I recently came across an article that really made sense to me, but do you think I can remember where I saw it? I was certain it was on Pinterest, but now I’m wondering if it was on Facebook….even a google search isn’t helping me this time.
Anyways, the post was about the amount of time the author allowed her kids to have with technology. And she found a way to limit their time by giving them as much as they wanted.
I can see why you might think so, but in truth I think her method is really quite genius.
She simply created a list of tasks. Tasks that must be completed prior to any time on iPods, iPads, TV, Computer, etc. But her list is what I loved the most. Since I can’t find the original, I’ll do my best from memory. It was something like this:
You may have as much technology time as you want, after you have completed the following:
1. at least 20 minutes of reading
2. at least 45 minutes doing something crafty
3. Bedroom must be cleaned
4. There was one other one, but I don’t remember it because it was one I didn’t think was relevant to us
Here’s the thing about it…the theory (in my opinion) behind it is that it gets kids busy doing other things…in some ways, the things they should be doing more of anyways…and not only passes the time, it also has a way of limiting their unlimited availability of technological devices. And also puts the accountability on themselves….the rules and list are clear.
So today was the first day. Brooklyn would happily be on her iPod for 10+ hours a day if I let her….though we all pay for it at some point because she becomes an absolute zombie. It completely affects her energy and mood…not to mention wasting away at her motivation. I don’t have a problem with technology (hello, I’m on a computer right now), nor do I have one when it comes to kids…but I am aware of the impact it can have on each of my kids. I know their limits and because they don’t always know them, it’s my job to help teach and manage that. This list seemed like the perfect fit to aide in that.
Our list, which I reserve the right to add to at any given time is as follows:
1. Read (or something educational) for at least 30 minutes
2. Something crafty for at least 45 minutes (LOVE this one)
3. Rooms and Playroom have to be cleaned
Simple list, but I really think that’s key. Short and simple…to the point…and easy to follow.
If you follow me on Instagram you know that the morning started like this:
Jonah painted while Brooklyn drew (Hermoine Granger in pony form). They had a blast while the Captain (Brent) cringed at the glitter. He HATES glitter because it gets everywhere. lol
I found an old wood picture frame meant for just this, and Jonah was in heaven. Here is his finished project – looks pretty awesome if you ask me!
The day just continued on, and they didn’t even end up going on iPads until 7pm! It was the toy room that was the hold up – by the end of the day Jonah was pretty bagged and the task of cleaning half the room was almost too much for him. It ended up being a good time to teach Brooklyn the value of teamwork – that while, yes, the original task involved splitting the room 50/50, nobody was getting iPads until the room was clean. So, if she wanted that down time, she could make the choice to go help clean the rest, which is eventually what she did.
Here is the list of the things they did throughout the day:
*Painting and Drawing
*Reading – Jonah and I did a workbook
*Chess (sort of lol)
*Rode their bikes in the rain
*We made corn bread
*Made up a game with a bouncy ball
*Showered (easier to get them to do it when it didn’t involve pulling them away from a video or game!)
*I read them a chapter in the book we are reading together (39 Clues by Rick Riordan – we are almost done book 1)
I don’t expect every day to run as smoothly as today did, but having the rules clear sure made it easier. And it was amazing for me to see them just go from one thing to the next. Sometimes I worry they’ve forgotten how to do that…and hearing them giggle together and simply have fun – well that was pure magic. As school and other activities start up again, I know their time will be limited during the week. But I plan on sticking to this. Like I mentioned, It wasn’t until 7pm that they got onto the iPads. But because it’s summer holidays and we were all enjoying the downtime, they still got 2 1/2 hours on them. If they want more time than that in the future, they will learn to manage their day/time differently.
I’d say a fabulous day all around!