Friday, September 6, 2013

Screen Time Chart {Controlling your child's screen time!}

My daughter Kylie started Pre-K this week.  It is hard to believe that in another year she will be in Kindergarten!
Like most families, it is hard to get back into a routine once school starts again.  Over the summer Kylie learned how to play computer games.  If she is anything like her dad (and me!) she will want to play on the computer all the time!  I also let her watch more TV than I should have over the summer.  Since we are back in school, I wanted to schedule certain times during the day that are only for "Screen Time". 
I've been trying to teach Kylie that watching TV and playing on the computer are privileges...not a right that she is entitled to.  She has been having a hard time understanding that concept.  I decided to create a "Screen Time" chart.  I only put "TV" and "Computer" time on it for now since those are the screens she likes the most.  I decided to allow her 30 minutes of TV and computer each in the morning (before lunch) and 30 minutes of each in the afternoon (after lunch)...2 hours total a day at the most.  The days Kylie goes to preschool she does not get any screen time in the morning, just in the afternoon after school.   
I put the chart on the refrigerator and Kylie marks an "X" in the box under the day of the week she watched TV or played on the computer.  There is one chart for the morning and one for the afternoon.  Once the chart has an "X" in all 4 boxes under that day of the week....screen time is over for that day.  Kylie is learning not to ask for more screen time...I will say NO!  I feel the visual has really helped her understand.  It was a struggle before when I asked her to turn off the TV...I didn't want to deal with any more tantrums over watching TV or playing computer games!
I also have to set a good example when I use the computer or watch TV.  If I am on the computer or my smart phone too much during the day I am not giving my full attention to my children.  Facebook and other social media sites can consume so much of our time.  I admit I struggle with putting my phone down and ignoring unimportant emails and notifications during the day with my children.  I want my children to know I have their full attention when they are talking to me...not a screen!!  Maybe I need to create my own "Screen Time" chart?!

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