Tired of battles over how much time your children have spent in front of a screen each day? Watch as Mary Jenkins and her son Nathaniel explain a simple chart they use to track how much screen time Nathaniel has had each day. Then download and print your own Screen Time Chart below!
Rachel Nielson says
He is adorable!
What a great idea for screen time!
What a great idea to help kids visualize time. We used to have lots of screen time issues with our three boys, who were happy to have 1/2 hour screen time a day, but could never finish on time because they couldn’t save in the middle of a “level.” I solved the problem by canceling all weekday screen time (unless it’s homework computer time) and on Friday’s after school they can have as much screen time as they like until dinner, and they sometime get some time on the weekends, depending on the family’s movements. We haven’t had any trouble for nearly two years doing it this way, even from my preschooler who is home with no one to play with (except his baby sister) a lot. They are all happier to do other things during the week, and Fridays have a very festive feel for them. It’s definately worth persevering in the fight against letting our kids get addicted to their screens – by limiting their time we help them be more creative, imaginative and far more contented in their little hearts.
This is great. Thanks. Perfect timing. :~)
Melissa Sonntag says
It looks like it has been several years since you posted this. My kids (and I, admittedly) get sucked into our screens. How do you keep from losing track of the time, yourself, in order to keep track of how long he is on? Do you use a timer? Do you switch screen activities each 20 min block? Does the hour stretch throughout the day, or does he sometimes use up the whole hour in one sitting? Do you include TV screen time in with that hour?
So many questions! lol
Hi Melissa! Thanks for the comment. One thing I love about this system is that it teaches personal responsibility and accountability. When my children were younger I would set a timer for them. Now that they are older our rule is they set their own timer. If they forget to set a timer (meaning I ask how many more minutes and they’ve been doing screen time for a while already and realize they never set a timer or didn’t track what time they began) that’s ok, but we take 5 minutes off screen time the next day.
Currently my children are 7 and 10 and we do 30 minutes of screen time per day. Between school, homework, and extracurricular activities 30 minutes is just right for us at this stage. When they were younger and at home with an hour of screen time I would encourage them to break it up throughout the day, but again, it goes back to that personal responsibility. If they chose to watch a 1 hour movie in the morning that was fine but they would not be able to play computer games in the afternoon. I let them choose how to use their screen time.
Screen time to us includes any electronics so TV time, video games, computer games, etc. If it is part of schoolwork such as a reading program or online math homework we do not count that.
As for myself I definitely get lost in my own screen time use! I have used the 30 minute rule with a timer to help control my own overuse of screens, and a screen free week always helps us “reset.”