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Monday, April 14, 2014

Ten Tips to Trim Tech Time

iPhones, iPods, iPads… I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children to be iTech-Heads.  You know what I’m talking about, right?
They are the kids who are ALWAYS on their phones or tablets or videogames.  They are more likely to grunt than use human words.  They are only outside while walking to or from the car.  “Multitasking” to them means to look at an adult in the eyes while simultaneously texting.  Sure this sounds like most teenagers nowadays.  Also sounds like I’m describing zombies. 

So to prevent these zombie-like iTech-Heads, some people are suggesting that we keep children away from all technology until they are twelve.  Since that is IMPOSSIBLE, and because there is a place in our lives for technology, let’s work at limiting the time we are on during the day.  You may use one of these tricks at a time or in combination with others. 

“You may have tech-time…”
  • When it’s dark and the sun is down.  The Disney movie “Frozen” has a popular line, “The sky’s awake, so I’m awake!”  I add “AND playing too!”  This worked very well with our 4 year old for a while.  She wouldn't ask to get on her iPad until dusk.  The problem with this one is that during the winter she would get more time than I would like, and in the summer, it sometimes wouldn't be dark until after bedtime. 
  • After all of your chores are done.  Want to see beds being made at record speed, animals fed, and other daily chores completed without nagging?  This is the deal for you, my friend! 
  • After ALL house chores are done.  The beauty in this one is that siblings are encouraged to help each other and encourage each other to get their work done.  You can have them help you with yours as well.  This is one of the perks to having children, after all. 
  • When your baby sibling is napping.  This became our go-to rule to help keep the house quiet during baby brother’s nap times.  Our daughter was also quick to console him if he startled during the nap.  Win-Win. 
  • After your school chart is done.  We have a “school chart” that has different types of activities that our daughter is to complete during the day.  For instance, she needs to do some writing or art, math or science, exercise, Bible study, etc.  Using this chart offers her some ideas for what to do during the day whenever she “thinks” she’s bored.
  • After ALL school charts are done.  Here, siblings can encourage each other again.  Plus they can play together to get the charts done even faster.  Get the blocks out Bro!  It’s math time! 
  • IF you do this app first.  We sometimes use this at the end of the day to help our daughter finish up the school chart.  So if she did MOST of the chart, she can get on at dusk and finish up handwriting and science on the iPad. 
  • After reading real books for 30 minutes.  Many educational studies have found that children who read for 30 minutes every day have more successful lives than those who do not.  Make this a priority in your home by starting young.  Read to your children for this time if they are not reading on their own yet.      
  • For this amount of time each day.  This was the rule in our home while growing up.  We could play on our Nintendo,  or (ahem) Atari, for 30 minutes a day.  Some tablets are allowing you to set timers that lock them up after the set time.  This is fabulous.
  • As a reward for _____.  We generally use this to offer extra time for doing something extra kind or awesome.  “You may send 3 Snap Chats out, since you climbed the tree house ladder all by yourself.”

We hope you may use these tricks to limit tech time in your home.  With these, perhaps we can stop Zombie iTech-Heads from taking over the world.  If you tried one of these or another tip that was successful, please comment below, and have a most BLESSED day! 
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