Kids and screentime

Cold Turkey

I am seriously thinking of taking my children’s tablets away from them when the school year starts.

Not totally away from them. But completely denying access Monday through Friday when they are in school.

The girls did not do as well as they could have done in school last year, and their engagement dropped horrendously after Christmas. (Worst Christmas gifts ever. EVER.) Even after making new rules, the constant enforcement was exhausting and frustrating. And summer’s completely thrown any concept of limits right out the window.

I have to talk to Dan about this, and I will.

Here are some things I am considering:

1. They don’t get their tablets at all on school days.
2. They get their tablets from 7-7:30 on weeknights to veg or check on texts from friends.
3. They get their tablets to do some forms of homework when necessary, and that time is closely supervised by me.
4. Limits need to extend to other screens, but won’t be as total. Homework done by 5 p.m.? Chores complete? Minecraft or a show is fine for a bit.

This is going to make me very unpopular around here. So that’ll be fun.

They can have the tablets on the days they don’t have school, but again, I need limits to be set and enforced (and not just by me!).

And if they do well in school? As well as I think they can do (As and Bs; not losing privileges)? If homework is done daily without the complaints, extra curriculum obligations are fully participated in, instruments are practiced, and bedtimes are respected? We will renegotiate terms over the Christmas break.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Cold Turkey

  1. i know families that do this–but more extreme (to make the rules very, very easy). no tablets during the week. ever. any homework that requires a computer is done on the family computer–and strictly supervised. tablets are provided friday night, and even on the weekends, only when chores,etc., are done. it seems to work well for them, and there is no wheedling or attempts to eek out extra time during the week, as the rule is very, very clear.

    good luck, i’d love to hear how this goes–i think it’s something that many families struggle with. we have no given our kids (7, 5 and 1) tablets, and after reading these types of posts, it makes me want to keep them away from them even longer 🙂

  2. Screen limits are so hard (well, not according to some people. But to me they are). My kids do have tablets on weekdays, but they come home and do their homework first thing…thankfully my husband pretty much enforces that one. I think your half hour per weekday rule would be good to try first. If it causes problems, you can always take them away during the week altogether.
    We do have a half hour per weekday Xbox rule. It’s argued, until we point out that it could be zero hours. So, similar situation. And I’m sure similar whining 🙂

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