Screen Time

Feb 1 2011

I try to pay attention to the amount of time my kids spend in front of a screen… you know, watching TV, playing video games, staring at a computer.

I have friends who have put some serious thought into this topic.  They’ve attended classes and workshops.  They’ve invested in imaginative toys.  They’ve read books on the psychological implications of technological shifts in our culture.

I have friends with family systems for managing screen time.  They have tokens worth a specific amount of time.  When each kid’s weekly token allotment is spent, they’re done with screens until the new week begins.  Their kids learn time management, moderation and responsibility.

I have friends with clear rules.  Their kids have a 1/2 hour each day to watch TV or play video games.  Computers are for homework and learning activities.

I have a system.

I have a clear rule.

Here it is:  I occasionally and randomly tell my kids to turn everything off and go play outside.

You mock in your head, but it works, and I can prove it.

This week, Aden wrote a story in school about a merry-go-round.

See how well my system is working?

I don’t mean to brag, but she DID write a story about playing outside, which I’m pretty sure is because I’m so consistently great about making her spend time there.

Aden’s story was titled:

The MerWii Go Round

Crap.