My girls have always been quite good at not spending too much time on their tablets and given the chance would much rather be outside playing than sitting indoors watching YouTube.
However like most of us they start to hibernate during the winter months. When they get back from school it is either too wet, cold or dark to go out and play with their friends so they choose to stay indoors and play on their tablets.
As it got more into winter the time they spent on their tablets became more and more to the point that they would get on them straight from school and stay on them until bedtime. Even when the batteries were running out they would sit on the floor and use them while on charge.
Their only break would be at dinner time!!
We always sit together as a family at dinner and normally talk about their day but when all my youngest could talk about was what had happened on her Youtube videos and couldn’t talk about anything else, that was when I realised enough was enough.
I did look into putting restrictions on their tablets so they can only go on it for a certain time limit a day but all the apps I could find charged and seeing as I would have to pay for them 3 times I decided against using an app. Instead I came up with the idea that they weren’t allowed to use their tablets or watch TV after we had dinner. While not completely banning them I hoped it would work and give them a good balance.
When I first told the girls they took it really well and didn’t moan but if I am honest I thought by the end of the week they would have broken me and I would have given in and let them have their tablets again. I was very surprised by how it went.
Two week into the electronic restriction
I have been so surprised by how my girls have taken to having their time limited on their tablets not one of them has moaned or even begged me to change my mind they have just accepted it and got on.
On the first few days they decided to play Monopoly until after dinner when they could get back on their tablets. Since then they have been playing chess (they have been teaching me how to play it and beating me), drawing, colouring, lego, baking and Lia even decided to raid through the recycling pile to build a house for the elf’s on the shelves to live in.
We also acquired a huge cardboard box for a few days that took up my living room but they had great fun playing and decorating it.
There are days now that dinner has come and gone and they have still been busy making and playing that they have forgotten all about their tablets.
I am determined to keep this up as long as possible. The atmosphere is so much better, we are all talking more and spending more time together and the conversation at dinner time is a lot better.
While technology is a big part of all our lives now I want my children to use and be familiar with it but I also want to find a balance so they can enjoy other aspects of life.
Please do share your comments and any advice/tips that you have on finding a balance with your children using technology.