AHHHHH, I hate SCREENS!! The biggest issue in our household has to do with SCREEN time! It is absolutely RIDICULOUS!!! My husband is ready to take all the phones and computers to the gun range and shoot them! Whether it is a phone, or computer game it is causing a lot of JOY CRUSHING!!
Our 11 year old daughter just got a phone. She wanted one all year last year, in 5th grade and we pushed it off. She really didn’t need one. Now that she is in 6th grade and pretty much EVERYONE has one, we saw a bit of social isolation starting to happen. Her friends communicate with each other via phone, of course, and she started to feel left out. So we FINALLY gave in.
YEP, WE DID! WHAT WERE WE THINKING? Well, we have specific agreements that come with the phone. Very specific times of when it is used and when it has to be put into the “NO PHONE ZONE basket. We also are not allowing any social media apps on the phone as of now.
Our daughter has handled it pretty well. The first few days she didn’t want to let go of her phone and now I think we are definitely in a better place with usage. She has screen time limits throughout the week and is very responsible of these limits.
Once the phone came, it started a HURRICANE with our 8 year old son. “Everyone has phones in our family EXCEPT me!”
TRUE! And it will make us more aware of when we use them and appropriate times to use them.
I have become even BETTER at keeping my phone in our NO PHONE ZONE BASKET once I get home from work until after the kids are in bed. I even SILENCE it sometimes so I don’t hear anything. It is really nice having that uninterrupted time with FAMILY without hearing “DINGS”.
So we are SORT of getting control of the phones. The computer games, on the other hand, are causing MASSIVE POWER STRUGGLES with our son. About 9 months ago we agreed to let him play a computer game and we had strict time frames. It was 3 days a week for 20 minutes and that was it! Once this started, I started to see this very curious, creative, kid who has an AMAZING imagination start to complain that there was NOTHING TO DO. After this continually happened we pulled the game for a bit and things went back to normal.
In the summers we all come up with an agreeable amount of screen time per week. This summer the kids came up with 5 ½ hours of screen time a week. They had to keep track of their screen time and add it up each day to see how much they had left. We allowed the video game to come back into our son’s schedule as he found a really cool Battleship game he would play. It focuses on strategy AND he seeked out a book on Pearl Harbor to read so it definitely had an educated component to it.
As summer wound down and school started, our weekly time went down an hour and our son started to get addicted to this other game. That is all he would want to do. It created so much FRUSTRATION and JOY CRUSHING EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!
I HONESTLY COULDN’T STAND IT ANYMORE!! I’M OVER THIS ENTIRE VIDEO GAME CRAP.
So, we pulled the game again and we went back to 3 days a week for a certain amount of time. That includes any kind of video game. After living with this for a week, it has been much nicer and calmer knowing which days a video game is being played and for how long. Now I don’t have the question 5 times a day, “Can I play a game?” That always tipped me the wrong way and then I would lose all my JOY. My fault of course, but I truly couldn’t stand it anymore!
The biggest lesson I learned with this whole screen time thing is as parents, we have the right to pull out, stop something, and redo it in a different way. If it isn’t working for you or your family, then definitely change it! We have the ability and the right to do that. By doing this, it has made our household much more calm when it comes to these darn video games.
Living in DAILY JOY!
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