Device Usage & Our Rules

Four years ago I wrote a blog called “Why I’ve Banned The iPad During The Week” but wanted to give you guys an update / summary of what we do.

Before I launch into it, I just need to say that this is just what we do in our house. Whatever you do in your house is what works for you, and I have zero criticism of that.

Also, this is NOT about social media use. My kids do not have any access to social media at all. This is about using devices – watching YouTube Kids, playing Minecraft, etc etc.

Device Use History:

When my daughter was 5 (and my son was 3), we allowed them to play on a device for 30 minutes a day.

However, it became apparent very quickly, that the kids were getting obsessed with it. Namely my eldest (5 at the time).

Every time we went to take the device off her, she would scream and get extremely upset.

In fact, I started to worry she was hooked on the device – her attitude was changing and I didn’t like seeing her obsess and get emotional about a device or game.

So my husband and I chatted about it and we decided that we wouldn’t allow any device use during the week. We don’t mind a little of it, but after seeing what was happening we decided to pull back.

Our Rules:

The kids are now 7 and 9, and still have limited device time. We don’t allow any device use during the week other than a Friday afternoon after school.

Then on the weekends, the kids can play on devices after 4pm.

We do this for several reasons:

1) To ensure they don’t get obsessed and only play on devices.

2) When they play on devices it’s like we don’t even know they’re there. They get so absorbed in the device world, which is kinda scary.

3) So they have a life outside of technology.

4) So that devices become a treat and not the norm

The last part is one that really works for us. Because when we give the kids a device to play on they become quiet and we never hear from them, which is great sometimes, but not something we want ALL the time.

So we save the devices as a treat, or for moments when it’s needed.

For example: If I’m sick, then the kids may get to play on a device. If the kids are sick – then they get to play on a device.

The above rules are what works for us in our house; and we are extremely happy with them.

When I posted on my Instagram Stories about how my daughter had a hard day at school, so I allowed device use for the afternoon, I was messaged by several people asking how best to implement more structure around device time.

My advice is: you are the parent and you decide what your children will do and have access to.

It’s up to us to implement the rules, and then deal with any emotions that may come up when the child realises they can’t have access to a device all the time.

You are the parent, and you are in control. But it’s bloody hard, and can be very draining dealing with a child who doesn’t like rules enforced (same thing happened to us), but you will get there.

My question to you is – do you have any house rules around device use? Let me know below!


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