Did you happen to see my Mommy Truth last week?
Yep, I am one of those Moms. Well to be honest, we are one of those families.
My husband has always been very tech friendly.
We have the big screen T.V.s, the PS3, Mac computers, iPhones, Apple TV, a Blu Ray player, a Nintendo DS, and too many Gameboy handhelds to count. So yeah, my kids do watch shows and movies on Direct TV/Netflix/Hulu Plus and in our van. They do play video games on their gaming systems. And they do run apps on my phone (sometimes better than I do.)
Judge me now.
But then realize that we do have a system for managing our “screen time.” Here’s how it works in our family:
Screen Time in a Tech-Friendly Family
Each morning the kids wake up and watch cartoons while we all get ready for our day. They just do. In the evenings, we usually watch a show or movie together. And yeah, sometimes during the day, when I need a few quiet minutes to myself, I’ll let them scour through the kids section on Netflix. They may also watch a movie in the van when we take road trips longer than 45 minutes. (There are only so many bird nests to count, cloud shapes to discover, and deer to be spotted before they get bored.)
The kiddos definitely enjoy playing on our iPhones or their handhelds. We usually do 15 minute increments. And yeah, I am that Mom who will keep them entertained at the grocery store by giving them my phone. It’s an escape from the chaos that taking all three kids can bring. Saturday is Game Day. They get to have a combined hour of video games on the PS3 or their DS; this a great bonding tool for them and their dad.
Each child gets up to 30 supervised minutes a day on the laptop if they choose to use it. Most of the time is spent on ABC Mouse.com. (My fave!) In their eyes, they’re playing games. But I know what a phenomenal educational tool that site is. Sometimes, we just open up PhotoBooth and belly laugh while taking silly pictures of ourselves swimming with fish or having chipmunk faces. And they LOVE to take videos of themselves and then watch it. It’s entertaining indeed.
Are there days when I get lazy and let them veg out and watch entirely too much Phineus and Ferb? Sure.But do they run around and play outside every day? Yes!
Do they read books and thumb through their Highlights mags daily? Yep! Do they have free time to explore, play dress-up, build block towers, and use their imagination each day? Of course! Do they create art through coloring/music/or dance? You betcha! (Everyday is a dance party at our house!) Do they have quiet time to reflect on the day and just take in their surroundings? They sure do! Do we review flashcards, play board games, set-up dinosaur traps, and get messy with play dough? Yeah! Do they help around the house and complete their daily chores? Umm… definitely! Do we give them an opportunity to be bored? Yes, we do!
So they have their screen time. But, they also have a life. And we don’t let it affect that. We believe they can live a healthy lifestyle even if they watch t.v. and play video games.
Does your family enjoy the entertainment of a screen? What are some of the ways you regulate it in your house?