Media time. It was a topic that came up while several of us were visiting at the Colorado Springs Meet & Greet. I loved the discussion as it helped me figure out what would work well for our kids this summer!
My boys are just like many kids: if given the freedom, they would get on the computer to play games – and never get off…ever. (I’ve never been able to figure out how they don’t at least need to get up and pee??! That’s an amazing distraction, the computer.)
We have to set guidelines for our kids – with the main goal of helping our kids set restrictions for themselves when it comes to media time. After all, it’s one thing for Mom to holler “time’s up!” when someone is on the computer at home, but once they get off on their own, what will they do when Mom isn’t there to help manage their time? Oh, so much training we must do as a parent… :)
Media Time for the Kids
Our kids get plenty of “screen time” during the school year as they do their math, spanish, and a variety of writing or typing projects on the computer each day. In addition, our boys love to create music and movies (Cake Boys, anyone?), so they use computers often as they write scripts, edit footage, and come up with songs on the special software we got them for this purpose. We love how the computer gives us so many options and so many educational opportunities! But after all of that, what about Netflix, computer games, and all the other fun to be had on the computer?
This is subject to change, but for now, each of our boys is given 45 minutes each day for “computer time” to be used however they like. Obviously, we are very aware of what they are playing or watching on the computer at all times and the computers are out in the open so that we can keep the boys safe.
As for this summer, we’ve told the boys, “No screen time (not even for creating music or movies) until 3:00 in the afternoon.” That way, they get up and start getting creative, play something active, jump on the trampoline, read, do chores, get together with friends – all sorts of activities! without getting sucked into the computer or TV screen at the beginning of the day. Often, 3:00 rolls around and they are too busy to notice.
Once their time is up, it is up, and it’s back to other activities. So far, this plan is working well for us.
I know each family has different ideas to make this work, and I’d love to hear them. I think it is so helpful to get ideas from all of you for what works for your kids and family’s situation. What guidelines have you set for your kids when it comes to media? Do you have limits on computer/TV time? What works for you!?