How My Screen Time Rules are Creating a More Peaceful Home PLUS Free Printable
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that given half a chance my kids would gladly spend hour upon hour staring at the TV or tablet. Don’t get me wrong, they are active kids, but they can quickly lose all track of time when they are watching their favourite TV shows, or playing on the Xbox One S. That’s why, recently, I have instituted a few ground rules regarding their screen-time habits. As a general rule, weekday evenings usually consist of the children watching a TV show for half an hour whilst I make dinner, followed by mealtime, reading, sports training, homework, showers and half an hour of TV before bed. There simply isn’t time for them to play on their iPads or on the Xbox. But, of course on weekends it’s an entirely different story, and with the school holidays creeping ever closer, it’s important for me to lay out some ground rules on how much time they can spend with a screen on a daily basis.
Now, if your kids are anything like my kids, they’ll do practically anything to be able to get online and watch their favourite Youtube video’s, play Minecraft on the Xbox or watch a movie on Netflix. Yes, and believe it or not, (as I have recently learned since introducing the Screen-Time Rules) that anything also includes keeping their bedrooms clean and helping out around the house. It’s not quite complaint-free chores I’ll admit, but it’s early days and its already a huge improvement on how things ran previously. Before using the screen time rules weekends usually started off with my kids staring at their screen of choice from the moment they woke up, often in separate rooms of the house and then failing to listen or do anything they were asked because ‘hello, zombie-mode!’
Now we get all of the jobs out of the way nice and early in the day so that we can spend the rest of the day enjoying some quality time together and then chilling in the evening. I’m more relaxed because the house is tidy and I’m not having to chase kids around and nag them to put their things away, and they are motivated to look for things to do to help and NOT bicker with one another about the stupidest things all the time!
So now you know the whys…take a look at the how…
You can download the Screen Time Rules for yourself here.
My children each have a printout of the rules blue-tacked to their bedroom door so that they can see the list and work through it on the weekend if they expect to have screen time that day. I don’t have to follow them around asking them to do things. Now they come and find me to see what a good job they have done of tidying their room, or to find out if they can feed the pets or unload the dishwasher. It’s had a really incredible positive effect on our family life (and my stress levels!)
Disclosure: My family received an Xbox One S Console for the purpose of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions here are my own, you can read on to find out what a surprisingly positive impact the console has had on our family life with a few ground rules for its use.
In fact, as I mentioned last week having the Xbox One S console has completely changed the way my children interact with one another whilst gaming, and family date night is now a thing! More about that in a couple of weeks! Suffice it to say it isn’t just a games console – it’s an entertainment system the whole family will love! Instead of looking at separate TV screens in separate rooms, screen time has become much more of a bonding experience; we are watching TV shows or movies together via Netflix on the Xbox One S console and hubby and I are also getting in on the gaming action. I’d be crazy not to use my children’s love of the Xbox One as leverage to get chores done, right? Ha!
So, what are your waiting for? Download the printable (or create your own) and see how putting some simple screen time rules into place can be a change for the better. Don’t just think of it as a way to limit your child’s screen time, think of it as a powerful tool in your parenting arsenal for getting things done! It’s working a treat in my house!
I’d love to hear how having screen time rules in your household impacts your family life.