I was thinking the other day how my boys are growing up in a fast paced world of everything touch screen and technology. That’s just how life is. It evolves and we adapt.
I have always thought that technology is an incredible tool for learning. However, iPads, iPhones and the many different tablets available out there can become an obsession, especially to a young child.
My oldest son received an iPad mini for his 5th birthday. It was a present from his aunt.
He is now 8 and it is by far his absolute go to thing. His favorite games are MineCraft and Geometry Dash. MineCraft allows him to create worlds and in Geometry Dash he can design complex levels to play.
Since early on he decided he wanted to be an engineer, so these games allow him to practice and use his imagination in a fun way.
When he began school I enforced a “no screen time” rule during the week.
He huffed and puffed every single day about how unfair this rule was. I never heard the end of it and honestly it began to drive me NUTS!
As the saying goes, the more you can’t have something, the more you want it.
My son is a responsible student who excels in school and has good behavior. I began to question if perhaps I was not being fair.
Growing up my dad had a no TV or phone rule until all my homework was done. Everyday I would get home from school, eat and then proceed to do my homework. This taught me a great lesson in the long run to never procrastinate.
I sat down with my son and explained to him that I understood why he thought my no iPad rule was unfair, but in life things must be earned.
The new rule was that in order to EARN his iPad, homework and daily reading must be finished first. “Thank you mommy!” He beamed with happiness.
He has kept his end of the deal so far and spends surprisingly less time on his iPad than before.
He must also EARN his iPad for the weekend by completing a mini book report for me Saturday mornings.
I allow him to choose any book to read. Then I create a list of questions that will help him better understanding literature comprehension.
Here are some examples.
What is this story about?
Who is the main character and describe his/her personality.
What happens in the beginning?
What happens in the middle?
What happens in the end?
What do you think the author’s message in this book is?
Positivity is key here. When we explain while giving appropriate choices to our children, they will feel validated and encouraged.
We have a “no electronics” rule for the dinner table. This rule will NEVER change. It’s important to sit together and talk as a family. It will strengthen bonds and create memories.
As for my youngest, he is mostly on the iPad when we are using a learning app together. He will occasionally watch YouTube Kids supervised by me or my husband. His current obsession is the “surprise egg” videos.
My youngest could care less for the iPad though. He rarely even asks for it and would rather just play.
This was our weekly screentime solution and I hope it helps a mommy out there who is struggling just as I was.