In a previous post I mentioned media diet, and that it is time to start one with our children. But before I dive into the tips and tricks on that, let me start by describing why we need a diet, what’s the problem, or better MY PROBLEM.
I have three children that I love dearly, my youngest is 6 years old and my oldest is 12. My three beautiful children love playing. My youngest in ‘dress ups’ & ‘family’, my middle one by hanging out with her friends, and for my oldest, sport is his thing. However on an Electronic Day – no one cares about anything, all they want to do is to maximize their two hours in-front of their screens. It could be a gorgeous day outside, but they are locked in their own electronics world.
Let me back up – what is an “Electronic Day”? It is a rule we use for my family to distinguish between the days my kids are allowed to use their electronic devices, and the days there are not.
In my household we try and keep it simple and allow them on their electronic devices on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays. Leaving Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays electronics free!
Easy, Clear, Simple.
What if they need to do their homework on a non electronics day? I allow the computer for the duration of homework only, and then again we are “Hamish”.
Ever since we started with that and it is part of their routine, it’s amazing to see how they are not seeking electronics on the electronic free days. Why? Because it’s a simple rule to follow, and they know they will get their time tomorrow.
As we all know, kids need boundaries wrapped in simple rules, and this is no different.
With that simple rule it is amazing to see them spending their time the way I expect them to: playing with friends, riding their bikes, blowing bubbles, playing “family”, digging for worms, and so much more…
Going back to the media diet, “Electronic days” is your first step. As with food, we need to start small. This diet is no different. My suggestion to you is to try and apply Electronic days in your house. Pick days that are good for you and see how it goes.
Now that I work with Screen we incorporated our rules to Screen, and Screen makes sure we follow them. We even signed an agreement for that. But that’s for next time.
In the meantime, be well & experience life!