Electronics have really become prevalent in the past decade, and I can relate to the struggle of limiting screen time. However, with the Coronavirus pandemic, we have modified our rules. This doesn’t necessarily mean more time, and I don’t use screen time as a babysitter, but we have allowed some extra time on devices, especially when it comes to communicating.
The first exception: FaceTime and other communication
Being quarantined and exercising social distancing means that the kids aren’t getting to hang out with friends or family. So when there is an opportunity to FaceTime or chat online, I usually let them do that over other activities. For example, chores can wait while they chat with their friend over FaceTime.
No electronics until chores / homework / etc
Normally, the kids would get home from school and have to do chores, homework, and other things. This goes for screen time too. They can still have a few minutes in the morning if they want to check on something like their messages, but otherwise they are expected to get school work and chores etc. done first.
No electronics if it is nice out
If the weather is beautiful, no electronics. Spring weather has slowly been making its way to us, so on nicer days, I make sure we get outside after lunch to get a good dose of sunshine and fresh air. It is perfect too if the kids want to read a book or eat lunch in the sun.
We still allow the kids to use their devices, but within limits. I still want them to have fun and play games, but it is limited to certain amounts. You can use parental control apps, timers, whatever you need to put electronic use to a stop. If you want to limit screen time to an hour, for example, make sure that you follow up and either take the device or lock it. On your iPhone, you can go right into Settings -> Screen Time and pick from a multitude of limits.
Detox from electronics
Not every day needs to involve electronics, and in the past, there were days I completely took away electronics for the day.
I will admit this has not happened yet since we are home because the kids talk to their friends on FaceTime.
However, I have taken away the electronics for most of the day so that the kids can focus on school work and other things, instead of being distracted by their electronics. I find that this is when the kids hang out together more, they use toys and crafts that normally gather dust.. it generally has great effects!