Below is a guest article by my friend and reader, Susan.
These days, around my house, if an activity doesn’t involve some sort of electronic device, it’s labeled “boring.” Trying to place some sort of limit on the games & technology has become next to impossible. Without a strict rule about the amount of time that’s allowed on such devices, the kids would spend all day playing video games!
Last summer, a friend facing the same problem shared her idea with me. I took it and made it my own, and it has worked beautifully – as long as I really enforce it.
The premise is this: your time is valuable. Don’t waste it. Each hour in front of some video game has to be worth something to you; therefore, each child gets a set “value” of time per week to play. We called them “technology dollars,” or “technology bucks,” because that’s what my friend called them.
I got online & found a clip art “dollar bill” and used a simple scrapbooking program to create our technology dollars. I printed a couple of pages of them and cut them out. Each child gets seven technology dollars per week to spend however he or she wants to spend them. If they decide to spend them all in one day, then they have to put up the devices the rest of the week. Wise kids stretch their dollars! Of course, they can earn a technology dollar for doing chores, helping with some project, or reading for a set amount of time. They can also lose them for fussing or fighting or being disrespectful!
Oh – and it helps to set a timer, since savvy kids try to outsmart the clock, and if you’re like me, I get distracted with other chores and forget about the time!
How do you handle electronics at your house?