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Showing posts from May, 2015

8 Rules for Responsible Screen Time - For Moms

Participating in Screen Free Week has made me think about how much of my life is spent watching, rather than doing, and I am not okay with the ratio!  So I have brainstormed 8 rules that will help me (and hopefully you!) be more intentional with my time.

1. No screen time until my work is done
2. If the kids are around, screens are not
3. Keep Facebook "decluttered"
4. Don't fall for "click-bait"
5. Bingeing is bad
6. Set clear limits
7. Hold yourself accountable
8. It is okay to be bored

If you click on any of the rules if will link to a post elaborating on the thought behind the rule, as well as ideas on how to implement them.  I also am thinking I will make my first printable, so check back soon for that!

What are your screen time rules you have for yourself?  Are they different than for you kids?  What is the hardest thing about limiting screen time?

Don't Fall For Click-Bait (or Go Down the Rabbit Hole) - Screen Time Rule #4

Click-bait is all the things that are written in a way that makes you want to click them, usually going to a dumb slideshow that you get halfway through before realizing that you actually don't care about "27 things you never knew about...".

Some things are not actually click-bait, and might be perfectly interesting or insightful articles or posts.  But they still lure you down the rabbit hole of endless "internetting".

I am going to try to combat this by adding all the links that interest me to a bookmark folder, which I will title with the date.  The next time I use the computer I will open a few of them up if they still interest me.  If they don't I will delete the folder entirely.  The reality is that I DON'T need to see most of the internet, it is just time-sucking brain clutter!

I plan to have a few blogs that I check frequently (Free Range Kids1000 Hours Outside, and a couple more) and anything outside of that will be bookmarked for later, then…

Keep Facebook Decluttered - Screen Time Rule #3

The average person has 153 Facebook friends.  I actually pulled that number out of thin air.  I am writing this down in a notebook since it is (was) Screen Free Week, and couldn't look up the number.

Whatever the number is* I am sure it is way higher than the number of real life friends you have.  I am also pretty sure that it is higher than the number of  people you really care to get constant updates from.

Here are some things I am going to do to help streamline my Facebook feed and give me less to look at everyday.


Stop following things I don't care about.  Yes, I like to drink Dr. Pepper, but that doesn't mean I need to "like" Dr. Pepper.  Same goes for TV shows.  I don't need to be able to share my opinion about the last episode of "The Last Man on Earth" (I thought it was awesome), and I don't need to know what other viewers thought."Unfollow" the groups that I belong to.  I don't know about you, but seeing everything that is …

If The Kids Are Around, Screens Are Not - Screen Time Rule #2

Do as I say, not as I do is a recipe for failure when it comes to training children.  Right now my kids are little enough I can get away with it, but it is a bad habit to start, and one that I am trying to be better about.

No one wants their kid spening all their free time with various devices.  We want them to DO stuff, not just watch stuff.  But often times we set an example... one that we don't want them to follow.  If we want our kids to experience life, we need to demonstrate that it is worth experiencing.

I am not someone that believes our lives should completely revolve around our kids.  I do not think I need to entertain them.  I have plenty of other jobs pertaining to them: cook, maid, teacher, driver, police officer (LOL) just to name a few, and I won't add entertainer to my list.  Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, and I think it is important to interact with them, which I do, A LOT!  I read to them, snuggle them, do projects with them, and take them outside,  …

No Screen Time Until My Work Is Done - Screen Time Rule #1

Many times when I sit down to watch TV, or use the computer (or both at the same time usually), my house is a mess.  Leisure time is supposed to be when you don't HAVE work to do.  As a housewife no one really holds me accountable for my work being done in a timely fashion (or at all), so I often put it off for another day.  Like maybe one that doesn't end in "y".

This rule is great for three reasons:

1. Life is better with a clean house. In my experience kids are better behaved, husbands are in better moods and wives are more patient when the house is clean.
2. Being lazy feels gross, even if you are enjoying it, you feel guilty that it is not what you are supposed to be doing.
3. Anything else is probably hypocritical!  I have never told my kids that they can have screen time when they are done with their chores, school, or homework, because they are two and don't have those things, or screen time.  From everything that I have seen and read though, that is a pr…

Why I Did Screen Free Week

Every year the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood sponsors Scree Free Week.  When I was a kid it was TV Free Week, but they have expanded it for obvious reasons.  As a child I recall hearing about it at school and whining to my mom about not wanting to participate.  I don't actually remember if we did or not.  
As a kid I really liked watching TV (still do :( ), but in an age before Netflix, DVRs and Hulu, I was limited on what I could watch and when.  We also lived in the middle of no where, and it would have cost like $5000 to bring cable up to our house, we we had an aerial antennae.  That meant that my dad had to go up on the roof to adjust it if we wanted another channel.  So we pretty much only had the WB (now The CW), and even it was static-y and flipped around (only those who have experienced bad TV resection probably understand LOL).  My grandparents had satelite/cable, and when I was there I would watch TV for hours, but even there I remember playing outside more t…

400 Hours Timesheet 5/3

Today we spent 1 hour and 45 minutes outside, so 395.5 more to go!

We went to a giant park today, and the kids ran around, got filthy, fell down a lot (how long does the incredibly clumsy phase last?) and seemed to have an amazing time.  Little Guy was way more popular than he wanted to be, little kids kept trying to pick him up, and hug him, and drag him places.  I had to physically step in a couple of times, because 2-3 year olds don't necessarily respect personal boundaries LOL.  It was pretty cool at the park, there were a ton of kids playing, and none of the parents were hovering to close.  Well except me, but that was more because all the benches were taken by other parents than because I was actually "helicoptering".

On the 1000 Hours Outside blog, the author writes that the first day she spent a huge portion of the day outside was her first really good day as a mom.  I can totally see why that is.  Kids are so much happier outside.  There is less arguing, less c…

Childhood Magic

We are a weird family.  Our kids watch little to no TV.  Seriously, in the last 3 months, they have probably only watched 5 hours of TV total.  I don't count it or anything, but that would be my guess.

The average toddler watches 2 hours a day.  That is 730 hours a year!  For those that don't want to do the math, I had the calculator do it for you: 30.4 days.  The average toddler spends 30 FULL DAYS, so probably close to 60 days if you only count waking hours, a year watching television.

Our kids also don't own any toys with batteries.  Well we own toys that TAKE batteries, but we take the batteries out before we give them to the kids.  They are not allowed to play on our phones, or touch the computers.  Our kids are basically growing up in the dark ages.

Why are we such weirdos?  Well partly because we find battery operated toys obnoxious, the kids do a perfectly good job making oodles of noise without having buttons that they can push to make MORE noise.  But mostly be…

400 Hours - Time Sheet 5/2

Today we logged 2 hours and 45 minutes outside.  Which leaves us with only 397.25 more hours.  Yeah, only...

It was Little Guy's second birthday party, so two of those hours were spend at his party at the park, basically just running around, sliding, and eating some cake.  It was actually a rather uneventful event, no snags at all, YAY!  And all the presents he got were awesome, no batteries, and no licensed characters (well except for a Batmobile, but we make exceptions for Super Heroes LOL).  We even managed to remember to buy candles and bring a lighter.  This is the third birthday party I have done, and its the first time I remembered candles, so this mama is learning!  No major injuries, although Z did fall down (like off of something, not just down, they fall down like 83278432 times a day!!) and since someone picked her up and held her, instead of just checking for injuries, and then telling her she was alright and to go play, she milked it a little.  But hey, what is the p…