Less-screens-november would be a way more accurate description but didn’t have as good of a ring to it, lol. Basically, we’ve decided to cut way back on the amount of screens the kids have access to. Mostly so it’s easier to manage (adios youtube!) but also because everyone seemed to be loosing their minds (including yours truly) and a “reset” felt like the best way to handle it.
Since screen time is usually (and has been lately) a big topic of conversation between parents I thought I’d share a few things we’ve done, either just this month or in general, to make screen time more manageable. Of course it’s hard to be black and white about it and we have a pretty big range of ages and no toddlers anymore so our rules and boundaries might look a bit different than what would work for you but hopefully it’s helpful!
- TV vs. small screens (iPads, etc.): At the moment we’re only turning on TV’s unless we’re in the car for a chunk of time or there’s a sleepover happening… My kids tend to get way more sucked into apps on a small screen than an episode on Netflix where they’re also able to color or build legos and engage with each other while watching.
- Setting timers, using “screen time” settings: Ok, so the screen time settings on apple products (controlled from my phone) is amazing and while I did use it a lot over summer, it also felt like one more thing to manage. Now that we’re sticking mostly to TV time I just set the kitchen timer and let the kids know what to expect!
- Having a home base: We have a metal cart and docking station (linked below) that hangs out in our hook nook area. It’s a great way to keep things condensed and accounted for :). We also have Espen plug his phone in before getting ready for bed (we try to keep things downstairs as much as possible)… to combat the “I want to listen to music” or “I need to set an alarm” we set the kids up with echo dots.
- Teach the kids (older ones especially) that it matters what they put into their bodies: I probably repeat myself way too much but I try to remind them that what they see and hear matters just like what they eat matters… you get out what you put in. It’s simple and applicable and I think makes sense. Hopefully :)
- Video games: This will probably change sooner than later, but we currently don’t have any video games. At least none that the kids are interested in playing. This was probably one of our less popular parenting moves as far as Ozzie’s concerned. His friends would literally bring their xbox with them when they stayed the night. But I like to think that when he leaves his dorm to be social or go to the gym, while his peers stay in their rooms to game, that he’s secretly really grateful. Ha!
Now, a little peek at our hook nook area where we keep our docking station and tech accessories…
This rolling cart has had so many uses from storing diapers, wipes + onesies to art supplies and now all the gadgets and cords that come with them.
Espen’s clay elephant creation. Can’t remember if he has a name, but he needs one. Hector, maybe?
We’ve been keeping baskets of matched socks downstairs by the garage — athletic socks in one, dress socks in the other — and it’s been a lifesaver! So nice not having to run relays up and down the stairs to grab socks as we’re trying to get out the door.
The cutest dip dyed stool from Serena & Lily that I’ve had my eye on for! ever! and finally purchased when it went on sale — I have a 20% off coupon for you to use below!
Click here for 20% off at Serena & Lily
Navigating family life with technology and making sure everyone stays connected can be overwhelming, especially as kids get older, but it’s nice to know that as parents we are not only the gatekeepers to our home but also the managers. It’s really up to us to decide what comes in and what goes out. Even if it means having to deal with cranky kids for a couple days.
I would love to hear what screen time rules you have in your home!