Friday, 16 September 2016

iPad Usage Family Brainstorm - draft rules

Ok, we have exactly the same problems as a lot of other families: screens. Arrrggghhh. It can take over. And it can be so so difficult to get the kids off blooming things.

We had two super smug months when our son didn't watch any. At all! I'll just pause there for a minute...

It didn't last. Of course it didn't.

Because then the holidays started and well, that went out the window. It totally winds my husband up, while I, well erm, to be honest... I don't mind a cup of tea in silence, or I get a chance to just to one of the myriad of tasks that fills my day. Plus, it's not like we don't get the attraction: we watch box sets when he's in bed! (At the moment it's the third (!) season of the Americans.) I have experiments with having no limit, and if I honestly allow it - i.e. no checking in, no hovering etc - then he tends to stop after about 1-2 hours. But sometimes it does drive me up the wall too. Like when I want to do something else, mainly.

Bottom line is: we have too arguments around screen time. So on the weekend we sat down, and brainstormed together as a family. Here is what we came up with.  I was amazed at the son's ideas. And also that we do actually already have some rules around the usage that he understands and does follow.

Guess which ones were mum and dad's suggestions.

  1. You can watch 5 or 10 or maybe 4 episodes in one go.
  2. It is ok to watch iPad on holidays, and when it is not holidays but weekend. Sometimes.
  3. It is ok to watch iPad on aeroplane, but not when we are back.
  4. When you watch, don't swing the iPad because it can make you dizzy and you might fall of your chair.
  5. When it is school you can't have iPad, but just a teensy bit of telly....
  6. Weekends are fine to watch iPad in this house
  7. When it is time to stops, mummy or daddy ask son to stop, then everyone goes to play in another room.
  8. We must get that app so we can monitor his screen time.
  9. Or I guess we could use the timer...
  10. The management is always right.
  11. When it is time to stop, let's try a three step warning.
  12. No, let's have 10 or 14 step warning.
  13. When [it is time to] stop you turn iPad off at button at top.
  14. Or just close the cover to pause...
  15. Or I will hide the iPad under the sofa where adults can't reach.
  16. Or I will hide with the iPad under chair to watch some more.
  17. If we have too many arguments, then we will try with no screen time for anybody. 
  18. Just play instead of watching iPad.
  19. I want 84 mins divided by 10.
  20. Ok, we can round that up to 9 mins. on the Timer.
  21. It someone says it is too loud then turn the volume down or off.
  22. Don't watch alone. Always watch together.
  23. Find out what that music is on the favourite YouTube videos.
  24. Mummy and daddy should stop watching their phones all the time.
We all agreed to give this a go.

My favourite rules are 7 and 22.

I'm happy to say that this has actually worked since weekend before last. He gets 9 mins every now and then. 

This won't be the last time we brainstorm like this together.
I loved it! And it seems to work...

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