TechnologyGuidelinesChildren

Tuesday Tips: Tablets

You may be looking at the chart above and laughing your pants off.  Am I crazy?? What are we supposed to do without our little digital babysitters when we need to get things done??

The chart is from THIS article on the Huffington Post that gives 10 reasons why hand-held devices should be banned for children under the age of 12.  WHAT?!?! Now you are calling me names.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood was on my radar a few years ago…after reading today’s linked article on screen time, plus a recent study out of Taiwan that the blue-light from smartphone screens change our children’s eyes – literally…we will be getting more involved with their Screen-Free week (May 5-11, 2014).

Seriously, we gave Puma a tablet for Christmas in 2012…so we can’t go back and take it away.  We do ask her to do certain things before she can use it every day, and after reading this article, I am going to have a tablet collection at night and ask the Sweet Peas to earn their time with them, making a more specific effort to limit time.

We are also in the habit of allowing Night Owl and Charger time with two other tablets we have in the house…boy, is their world going to be rocked when I limit their time even more!

I know it is not for everyone, and we all have our reasons why tablets serve our needs.  We try to remember to ask our children to do these things we ask our children to do to earn “tablet time”.  Basically, all these things “should” be done before they can use their devices:

  • Complete their schoolwork
  • Practice their piano pieces
  • Practice dance/tumbling
  • Walk the dogs

What I am going to post up on the wall as alternatives to “tablet time”.  We are definitely instituting a new expectation that time is limited.  Once the timer rings and their time is up here are some options:

  • Sensory bin
  • Play with their toys *gasp*
  • Play with modeling clay
  • Play outside on the swing set
  • Play outside with balls
  • Set up and run an obstacle course
  • Painting with finger paints or water colors
  • Draw/cut/paste
  • Read (to themselves for the ones that can; be read to if they are learning)

All the alternatives we have mean that we have more interaction with our children.  We are setting-up and/or supervising, and even engaging with them…all the things we lose when we hand them a tablet and ask them to go away so we can do whatever we are doing (on our computer, tablet or smartphone?).

It will mean I have to be a better time manager so I can be available to them and not on the computer when they are awake.  It will mean getting Coach Bruss on board so that we are a united front on limiting screen time.

Where are you with this whole screen time thing?

What do you do with your Sweet Peas if you are limiting screen time?