Stopping the addiction before it starts

When summer happens things change- even for homeschoolers. Friends are out and about all day, school work is little to none, vacations happen and for us strep throat also happened. It went from one kid to another then to me. So for 2-3 weeks the household had a sick inhabitant.

All of these factors led to lots of screen time. Before I knew it they were a wreck without their TV or iPad’s (one old iPad and another kids amazon tablet which we love!).

I tried limiting it and making a little poster of what has to be done every day before they could use them. I gave a nice little speech and the poster is really bright…. but it was still a daily frustration. Although the poster helps because I can use direct them to it when they are repeatedly asking me for screen time. I also have a morning routine up to give them some reminders about the morning’s and what needs to be done each morning. This again saves me from a lot of verbal repetition.

I must say that I am all about electronic. There are moments when the TV or their iPads SAVE MY LIFE! And if used right there are so many resources to be found online. It’s also great family time to watch a movie or TV together. But I didn’t like that every day they kept asking “when can we use our iPads or watch TV?” over and over again.

I decided that it being a daily thing was the problem. I’m sure in my common sense section of my brain I already knew this but like I said we had slipped into a free for all schedule as of late. Watching a movie together or one TV show in the afternoon every day I’m ok with as long as we’ve done other things. But sitting by themselves with a screen in their little hands that takes them away to their own little secluded world and leads to what I truly believe is an addiction for the devise I wasn’t ok with.

So we now have them 2-3 days a week and not back to back days. I’m thinking of letting them just be an occasional weekend thing. We’ll see. Within a few days they are already gravitating towards books and toys and asking less if at all on some days for their screens.

I also used to maybe half the time bring them when we went out to eat (we rarely go out to eat) or somewhere that I knew they needed to be still for. Now I’ve decided to not do that at all and see what happens.

We’ve had this experience at the Verizon store, the DMV (that was a hot mess), a restaurant and several other places. While there were moments of whining and chaos overall it’s great. They didn’t fall over and no body died. There were no major disasters. The kids just ADJUSTED. Kids do that very well. Please don’t think I’m sitting around judging any parent whose kid is out with a device in hand. I don’t know what their life is like or what kind of day their having. Everyone is different and has a different situation.

Mine have never really had devices with them all that much. I’ve made a point for them not to have them at family gathering’s and such. I’d like to see them growing up socializing with others no matter the age. I didn’t want to set a precedent that whenever they attended a family gathering they go sit in a chair with someone’s phone.

So in conclusion we love our device time and TV time but know it should be limited. And out and about without them my kids talk to people, have a chance to experience being bored (very important), read and get creative with their environment. While I know there will be days where I put them in a corner with their device and whatever gummies or candies I can find so I can keep my sanity- moderation is the key.

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