During the school year, we follow the “No Screen Time Rule” Monday through Thursday, then the kids get an hour each of the weekend days (counting Friday). As first Spring Break arrived, and now with the approach of summer vacation, I wanted a more visual system for them to follow, rather than me being the time police.
My favorite GI Joe and I decided that two hours per day was reasonable, including iPads, DS, Wii, or watching TV. Family movie night, going to a movie as a family, and e-reading would be exceptions. And there’s no rollover to the next day. The hubs says I’m more strict than cell phone companies. I disagree.
But how to get them to take responsibility for their time? Well, they love our magnetic chore chart, so I thought something similar would be great. It took all of five minutes to punch out some circles and attach magnets. I had a metal tile in my craft stash, but you can buy them at craft stores or even the hardware store. I ran a piece of washi tape down the center to divide it, and was finished.
We have a plate rack in the kitchen that holds our family calendars and the cafeteria menu (during the school year). I simply replaced the menu with the screen time board.
It seemed to work well during spring break, so now we’ll see how the summer goes. Of course, they were shocked at first to see how quickly their tokens moved from top to bottom, but I think it made them a lot more cognizant of their choices about how to spend their time. Yeah, you’re right…talk to me in September, when we’ve survived a cross-country move and being homeless for six weeks!