Saturday, May 20, 2017

Daily Media Dice

My kids LOVE their screen time. TV, Kindles, Xbox...they love it all.

It's hard in the summer to restrict it completely. With temperatures climbing up into the hundreds for days on end, most kids don't play outside much. (And really...can you blame them?!) Neither of my middle schoolers have developed friendships where they call friends and get together with anyone outside of school. They either hang out with kids in our immediate neighborhood or they are alone.

I tend to allow more media than I should.

There are all sorts of ways that people restrict screen time. I know some people make their kids do chores first. I've done that plenty. Others make their kids earn media by reading. These incentives have the potential to work well.

But if I'm honest, I totally suck at managing systems like that.

I could give you all my excuses. I'll spare you.

I hate being the bad guy, too. Because I really despise the Xbox most of the time. I need days where there is NO media. But I don't like being the mom that says they don't get any media that day.

I'm just being honest.

So we're going to try something new this summer. Each morning one of the boys will roll the dice for the day. Whatever number comes up will correspond with the type and amount of media they will get for that day. I've said that I'm going to play along, too.

The boys helped come up with the system. I'm completely surprised that they're OK with "none" being an option 25% of the time. I know they're hoping they roll an "any media - two hours" every day.

Just knowing that there will be some days with zero media makes it easier for me to handle stuff. And I'm not being the bad guy when they roll a "none". It's all on the dice. (This is a good tactic when you've got kids that love to negotiate and bargain all the time.)

This is what they came up with:

2. Kindle only - one hour
3. Kindle only - two hours
5. one hour each - any media
7. two hours each - any media
8. movie only
10. one hour each - any media
11. two hours each - any media
12. NONE
  • Movie only =  must agree on movie to be watched together
  • Any media = for one hour….you may play separately for one hour each or you may play together for a total of two hours. Kindles will be surrendered or blocked after your media time is consumed.
  • Any media = for two hours…the maximum amount of time any one child shall be on the Xbox is two hours. Time may be shared – but shared time counts toward your total. Kindles will be surrendered or blocked after your media time is consumed.
I'm hoping I've got all bases covered. And I just might allow a re-roll after lunch after they do chores and/or read. I'm not telling them that yet, though. I'm sure this system will evolve over the summer.

The last day of school is June 2. I love having my kids home! I hope this system cuts down on the begging for screen time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck - please let us know how it goes.

This is something we all struggle with!!!