Yep, I’m that mean mom, but here’s why. I keep these kids busy all day swimming, playing, and doing all the things. The moment they have free time (and I mean THE MOMENT), they default straight to their iPads. I needed a plan to limit their screen time.
It’s summer at the moment and that means the kids are enjoying some good old unstructured time away from school. They’re free from homework and rigid schedules and desk time. Now they get to wake up late, play games when they want, and go to sleep late. Ah, summer!
That’s all fine and good when they’re busy exploring in the backyard or playing with their friends. It’s when they get bored that the problem begins. Like zombies, they gravitate over to the TV or tablets and zone out, mesmerized by mindless nonsense.
I have to say that the Captain Underpants cartoon may be the most annoying show they’ve ever watched. So of course they love it. They could sit for hours watching Captain Underpants making potty jokes in his abrasive voice. Good grief, it’s been a long summer.
To limit that screen time, I started a rule in our house: They must complete one hour of something educational before they get the iPad or TV. They get to choose the activities and it doesn’t have to be any one thing for the whole hour.
For example, they can read a book, or write a letter, or do a practice page. They can write their own story, or make a comic book, or even make a diorama to go along with a book. They can other activities too, as long as they’re approved by me.
Do they love it? Not always.
But this new system has opened up new opportunities for us. They now beg for me to read chapter books to them. They create comic books to share with their friends. They build forts and read with each other with flashlights.
I assure you that this not happening before our screen time policy.
My reading policy has cut down on the mindless screen time. They used to plop right onto the couch and zone out. Now they automatically start planning what activities they’ll choose for their hour and start right in. When my older son wakes up early, he’ll usually already be curled up with a book and the timer going before I come downstairs.
I made my screen time policy into an editable (and FREE) printable so I could share it with you. Click below to get it. Enjoy!
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Keep teaching. Keep learning.
~Christy from Exceptional Thinkers