happy kids

It’s only been 7 days since I decided to stop iPad-use for the kids during the week, with limited use on weekends and I’ve already seen a huge difference in Oliver, 7.

Alexander, 5, rarely used the iPad anyway and is still firmly in kid-mode (as it should be at 5) enjoying his books, train set, cuddly toys and building bricks.

Oliver, however, is an old soul and his need for constant stimulation was met for the most part, with sophisticated games and educational apps. There’s a place for tech-of course there is-it’s informative, inspiring and fun to boot, but it can be overstimulating and disruptive too. I feel that way, and I’m an adult who works in tech.

All tech can prevent and disrupt sleep stalling melatonin production, and I found it was inciting mood swings in my kids. I was dealing with endless frustration over computer game failure, over-tiredness and frankly what appeared to be a tech-addiction from Oliver who would rush through his homework, dinner and conversation to get back on his iPad. This is from a child who loves chatting, drawing and watching movies.

Tech was ruining our family-life.

So we went back to basics and Oliver went cold turkey.

And unsurprisingly, from the first night, calm was restored and moods uplifted.

Yes, there have still been tough times. That’s inevitable as kids will be kids and the boys drove me completely bonkers earlier arguing non-stop, but I can’t imagine adding an iPad to that mix. Small silver linings huh!

So we’re going to keep it up. Yes, we’ll use tech when homework requires it and in limited, structured ways on the weekend so the kids can enjoy rather than rely on computer for their every need. They are going to be bored more so they can use their imagination as I did as a kid.

Everything in moderation, right?!

Vitally, anything that limits meltdowns and makes life easier with kids, and enables us all to have more fun together as a family, gets a ‘yes’ from me!

Have you tried it?

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Limiting Screen Time For The Kids: The Results So Far

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8 Responses

  1. Morgan Prince

    With older boys the time limits exist for the Xbox now. My boys like to play a game called Overwatch which is a shooter. We have rules like homework first, chores first, and then they can play but they do have daily limits. Same goes for the iPad.
    It definitely helps with family life to limit screen time, whatever the screen may be. I’ve found that switching to reading on my kindle rather than my iPad has really helped with falling to sleep at night. 🙂

  2. TiddlerTales

    Good move, I can see this draw to mindlessly sitting glued to the TV/phone screen already in my 4 year old. If I limit it she’s immediately more active, engaging, chatty, everthing a little girl should be! I need to be more strict about it too as it was the easy option to occupy her when I had the demands of the baby twins. Thanks for this post!

  3. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    Really interesting post and well done Vicki! Similar to Emma, our issue used to be telly on school mornings which made them irritable, unwilling to listen and get ready for the day etc. And that’s all before 8am! We have banned morning telly during the week and went completely cold turkey quite a few months ago now and never looked back. I like mornings again now, with radio quietly on at breakfast, kids chatting to us and they have even time for a bit of play together once all dressed and ready to go. Much more efficient and pleasant for everybody! xx

    • Honest Mum

      Good to read, tech can be so disruptive. There’s a time and a place of course but limiting it so they appreciate it and we have control is vital xx

  4. John Adams

    Yup. I have found it surprisingly easy during the week. Harder at weekends, but it is great for the kids and they are so much more creative when they don’t play with tech. Keep it up Vicki!

  5. Emma

    Good move Vicki! Thankfully my daughter, she’s 6, hasn’t quite got to the iPad addiction stage yet. But TV is a huge issue for us. She will happily sit like a vegetable for hours if I let her. So we try to have a half hour on weeknights rule – with an extra half-hour if she’s done a few little jobs to help out and behaved well. On the weekends it’s an hour with an extra half hour if she’s been good. Not including when we have family movie night on Friday or when she watches Strictly with her Granny! I’ve found that she protests loudly at first but if I’m firm and insist she entertains herself she finds other things to do… I think it’s important to instil the ability to amuse themselves and cope with boredom when they’re little!


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