School just let out and so begins the fight at our house over electronics. My kids are almost 2, 12, 12, 14, and 16. I know that this is not only an issue with older kids today because there are several little ones as young as one who are on ipads and other electronic devices. The only child in my house that I have an issue with this is my twelve year old son, Will. When he was young, he spent hours playing with his Thomas the Train set and train table. He then graduated to legos and spent many years obsessed with them. Fast forward to today and he is a gamer. He loves Mindcraft. William would spend 24 hours a day playing on the computer if I let him.
What do the experts say?
According to Scienticfic America (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pediatricians-no-more-than-2-hour-screen-time-kids/) Peditricians reccomend no more than two hours of screen time a day and toddlers under two should have no hours of screen time (ipads and other electronic devices). “The new policy statement was released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today (Oct. 28) in the journal Pediatrics.”
“The average 8-year-old spends eight hours a day using various forms of media, and teenagers often surpass 11 hours of media consumption daily, according to the authors of the AAP statement. More than three quarters of teenagers have cell phones, and teens ages 13 to 17 send an average of 3,364 texts per month.
Several studies have linked high media consumption with poor health outcomes. For example, children with TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be obese.”
What we are doing at our house?
Back to my problem…my son’s obsession with gaming
The rule in our house is that each kid gets one hour of day of gaming/electronic/ computer time. If Will wants to game, he has to do it downstairs in the kitchen or living room area where I can see him. The hour time rule constantly gets abused because my son always insisted “I have only been on the computer for fifteen minutes!!!! ….. after hours of being on it
We established a new rule in the house. If the kids want to implement their hour of computer time, they must write on a log the time they started and show me before they start. That way one hour doesn’t turn into three hours. The other day, I saw that Wil was on the computer but he had not let me know he started his time and he didn’t write it down. He had been on it for a while. I took away his computer privileges for a few days because it is not hard….Tell me when you are going on the computer and then show me the log where you recorded your start time.
My question for you is this: What do you do in your household to monitor electronic device time?