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How do you handle electronic time?

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 10:08 PM
  • 10 Replies
We have never really had many electronics in out house up until recently. We now have satellite TV, the kids are now interested in the internet (pbskids.com, Disney.com etc), and we recently got an Xbox.
while I realise these can all be used for learning purposes, I am having issues with how much time to allow on each item without feeling like they are in front of a screen all day.
They have to finish school and chores before they are allowed to use them. I allow the oldest two half an hour on the computer a day. the Tv they are allowed to watch more of but I usually record certain educational shows to watch.
My main issue is the xbox. I'm not sure how much time to allow, mainly because it can take a while to get their games up and running.
They do still read books and play outside a good deal
how much time do you allows your kids to use electronics a day? Or how do you manage all the different options without them being screen bound for half the day?
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Replies (1-10):
OFIH
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM

My kids can have a DVD (we cancelled our dish) a day, after school. We do have a Wii (given to me years ago) that they are allowed to play once a week on Friday afternoon for 1/2 hour. They don't do it every Friday. But if they want to, they can at that time.

OFIH - Controller of chaos, laugher at children's antics, creator of messes, lover of God.
mommy4lyf
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 10:53 PM

We installed timers for the computer and his video game room.

usmom3
by BJ on Apr. 3, 2013 at 10:53 PM

 

I don't restrict it & I never have. You would think they would do nothing but use it, but that just isn't the case. Yes some days they use it more then others but on average the TV, computers, tablets, & game systems barely get used. Most days the TV is just background noise to them playing & they have gotten to where they ask for the TV to be turned off so that they can play.

tiredmomfor2
by **Lyndsay** on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I have half considered taking this approach. Only because they have always been very active and busy kids..and the TV/cumpoter/xbXbox are new. I figure it will wear off soon. Maybe I will just stop stressing and just let them be for a few weeks and see what happens.


Quoting usmom3:

 


I don't restrict it & I never have. You would think they would do nothing but use it, but that just isn't the case. Yes some days they use it more then others but on average the TV, computers, tablets, & game systems barely get used. Most days the TV is just background noise to them playing & they have gotten to where they ask for the TV to be turned off so that they can play.


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usmom3
by BJ on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:08 PM

 My kids have always had computers, TV & game systems in their lives, we have only had a tablet for 2 year & only recently got a second one. The tablets are what the younger 2 want the most & that is to watch tutorial videos on youtube so they can then go create their own version of what ever it was (they never do anything the exact way it is shown). You might need to give them longer then a few weeks to see the results of what I described because it is new & had been restricted.

Quoting tiredmomfor2:

I have half considered taking this approach. Only because they have always been very active and busy kids..and the TV/cumpoter/xbXbox are new. I figure it will wear off soon. Maybe I will just stop stressing and just let them be for a few weeks and see what happens.


Quoting usmom3:

 


I don't restrict it & I never have. You would think they would do nothing but use it, but that just isn't the case. Yes some days they use it more then others but on average the TV, computers, tablets, & game systems barely get used. Most days the TV is just background noise to them playing & they have gotten to where they ask for the TV to be turned off so that they can play.


 

tiredmomfor2
by **Lyndsay** on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Very true. :) I will remember that. Thanks.
The TV isn't that big of a deal. It is probably going to be the Xbox..my son could play it for hours. Over the weekend though, I told him he could play it all he wanted. He played for about an hour and then turned it off and went outside. :)


Quoting usmom3:

 My kids have always had computers, TV & game systems in their lives, we have only had a tablet for 2 year & only recently got a second one. The tablets are what the younger 2 want the most & that is to watch tutorial videos on youtube so they can then go create their own version of what ever it was (they never do anything the exact way it is shown). You might need to give them longer then a few weeks to see the results of what I described because it is new & had been restricted.


Quoting tiredmomfor2:

I have half considered taking this approach. Only because they have always been very active and busy kids..and the TV/cumpoter/xbXbox are new. I figure it will wear off soon. Maybe I will just stop stressing and just let them be for a few weeks and see what happens.



Quoting usmom3:


 



I don't restrict it & I never have. You would think they would do nothing but use it, but that just isn't the case. Yes some days they use it more then others but on average the TV, computers, tablets, & game systems barely get used. Most days the TV is just background noise to them playing & they have gotten to where they ask for the TV to be turned off so that they can play.



 


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usmom3
by BJ on Apr. 3, 2013 at 11:29 PM

 Thats good, you might not have a problem with it not being restricted then!

Quoting tiredmomfor2:

Very true. :) I will remember that. Thanks.
The TV isn't that big of a deal. It is probably going to be the Xbox..my son could play it for hours. Over the weekend though, I told him he could play it all he wanted. He played for about an hour and then turned it off and went outside. :)


Quoting usmom3:

 My kids have always had computers, TV & game systems in their lives, we have only had a tablet for 2 year & only recently got a second one. The tablets are what the younger 2 want the most & that is to watch tutorial videos on youtube so they can then go create their own version of what ever it was (they never do anything the exact way it is shown). You might need to give them longer then a few weeks to see the results of what I described because it is new & had been restricted.


Quoting tiredmomfor2:

I have half considered taking this approach. Only because they have always been very active and busy kids..and the TV/cumpoter/xbXbox are new. I figure it will wear off soon. Maybe I will just stop stressing and just let them be for a few weeks and see what happens.



Quoting usmom3:


 



I don't restrict it & I never have. You would think they would do nothing but use it, but that just isn't the case. Yes some days they use it more then others but on average the TV, computers, tablets, & game systems barely get used. Most days the TV is just background noise to them playing & they have gotten to where they ask for the TV to be turned off so that they can play.



 


 

armygirl16
by Bronze Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 3:19 AM
I don't really restrict it. My daughter is 4 1/2 and has a leappad and nook tablet. I think her nook has been dead for a couple days now and she hasn't asked for it ( itjust needs to be charged) and I also need to charge the leappad batteries. A lot of times she will ask to watch a movie but 20 minutes into it she will be off playing and we will ask her to turn the TV off. I have some educational sites she can play on. Right now she does math and reading online (I'm doing a free trial right now of a site but it used to be on time4learning).
She does watch shows on her nook a lot on some days but most days she chooses to play, pretend she is a dog, play with blocks...etc
Plus I can convince her to play instead pretty easily :)
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jen2150
by Silver Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 7:09 AM

I don't set time limits really.  I talk to them about having a variety of interests.  I encourage them to spend time doing other things as well.  They haven't touched the wii in days.  It really depends on what is going on.  My son loves playing lego digital designer on the computer.  It is the computer version of how he loves to play when he is not the computer.  Most of the things they love to do in life is mimicked on the computer.  It is just a different medium.  If electronics ever overshadowed their other activities then I would have a talk about how variety is important.  I do set the timer but that is mostly for their benefit so they can keep track of how much time they spend.  I think for every family and child it is different.  I would talk to your kids and come to an arrangement that you both think is fair.   Electronics is something I always encouraged with my children.  Electronics can be an awesome tool.   My son is 10 and has just started learning computer science.  He even writes a blog as well.  His favorite way to write.  Pretty much the only way he enjoys.  As long as electronics don't interfere with school, exercise, reading, and doing other things he enjoys I wouldn't worry.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 7:31 AM

 I actually assign work for them on our electronics, when they need an extra boost in certain areas.  I'll have them play at least 15 minutes on a certain Leapster game or a certain app on their tablets.  When it is cold/snowy/rainy, they'll play exercise games on the Wii fit for a half hour apiece 3 days/week.  They usually play their games for a while or watch a movie then wander away to play Leggos or ask to go outside.  I would say my kids play with electronics less than many public school kids that aren't home all day. 

Now in the summer.... my rule is, if the sun is out so are we.  We go outside at breakfast and usually come in only to use the bathroom and make the meals.  I've never had a complaint from the boys about it, but I've braced myself for it because I always expect a fight.  We often drop our subscriptions to abcmouse.com, etc, because we just don't use them enough in the summer months.

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