There are many reasons why we should limit our children's screen time. I think our main reason in our home is family time. If we are all engrossed in looking at a monitor, we won't have time to talk with one another, play games, and just enjoy each other's company.
I also believe that we should restrict device usage because it can keep our children from exploring other things. They need to use their imaginations. Their bodies need to move and play. They can get so absorbed in watching TV or playing video games that they sit in one spot for hours and hours. That is not healthy.
Do you have any behavior problems in your home? Do you know that the games they play or not moving around can cause some issues in our kiddos? Do you know it can cause them not to sleep well at night? I had no idea that using these devices too much could cause so many difficulties for kids. Now we have implemented limits so we can resolve some problems we were having and it has worked for us.
I think there is balance in everything, so device usage is just another issue we need to fine tune until we feel comfortable with our choices for our family. We should never push our opinions onto others. We need to realize every family has different needs and they should make these choices for themselves.
In our household, our children earn screen time. They have to complete tasks in order to get "tickets" to play on their gadgets. It was not a popular idea at first, but they have fun with it now. Mom and dad just had to resolve not to back down. We do have special allowances for family movie nights or family game nights where we need to use the TV or video games. Our new van also has a DVD player that they enjoy so we don't have restrictions on it.
I wanted to share our plan of attack to reduce the usage of devices in our home and give you an idea of how you can do it too if you feel this would be right for your clan. We have our list of ways to earn tech tickets. These are not difficult jobs, just ways to reinforce good behavior and manners. They know if they do what they are suppose to do, it will be easy to acquire their tickets. They can earn up to 3 1/2 hours daily. The tickets have to be used the day they are earned. You may be thinking that is a lot of time, but being homeschoolers, 3 1/2 hours is only a small part of their day at home. They usually spend an hour watching TV and then they have video games or computer time to use up the rest of their time. Our daughter also has a tablet that she uses to play videos for her DIY projects so she loves having time on it.
We have fun tickets we print and laminate so we can reuse them daily.
You can also take away tickets throughout the day if your child behaves improperly. They need to realize that screen time is a privilege not a right. We never want to allow our children to have an attitude of entitlement. That is why this system works well for us in many ways.
I hope this has been helpful for you. I would also like to share a PDF copy of our system for you to use in your homes if you think it would be a good fit for your family. To save and print, just click on the link below the image 😊