to sloth about watching TV or playing video games (although we do encourage them to do some physical fun activities as well).
I know some people argue that by limiting their access to screen time during the week makes them more addicted on the weekends, but I feel that at least the weekdays are productive.
What works in your home?
(Photo courtesy of Ambro, freedigitalphotos.net)