Screen Time

I try to pay attention to the amount of time my kids spend in front of a screen… you know, watching TV, playing video games, staring at a computer.

I have friends who have put some serious thought into this topic.  They’ve attended classes and workshops.  They’ve invested in imaginative toys.  They’ve read books on the psychological implications of technological shifts in our culture.

I have friends with family systems for managing screen time.  They have tokens worth a specific amount of time.  When each kid’s weekly token allotment is spent, they’re done with screens until the new week begins.  Their kids learn time management, moderation and responsibility.

I have friends with clear rules.  Their kids have a 1/2 hour each day to watch TV or play video games.  Computers are for homework and learning activities.

I have a system.

I have a clear rule.

Here it is:  I occasionally and randomly tell my kids to turn everything off and go play outside.

You mock in your head, but it works, and I can prove it.

This week, Aden wrote a story in school about a merry-go-round.

See how well my system is working?

I don’t mean to brag, but she DID write a story about playing outside, which I’m pretty sure is because I’m so consistently great about making her spend time there.

Aden’s story was titled:

The MerWii Go Round

Crap.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
16 comments
  1. […] As a matter of fact, Aden doesn’t even know her new friend’s name. She’s just calling the kid New Best Friend. As in, “HEY! You. New Best Friend. Want a popsicle?” And, “HEY! You. New Best Friend. Want to play Wii?” […]

  2. […] guys, Aden had a choice to make. To play the Wii, which she adores, and throw her brother under the bus by tattling to me about his dishwasher deception, or to […]

  3. I nearly spit out my breakfast when I read this – you just know exactly what to say!! I would love to re-post this on my site – with your credit of course and link to your blog. I know so many moms that just need to take a break and realize they do not have to be perfect – I love how authentic you are – thank you!

    1. Aw, Susan! I’d love to be re-posted. And I’m incredibly grateful for the kind words! You caught me… that’s my secret goal, to throw my family’s reality out there so people can feel better about their own imperfections. The truth is a powerful tool. Am I being too obvious? 😉 I love that you’re supporting moms in giving themselves a break. We women are just too hard on ourselves (and on each other for that matter)… I love it when women support women. Yay, you!

      Beth

  4. Ha, our system is similar here too. Wii has become my friend, though. Now when they ask if they can play wii, I require that all the toys be picked up and it is done without whining and wailing! makes me so happy. 🙂

    1. Great idea, Sanna! That will be tried at our house imminently.
      Beth

  5. Thanks for all the love, ladies! Great to see new names and comments. Welcome!

    Beth

  6. Like!! I think we might be the same person. That is exactly what my system is.

    1. We must be reading from the same playbook!

      Beth

  7. It is hilarious to see how Aden thinks about things! But ONE of your kids has heard you say to play outside. The other day at our house Cael wanted to know, “Is the grass open?”

    1. Love it… is the grass open. Sounds just like Mr. Rule Follower Cael to be the one to ask. He wasn’t asking while Cai was busy peeing on the lawn, was he?
      Beth

      1. No,I wasn’t here, but according to Dave, Cai was busy asking more questions and naming more toys for Grandpa to bring outside. When Grandpa asked, “How do you remember so much?” Cai said, “I remember everything.” Which he repeated several times that afternoon.

  8. Too funny!!

  9. LOL!!!! I use our WII in place of going outside when the weather doesn’t cooperate. The kids will HAPPILY race to see who can “run” a mile the fastest =)

  10. That is TOO funny. Thanks for the laugh.
    And, we have an eerily similar system.

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