This meme has been floating around my groups and I have to say that I totally disagree with it. First, I am the worst model of this. Email comes first in the morning with my cup of tea. Every person has to find a routine that works for them.
Second, it sounds so dictatorial. Real relationship parenting starts with a conversation of concerns. I wouldn’t have a list like this for my husband as it is too disrespectful and neither would I have it for my children.
Third, the list defeats the intent. I can see a kid getting through this list in a half hour and then spending all day on electronics. When the parent’s protest, the kids says, “I followed the rules!” All the things on the list should be done without an expectation of reward. Kids naturally like to help. It will come with age and maturity, not bribery.
Fourth, children naturally develop self-control as they age. They naturally decide when and how to get dressed, shower, tidy their room, help out with dishes, and clean a room.
Fifth, as an unschooler who has never put limits on screen time when my kids were older than 6 years (there are lots of research that show children under six are at risk for language development with increased use of electronics), Canadian Pediatric Society Announces a New Position Statement on Screen Time for Young Children I see no problem with hours and hours on screens with older children. The kids learn so much from the internet and playing video games. I do encourage the kid’s self-discipline to build in some exercise time, in their day. They are already very creative on screens with making memes, mods and stuff. Summer learning loss never happens when kids are allowed access to the internet – in fact, they have the time to learn what they truly want to learn, not what the government dictates what they want to learn. Here is a good article on why kids should be on screens all summer! https://www.ucalgarymag.ca/issue/spring-summer-2017/article/unlocking-skills-power-brain-games
University of Calgary Magazine Article on Why Gaming is Good for the Brain
Top Ten Tips to Limit Your Child’s Screen Time without Scream Time!
By Judy Arnall
Eight year old Kyle received no less than nine new computer and video games for the holidays and his parents are wondering how to keep him under the health professionals’ recommended screen time limit of one and a half hours a day without Kyle throwing a fit.
It can be difficult to impose rules on time spent in front of the TV, video machine, DVD and handheld players, but it’s not impossible. Here are the top ten ways to help your child manage screen time and not destroy your valuable parenting relationship.
- Redirect to other stimulation. Have board games set up, sports equipment ready to go, or recipe ingredients laid out ready for a baking session.
- Be involved and knowledgeable of where they travel on the Internet and whom they play games with. Spend time building the parent-child relationship by taking an interest in their on-line gaming and chatting pursuits. It’s easier to direct them to your activities after you connect for a while in their playground.
- Don’t punish – problem solve! It’s not a battle of you against them. It’s you and your child against the problem. You are both on the same team! Work the problem out together to everyone’s satisfaction and enjoy the new rules and increased connection.
- Model a balanced life that includes seven keys to health and happiness. Invite your child toparticipate with you in your pursuit of the seven keys of a balanced life. Many children willget active if the parents or the whole family is involved:
7 Keys to a Balanced Life
Social time – time spent with friends
Physical activity time – exercise, sports, active play
Mental exercise time – educational activities, games, puzzles, homework, reading
Spiritual time – volunteering, meditating, solitude, unstructured play, church
Family time – doing projects
Financial time – job
Hobby Time – leisure pursuits and projects
- Negotiate! Make good use of Family Conferences, “parent concern” Consulting, and negotiation sessions to discuss time limits that meet everyone’s needs.
- Issue time tokens. Each hour of physical activity will garner a child an hour of screen time.
- Get it in writing. Draw up a daily schedule and discuss where screen time fits in with the day’s already scheduled activities. Children can sign into time slots.
- Contract. Draw up a weekly or monthly agreement that has limits decided by both the parent and child together. Display in a prominent place. Point to it when the complaining occurs. Discuss when the contract is up for renewal.
- Change the environment. Sometimes, it’s easier to move around the setting than to change the other person. Seriously consider whether adding more equipment and hardware will add to the screen time and decide to not bring it into the house. Move the computer and gaming systems into the main family area. Having one unit for the children to share means more fighting over screen time, but can also mean more time spent in learning the valuable skill of negotiating and less individual screen time.
- (Bonus!) Teach your child the fine art of Haggling! “Hey, Eric, Wow, you made another level! Good for you! Now, I need you to do the dishes. What time would you like to get at them?” Insist they give you a time and haggle when they give you an outrageous one. Choice from your child makes it easier for them to abide by it.
Remember that you have the most power to negotiate rules and limits before the power button goes on! Go for it!
Judy Arnall is a professional international award-winning Parenting Speaker, and Trainer, Mom of five children, and author of the best-selling, “Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring, responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery” She specializes in “Parenting the Digital Generation” and is available for keynotes or breakouts on many net generation topics http://www.professionalparenting.ca/ (403) 714-6766 firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright permission granted for “reproduction without permission” of this article in whole or part, if the above credit is included in its entirety.
Posted by Judy Arnall, Author of “Discipline Without Distress: 135 tools for raising caring responsible children without time-out, spanking, punishment or bribery” at 12:08 PM