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!
I am struggling with this right now, so thank you for sharing nun going to try to implement these tips.
We are struggling a little since most of their homeschooling is done with apps. I can’t exactly teach Algebra and Chemistry so I rely on Khan Academy. But I do require my kids to have outside time and time to play music and be artistic.
This is such a tough subject because all home schooling is done through the screen now, I am definitely going to put these tips to good use!
We have made sunday our screen free day for the past several years. Sometimes it’s great, other times I hate it. I’m tired I just want to plop them down in front of a tv so I don’t have to entertain. It’s been very hard for me to limit the screens during the quarantine when all I want to do honestly is binge some shows. But I do limit them. And I know it’s for the best. It’s just so hard sometimes.
I think these are great rules involving screen time. We always get a little more than most people because we homeschool and a portion of the kids school is online and cd rom.
Oh, I WISH we could take away their electronics right now! But their teachers are “teaching” them virtually through devices! For the two weeks when it was just me and the girls, I had them do learning apps in the AM and then SCREEN-FREE learning fun in afternoon – sigh – those seem like the good old days, now…
I agree, I am being more lenient with screentime during this difficult time too!
I am trying to figure out when they are using the devices(for work and truly for those breaks) and when they are whiling away their time.. all their classes and work is online which makes it difficult.. but yes, i am trying to get them to read physical books and step outside for a bit (but rain now for the next couple of days) and simply talk
This has been a HUGE struggle in my house, especially since my husband and I are both trying to work from home 😐.
Turning to electronics are virtual babysitters has been hard to get away from- and you are right, a detox from it does help overall attitudes!
It’s all about finding balance.
This has been a huge struggle in my house.
This is all super advice for young children and even older children. It is not an easy time at all now and I am sure we all need our screen time for entertainment and for distraction time too!