Screen Time | Our Management System

I’m going to open a can of worms in the mommy world: screen time.  As much as I have fought and fought to be a no screen-time mama, I have finally given in and realized that balance and moderation is OK. However, with Timothy being so young and too much screen time having a negative effect on the boys, I want to really limit the amount of time they sit in front of a screen.  We have come up with a ticket system.  Every Sunday, each child gets one ticket for every year they are old (Timothy is two and Samuel is five).  Each ticket can be redeemed for 10 minutes of screen time. They can be used for games on my iPhone (mostly this app) or to watch a video. They can save them up or use them right away (I limit to no more than four tickets in a day, but try to stick closer to three and under).

Currently their favorite things to watch are remote control vehicles on YouTube or Mighty Machines (you can watch on Netflix).  I really like Mighty Machines as they learn a lot about the jobs different trucks do.  It’s been fun to hear them explain how something is done.  I’ll ask them, “Where did you learn that?” “Mighty Machines” is very often the reply. 🙂

From time-to-time we will also watch other little clips or things that are specifically related to homeschool. Aside from Singing Time and Baby Signing Time, I usually watch these with Samuel when Timothy is napping.

And of course, we mustn’t forget sick days. You know, those ones where you’re lying in bed feeling miserable, and don’t really care what happens as long as everyone is alive at the end of the day? They are rare, but they do happen.  Typically I will let the boys raid the toy closet and make a huge mess, but there is still usually some time that they need to be with mama.  On those days I turn to Planet Earth or Marty Stouffer to help me out a little bit. I am usually right with them watching, especially as Samuel likes to skip over the really suspenseful parts, but all-in-all, the boys really like learning about the animals and our planet.

So, there you have it.  Our family’s screen time management.  What about you? How do you manage screen time in your home? What are some of your favorite things to watch or do with modern technology? I’d love to hear more from you guys!


3 thoughts on “Screen Time | Our Management System

  1. Hi Laura! That sounds like a good system; I’m a lot more lax in screen time, but we still limit it, especially when Eleanor starts getting demanding about using a phone/ipad/tv or whatever. She gets screen time eliminated as punishment for bad behavior sometimes. One suggestion, maybe for the sick days or if they get a bit extra time (since it seems like you have enough options to fill that time), is the show Wild Kratts. I don’t know if animated cartoons are ok for your boys, but maybe check it out. The reason I recommend it is because Eleanor has learned SO MUCH about animals from watching that show. I love Planet Earth, too, but Wild Kratts brings it down to her level and makes it fun. The opening and closing parts of the show are real video with the Kratt brothers as they visit with animals, then the part in between is the brothers becoming animated and having adventures involving the animals. Anyway, just thought I’d throw that your way. 🙂

    • Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to check it out. I remember Wild Krats were on when we were kids but I don’t remember much about it. I know it has a lemur, and the boys live lemurs. 🙂

      • Yeah, they had Zaboomafoo. It’s a much better show now, in my opinion. Less irritating for grownups, anyway. 🙂 But the same brothers! No Lemur puppet, though. Both shows are on Netflix!

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