Mama Drama: Surviving Children’s Electronic Overload
posted by: Lisa Vratny-Smith
Dear Mama Drama:
My kids are always watching television and playing video or computer games. They fuss at me when I tell them to turn them off and do something else. They say everything else is boring. I’m exasperated and don’t know what to do to get them off of the electronics.
~ Electrified Mama
It can be challenging to limit our children’s exposure to electronics and television with the easy access and all the pressure from peers to play. As parents we have to help our children find the balance by setting limits and providing opportunities for them to engage in other activities.
Screen time limits are a great place to start. Screen time includes television, computers, video games, and hand held games. When you set limits make sure you have control over the items, so electronics in bedrooms come out into common areas. Discuss reasonable limits with your children and let them have some input into the final amounts.
Next set up a system for them to earn their screen time. This can be homework completed without reminders, everyday chores, extra chores, etc. Be creative and again get your children involved. Negotiate how much time each action will earn. Be consistent and follow through with allowing the time earned. Timers can be helpful in decreasing power struggles around when the time ends.
Finally, work with your children to explore other activities. These can be family games or projects, organized sports, music lessons, etc. Spark their interest and try out some new things.
Share your strategies for helping your kids find balance.