We all know that we should limit screen time for our kids. But with the amounts of screens that can be found in the typical North American house and the hectic lives that many of us have, it can sometimes be difficult. We’ve fallen into the trap quite a few times of allowing Charles more time with the iPad than we should. Each time, we’ve had to wean him off the screen using various methods.
This time ’round, I’m trying to get him to do other things than play with my iPad in the morning. You see, I rather like to sleep a little later than 6:00 am whereas he is wide awake by that time. Because he was tired of being sent back to his room when he would come wake us up in the morning (he has a Gro Clock and should stay in his room until 6:15) he figured that if he got up quietly and sat in the living room with my iPad without waking anyone up, he could get up when he wanted (such a smart little man!).
However, since I want to encourage him to do other things when he wakes up, I have decided to set up a “magical” tent. Basically, when he goes to bed at night, I take 5-10 minutes to set up some of his toys in the tent: a big robot made out of Duplo blocks, his road carpet with some cars…when he wakes up, he just needs to open the tent to see what’s hiding inside.
We’ve been doing this for two mornings now and it has been great. Both times, when I woke up, he was happily playing in his tent instead of sitting on the couch with the iPad. He wakes up excited to see what will have turned up in his tent. I’m hoping that in the long run, this will create new habits for him. Whatever happens, though, I’m having fun with the idea of the magical tent right now and he is too.
How do you control screen time with your kids?