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Mom to Mom Monday: How much computer time is too much?

Posted by Julie on 9/16/2013 to Mom Madness

Mom to Mom Monday

Our family loves technology and each year we seem to acquire more and more of it. Gone are the days of having to go and rent a VCR at the video store. Now my kids barely know what a VCR is.

I'm confronted with mine and my kids dependence on technology daily and as they get older we're beginning to struggle with finding a balance. Computer time, gaming time, tablet time, smartphone time...When they aren't on one they're trying to use another.

We're still a pretty active family. Soccer, the beach, boating, geocaching, we get out, but when we're home and indoors the kids choice is clear, they want to be ON something.

Can we schedule it?

My own issue is that I work from home and my work is ON the computer, so they've grown up seeing me on the computer a lot. If I've got things I really need to get done then a Playstation game or computer game for them helps me out quite a bit, but now I'm starting to pay the price.

This summer we began a schedule for what we consider "computer time." Video games, phone app games, youtube, computer games, any handheld games AND my own work, is all being scheduled.

We start with brief computer time in the morning, take a couple hour break, go back to computer time after lunch and then another break and so on. They can't go on and neither can I.

So far it's working, although now they watch the clock to see when they get to go back on.

We're still trying to find a balance. Our schedule isn't necessarily a one-size fits all. Some days it works and others it does not, but they've taken pretty well to being told they have to go and do something else and in those hours we get a lot done, including spending more time together.

Does any of this sound familiar? If your kids love their technology, do you worry about their dependence of it? Do you have a schedule or any plans for the future to keep them from wanting to be "plugged-in" all day long?