So I could insert here a statistic about too much screen time being bad for your child (or any screen time.) Alternatively I could even put something in about children needing to use technology from an early age to prepare them “for jobs that don’t exist yet.” But well the morals and ethics of screen time is a whole other blog for another day! Basically I don’t like too much of it but accept it’s part of my children’s life and I will moderate it in the best way I can.
1. Television in the mornings?! We were silly really, we allowed television in the morning from a young age. On the other hand we were sensible as it gave us a quieter start to the mornings particularly when we were up with our newborn. If I was to meet myself a few years ago I probably would have not started it as a habit but we are stuck with it!
2. Defer to the rules of television. My husband and I agreed the times that television could happen and we told our children. Therefore in the mornings my son knows what time the television goes off and knows he won’t get anymore until 5pm. If he asks in the day, I ask him if it’s 5pm and therefore I am not saying no. Some would say cowardly, others may like that attitude of not taking responsibility?! Sometimes if he has been good/we are all whacked/ the rugby is on we put it on a little earlier.
3. Guided access – If you haven’t heard of this and have an iPad or iPhone you need to YouTube or Google it now! It changed my life! So for each app we choose to let our son use we can choose a time limit and where he can actually click or swipe. This has saved soo many arguments and has totally controlled iPad time. Ok I will Google it for you and here is a link! Guided access
4. Tidy up time- We have an open plan downstairs, it means that when we have put the children to bed and want to chill out we have to sit in the same space where the children have been playing, snacking and generally making a mess. We used to tidy it all ourselves and then I realised how ridiculous this was when there were two other family members who could help. We discovered This playlist of CBeebies Tee and Mo which gives the perfect amount of time to tidy up to and isn’t too stimulating! I quite like the songs too if I am honest.
5. Reward- If the children help tidy up we allow them to choose a song from YouTube after to watch. There is an American set of children’s songs called Cocomelon and they are quite annoying but fairly educational. My son chooses either one of these or the Thomas theme at the moment.
So screens are not for everyone and good for those parents who are able to get through each day without them. However, over the last few years we have refined our use of them and I hope that we use them with the right balance for our children. How does everyone else use or moderate screen use? What about as the children get older-any tips?