I am now guilty of being one of those mums. You know, the ones who say... "back in my day". I swore I would never say that to my kids but, it's so true. The amount of times I have said to the kids, back in my day.... "we didn't have mobiles at the ready" "we couldn't go on the phone and the internet at the same time" "we didn't have access to our friends 24/7" oh and my favourite, "we didn't have this crap on TV"
Yep, it's official... I'm old!
I also noticed that my kids were treating tech as though it was a given, something that they expected opposed to a luxury or something that they earnt.
IF your house is anything like ours, it might be time to start reducing tech, across the board. If it something you want to give a go, I have 5 tips to help reduce tech time!
1. Be the model
As is with everything else in our lives, our children model the behaviour they see from us. So when they see that I am on my phone 24/7 how I expect them to be doing the opposite? If we want the kids to reduce their screen time, we have to as well.
It seems obvious but it's something that often gets put to the side. Actually interact with each other. Play a board game, talk about your day, go sit outside with a cuppa and watch the kids jump on the trampoline. You will find that they tend to forget about the tech when they're busy having fun.
3. Tech free time
This is something that we have had to master, and something that took a bit of getting used to. Set a time where everyone in the house is tech free - Mum and Dad included. Be firm on it though!
4. Tech free zone
Have an area, or multiple, in your house that is tech free. The dinner table is a great one, because you really want to be interacting on there anyway and talking about each others days. Whichever area/s you choose just remember, tech free means no TV, no computers, no phones!
Our dining table and the kids bedrooms are tech free zones. Although, Peta's has recently opened up as she doe her homework (on her lap top) in her bedroom, so I can't class that as a tech free zone anymore.
5. Use it as a reward
I'm not necessarily talking about earning 15 minute sessions, I have tried this and it did not work for our family. As a reward can be seen in many different ways. It could even be looked at as the end goal. For my kids, tech is what comes after their checklists are completed. So its their reward for a job well done. It's a good way to make screens feel like something that is earnt as opposed to just the norm.