Alex using the iPad

Be Real: What’s Your Screen Time Policy?

Blog: Be Real
Published Date: 2018-11-09

It is likely that when you were growing up, your parents did not have to worry about the amount of time you spent on an iPad, tablet, cell phone, or other hand-held device. They may have had to put restrictions around television or video game time, but it doesn’t seem to me that there was just so much screen time available to us as kids.

Well, I might not be the same as everyone, though, since we lived on a 50-acre farm in south-central Pennsylvania … we barely got television. I recall we had about five channels and most of them were not something I would have been interested in as a child. We did not have video games, but I understand that some did.

Anyway, in my thinking, we are having more and more conversations today about screen time because our kids are wanting to be on them more and more.

In my house, my son seems to crave screen time. He has taken to trying to sneak around to get an iPad or cell phone. He knows he has designated screen time – he is allowed to use it after he is ready for school during the weekday mornings while he waits for us to finish getting ready to head out the door. On the weekends, we are a little more lax and he can use it more.

However, it is becoming a daily conversation with him (and also with our daughter, but to a lesser degree).

How do you limit screen time? What has worked for you?

I think that it is good for them to have some exposure to screens / iPads because that is what their generation is going to be working on in the future in all likelihood, however I also think screens can become addictive and I worry we are raising device addicts.

We recently started a chore chart where they can participate in household tasks to earn points and once they have 8 points they get some device time – this is specific to device time after school on the weekdays. If they don’t earn enough points, they don’t get to use the device after school that day.

It’s an idea, but I am not sure how well it works and think I will have to do more fine-tuning… like exactly how much time do they get once they get 8 points? I think I will need to cap it at 30 minutes because, as you likely know, weekday evenings are already so full of things to do that finding a free 30 minutes is difficult.

I am open to suggestions! Please share them on the Facebook post or email them to me: rmavity@beebehealthcare.org and I will discuss this topic in a future post.

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