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17 June 2015


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Christy P.

I like to read about how different families operate screen time. We tend towards the extreme of "no tv if it is daylight" and <20 minutes a day of devices with devices allowed only if all expectations are met. The kids spend a lot of time outside, unsupervised.


I feel constantly guilty about mine. I'm always wishing I could manage the "extreme" that you describe, because philosophically I'm totally down with that. It gets factorially difficult to restrict the more kids you have, that's my observation -- and it's particularly tough to have different standards for different-aged children.

During this past school year I set the 5yo up with educational apps on a Kindle Fire (excellent parental-controls are built in to it) for him to use from 2 pm till the end of the school day, or I never would have gotten a chance to sit down one-on-one with the 11- and 8-yos. That was a deliberate choice, so I felt better about that than I do about the slippery sliding into more and more screen time that sometimes happens.

This summer I'm cutting everyone OFF of screens at 2 (my kids are late sleepers, so it's not all that long really after you subtract lunch and lunch cleanup), leaving that block primarily to buy myself a long period of peace and quiet through morning and earlier afternoon because I have a ton of prep work to do.

Barbara C.

Last summer I bought a program called Computer Time, and it has really helped a lot. Each kid is set for a two hour max per day in 1 hour 30 minute periods for the older girls and one hour periods for the younger girls.

During the school year I had it set to kick them off at 8:30 am, our normal schoolwork start time.

Now I don't have to keep track of how long each person has been on or fight with them to get off ("just let me finish this level"). Everyone gets the same amount every day (with the exception of kids doing schoolwork who use the guest account that I set up).

It doesn't help with the iPods or television, but it has made a big difference. Then I just had to alternate who gets first option for the computer each day, because kids must always find something to argue about.

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I think I read something somewhere about this

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