Kids and Technology

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I’m sure it’s to no surprise when I say that the kidlets I nanny spend way too much time on technology.

Usually, when they are zoned into a tv show or a computer game, you literally can’t even get a response from them. Sometimes, they will be so focused into it that basic human needs, such as going to the bathroom, get ignored. Or if the dogs are at the sliding glass doors literally right beside them barking to get let in/out and the kids literally can’t even hear them.

Does this happen to your kids/kids that you know too? Even the toddler I cared for over the summer was like this. But he was only allowed 30 minutes per day. No exceptions (unless he was sick and then we snuggled and watched a few episodes of Dora and Paw Patrol together). He turned into a little monster with more than 30 minutes.

As a reward for good behaviour, up until Christmas, I would bring some of my old devices for them for the weekend. Sure my iPad is almost 6 years old and is slaggy and glitchy, but if you tell a 10-year-old that they’re not allowed to use it for the weekend because they’ve messed up in a huge way, then it’s a huge disappointment. The kids could always earn their time back once it was taken away and usually did, but it was my one bit of discipline that I was completely in control over.

This Christmas, the kids were gifted a lot of technology devices so I’ve basically stopped bringing my own now. Although, they do still have one of the devices because the dad took it away and hid it and now we can’t find it…

It’s been a struggle to find that perfect technology/non-technology balance in the house. More so since Christmas than ever before. I started a little routine where the kids could have their free time after school until 6. Then if they were hungry, dinner until 6:30 (watching tv while they eat) and then no technology until 7:30. This was nice because it let me get work done while they were occupied and then I usually was able to spend that hour break with them doing something before I had to get back to other things. During that hour homework had to be completed and showers needed to be finished. Giving them from 7:30-8:45 for more technology. Which is a lot, I know. But that was the best schedule I could come up with that worked with my authority. Also, it just so happened that most of the 6:30-7:30 was spent playing games and not doing homework or showers so their non-technology time extended until those things were finished. Some nights they didn’t even get back on technology before bed.

But then the parents were noticing it was a lot of technology. And it was. So last weekend they all sat down as a family and decided on a new plan. I can try to implement my own plans but if it doesn’t come from the parents then the children don’t follow it. Honestly, even when it does come from the parents they might not follow it. 

The new plan: only one hour of technology after school every day. THAT’S IT! You get one hour. The first two days were a mess of “how much time do I have left?” “can you tell me when it’s been 20 minutes?” “no T! We’ve only watched two youtube videos, each one was only 4 minutes so that’s 8 minutes! Not 20!” because apparently replaying parts of the video and searching through youtube and switching videos multiple times doesn’t count. Just so ya know, it counts. Geeze these kids…

But then Wednesday happened. Wednesday, when the youngest two went to bed, one had 40 minutes of time left and the other had 50. Leftover time!!! Thursday, no technology was had until 8:30 at night. And those two both said “I kind of like it without technology”

WHAT!

The weekend had no rules. I asked for guidelines for Saturday but didn’t get a specific answer. Just that it didn’t need to be so strict since it was the weekend. And honestly, I think that’s a great balance.

I’m anxious to see what the next week will bring, but I hope only more positive results!

How do you deal with technology in your own lives? I know I can be GLUED to my phone and am working at detaching a little bit.

Do you have kids? If so, what rules do you set up for them and technology? What works for your family? What doesn’t?

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22 thoughts on “Kids and Technology

  1. No devices on school nights, until any assignments and chores are done. Then, they get 2 hours. And all are off and on chargers after 9:00. We relent on weekends, but reserve the right to suspend usage if it’s gotten out of hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s difficult as I teach with technology and every student is fitted with an iPad. This makes it hard to know who is really on task and who is checking instagram or shopping on etsy. When technology becomes part of the curriculum, there becomes this grey zone of needing technology for research, projects, etc, and then entertainment, so students are still getting massive amounts of screen time. What to do?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to be a teacher and I liked the technology in the classroom. But there has to be a firm discussion on when it is only used as a tool and when it can also be used as a “toy” (I’m a primary teacher I’m not sure what word you’d use for older kids haha)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, I’m not even going to get started on technology. With two teen boys tech is the one thing that causes arguments in our house (which is often these days *sigh*). But we allow less than above, although it is tricky cause they do all their school work on chromebooks, so need to use devices to do their homework.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes! Devices for homework is totally separate from technology time! But I was told it was one hour no exceptions and then last night 2nd went back on hers after her homework was done and she said she’s allowed once all her work is done. Which I’m not too sure about. Having different rules for different kids is going to make the system crash and burn pretty quickly. I’ll have to talk to their parents to have clarification

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        • Unless it’s for homework! Haha!! 1st is doing really well with her homework due to her new tablet thingy. It even has a keyboard in the case!! How cool is that?!? (I’m so out of touch with technology haha) last night she did an entire essay on it in like 30 minutes. I did distract her for a little bit over facts about Rasputin but whatever haha

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  5. Technology and kids is a very interesting topic to me. I’m 20, and I feel like I grew up during a great time in life when we had technology, but it was only really starting to develop. This means that I didn’t have an iPad to look at every day after school or a phone to Tweet from lol. I actually went outside to play with other kids in my neighborhood and it was so great and fun. Those memories still stick with me today. If I had all these screens around me constantly, I wouldn’t have had those classic mems.

    Something needs to happen where we aren’t so dependent on technology. It’s sad too because these kids obviously got the technology from their parents, so who’s really at fault for this issue? I say the parents need to not rely on technology to keep their kids busy all the time. If a kid’s bored, stick them by a window or something and let them be curious about the world. I sound like a 50-year-old lady, but this subject gets me riled up hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you are right, it’s about the boundaries that are set for kids. Having the devices is fine but it’s the rules and the follow through for them.

      I grew up in the technology phase right before yours haha! I’m 31 so I had the dial up internet and the no guidelines around internet safety. And the Microsoft Art program. Those were good times! We didn’t have internet in our home until I was in grade 7 I think. It was a great childhood of outside memories. But once the internet came in, everything changed! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yep, I have one and during the week he gets about an hour or two (depending on when we finish homework). This doesn’t include the computer that he needs for school work. On the weekends as long as he does his chores I have no time limit. He will read a book during the weekend or if we have a busy weekend he has less screen time.

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  7. Parents need Not to control there Children’s every move but they need to monitor their computer use.
    Helping them to use technology wisely.
    To learn more, please visit JW.org

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    • Yes I agree that they need to be very careful and mindful about their children’s usage. We didn’t know any of that when I was growing up and I got pulled into some things online I shouldn’t have.

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