We’ve been out of school for just 3 weeks, and already we’ve been battling over screen time with Little and Middle. The lure of the screen is ever present, and it’s become a daily struggle in our house. Refusing to spend my summer in a constant battle with the kids, we came up with a fun way to manage their screen time — Screen Coins!
I bought a bag of gold coins at the Party Store. We determined that each coin is worth 15 minutes of screen time. Now every morning based on the schedule for the day, how much reading for school they did the day before, and a general assessment of their behavior, I dole out “screen coins” to each of the kids. Once they have their coins for the day, they can determine how much time they spend on Minecraft and how much on Scooby Doo or whatever app/movie/tv program they’re into.
It’s been so empowering for the kids to know that they have an active role in how much “screen time” they have. And, they can ask to help with more “chores” around the house like “clearing the dinner table” when they want to earn more screen time. I love that this system is teaching them about responsibilities and to manage their time. It’s also been quite beneficial, in those special instances, when I’ve had to threaten to take away a “coin” due to poor behavior (say at the dinner table). It’s amazing how helpful they can be when there’s a new level that they’re hoping to reach! And, if there’s any poor behavior when the X-Box or iPad have to be turned off, you can always remind them, that they are in jeopardy of losing a”screen coin” for the next day.
The great thing about this system is that you can customize it for your family and create a system that rewards good choices that are important to you! Decide what warrants screen time in your household and make that chore worth a “coin.”