Limiting screen time

There are so many children from young ages who either have their own mobile device or have access to it.

Mobile phones and tablets have been the go to option to keep the little ones busy while, for example, mom is shopping, or queuing at the bank, or cooking, or just want to enjoy a little me-time in the bath. And there is nothing wrong with allowing kids to play games on phones, tablets and pc’s.

It can however become a major problem if they spend hours on hours playing, and during holidays and extended holidays, the chances of them spending more and more time onscreen, increases tremendously.  

So what can we as parents do?

You don’t really want to take away the device, but you don’t want them glued to the screen as well.

The solution? SCREEN BUCKS!!

Allocate a number of screen bucks to chores or projects, the kids need to do these in order to earn screen bucks. And in turn build up their minutes of screen time. For example 1 Screen Buck equals 15 minutes of screen time, so you can assign emptying the dishwasher 1 Screen buck, Cleaning your room 2 Screen Bucks, Sweeping the floor 1 Screen Buck. Also make the screen bucks something you physically give to them, and they have to hand them back when cashing in. Use ice-cream sticks, or design or print out “tickets”. See our gallery below for some ideas we sourced from pinterest and other creative moms around the globe.

Our big job as a parent is to then make sure we enforce this and how do we do this? We need to give our kids alternatives to choose from. Young and old revert to familiar easy things to entertain us when we are bored. And for kids the easiest thing to grab are their phones, because in most cases they really don’t know what else there is to do. 

Keep it age related. For younger kids, check out our screen time checklist. You can decide beforehand what time you want your kids to spend on screen, and when they completed the checklist, they can enjoy some screen time.

And don’t just give them chores;  schedule some reading time, writing time, think of a project you can start doing TOGETHER AS A FAMILY around the house. Maybe the wooden Wendy-house needs a new coat of varnish. Or the paint you bought a couple of months ago to paint the window frames are still sealed in the garage. Bring back game-night, with board-games and charades and cards.

And GIVE the kids their screen time when they’ve earned it.

Check our gallery below for some screen bucks ideas:

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