When I grew up free time consisted of playing outside all day long riding bikes, swinging, and using our imaginations. The biggest problem my mom had was trying to get us inside when the street lights came on. This makes me sound really old but I promise I’m not:)
It seems nowadays as soon as kids get free time they are reaching for the nearest electronic device. It drives me crazy constantly being asked, “Mom can I play _______?” Fill in the blank with whatever is popular that day. Now don’t get me wrong we have our fare share of electronics in this house, I just want my kids to have lots of interests and not depend on that for all their entertainment.
To combat my electronic woes I have come up with a system that is working fabulous for us so I want to share. Now just to worn you I got a whole lot of flack from my kids for these new rules and I am pretty sure I am the meanest Mom in the world but I learned to live with that title a while ago:)
How does it work you ask? They have to earn their electronic time by doing things I have outlined. For example:
Piano Practice earns 15 minutes
Chores done before school is 10 minutes
Ready for day before school 15 minutes (bed made, room picked up, dressed, teeth brushed, hair done)
School completed without whining or complaining and in a timely manner 20 minutes
I homeschool so this might not apply to everyone but the same principle would work for homework. Also I do take 5 minutes away at a time during school time for poor behavior. For me it is not an all or nothing thing. Same with being ready for their day, for example, they could lose 5 minutes if we are ready to start and they forgot to make their bed.
They have the opportunity to play for one hour a day if they earn all their time. Often they only have part of it but sometimes they are successful with a full hour. It really is a great motivator for them to do their stuff correctly and on time!
When they do finally earn their time I am always looking for games that I approve of for them to play. We recently found a new DS game that the girls are loving. Petz Beach game is totally interactive and lets them link up and play together. My girls love this feature. I love that they learn facts about the animals as they play. The teacher in me loves getting knowledge in anyway I can:)
They also enjoy that the game expands and isn’t the same thing over and over. It is hard to find a game that all of my kids enjoy but Petz Beach and Petz Countryside are both ones they can all agree on.
How do you handle electronic time in your house? I would love to hear your ideas!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.