Friday, June 11, 2010

Regulating Computer Time

This is a timely reprint from my old blog. I'm feeling the need to get my family on some kind of summer schedule before we completely derail!

I'm feeling just a bit smug right now. I think I've come up with a solution for the constant computer nagging from my kids. My two youngest are constantly asking if they can get on Webkinz. It nearly drives me nuts! Am I the only one out there who feels that way? 

I'm a bit sorry that we opened this can of worms, but computers are a fact of life at this point, and obviously, I enjoy mine! But little ones really don't have a clue when enough is enough. They would indulge all day long if left on their own and I really want to see them running and playing outside, not zoned out in front of a screen. If I remember correctly, research has determined that too much computer time can be detrimental to their development. But I am not going to spend my own computer time researching this information when my mothering instinct tells me it isn't so hot for them. That's good enough for me!

So, I've come up with a system for our family and perhaps you can use it in your own home or tweek it to make it work for you. I'm sure someone has a better plan, which I am open to hearing, but for now, we will be using this system to limit their time and keep the nagging to a minimum.

1. On Mondays, each child will receive a certain number of tickets for each week (for example 5 tickets - you can give more or less, it's up to you; ours will change once school starts again).Tickets are worth 10 or 20 minutes of game time with one ticket for an extended time (each type is a different color).

2. Tickets may be cashed in for computer time each day.

3. One ticket may be used per day. There are no roll-over minutes! Any tickets not used by the end of the week are forfeited. 

4. One ticket will be forfeited each day that chores are not done by the designated time. No reminders will be issued! (Chores have been clearly outlined on their chore charts).

Hmmm. I think this might work. I'm already feeling the relief from having to decide if they should be on the computer or not each day. In fact, it's got me thinking about other ideas for helping them manage their time this summer. But that's for another post.

                                                         Photo Credit:  Björn Söderqvist


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