How To Find Screen Time Balance

Screen time balanceThe first major screen time test happened when one of the kids woke up not feeling so great. Really, a summer cold? Unable to go to the pool or really leave the house allowed us to get creative at home. Since it was the sniffles, we went to the library to begin their summer reading program.

Throughout the day, they were able to find things to do with each other.  I only heard  the phrase “I’m bored” once or twice.  An article I recently read stated that we are more creative in the morning. By allowing our children to have screen time in the a.m., it is hindering their imagination and harder to get them off. They need the calm of the morning to play, come up with games, do summer homework they asked for, without getting sucked into the pull of their devices.

Every time we would go for their yearly check ups, I would chuckled under my breath. Their pediatrician would say that the recommended suggestion for screen time is one hour a day. We easily surpass that and I couldn’t even imagine telling him our real number. It’s embarrassing and I didn’t want to get a lecture.

Setting The Screen Time Example

By doing this challenge, I have been able to put my phone aside more in order to set a good example for them. As a result, I deal with fighting, spills, messes and whining in a much calmer method. This lets me be present  instead of being distracted by whatever is happening on my phone.

It is important for them to have some downtime so I am able to have mine to write. When the kids are playing all day and then I give them a break to get on their electronics, they are more likely to let mom recharge, too. It is like the forbidden fruit except I was handing it over, freely. They get to soak it all in for a bit while I also get my alone time.

There are times during the day to fit in meditation (here’s a puzzle) and yoga (they eventually joined me). After  enjoying a relaxing shavasana, they asked if they could do yoga, too. I found a Minecraft themed yoga for them from Cosmic Kids Yoga and they loved it. Now they want to do it again every day.

There was no remorse about having the TV on because we were exercising with Yoga and did Just Dance together. The whole point of limiting screens is to prevent the summer laziness. And while we technically have something on, we are moving our bodies and getting sweating.

Finding A Balance For Everyone

We are beginning to find a balance without having a strict schedule set in place. My 6 year old, on the other hand, is all about a schedule and knowing exactly when he will be allowed to have his device. He likes to have more than one thing running at a time, so he needs parameters. Setting up boundaries for him has allowed him to slow down and stop being a computer zombie.

He is interested in gaming and coding so when he watches videos, it’s like he is doing research. He recently got a coding book and has been asking me to walk through it step by step with him to create a game. With the end of school craziness, I did not have enough patience to sit with him for an extended period of time. Plus, he would get sidetracked by the other videos he had on and games he was playing.

Yesterday, I suggested we do it and his eyes lit up. Not only was he allowed to use the computer but he was actually going to create something from nothing. He could put his two loves together and it gave us the opportunity for some one on one time. Coding might not be my thing but it is his and all I want is spend time with him in his element.

It seems as if the kids are getting up at the crack of dawn all ready to hit the ground running. Projects are starting earlier meaning I have to be on my creative game when sometimes I am still in sleep mode. I’m pretty sure a room darkening curtain purchase is in our near future.

 

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