Monday, March 17, 2014

How to Set Screen Time Limits for Kids That Work


Controlling television and screen time has become a struggle in many households. I spent most of my childhood without cable. The internet did not come into play until I was in high school and my cell phone was a giant brick. Kids today are bombarded with screens and advertisements at every turn.  By the age of 2, children are watching an average of an hour of television a day.  This doesn't include time spent on computers, smartphones, iPads, and other tablets.  With that in mind, it is important that parents take an active role in monitoring and setting limits on their children's screen consumption.
 
In our home, we've taken several steps to control the screen time and advertisements that our children are exposed to:

1.  We cancelled cable. A few years ago, we decided that we no longer needed cable.  Cancelling our subscription immediately saved us money and reduced the number of advertisements that our children saw to almost zero.  Even though the only programs they watched were "commercial-free," it was almost impossible to keep them from seeing Disney's latest DVD for sale or the occasional toy.  By not seeing commercials for these things, they no longer think they need them.  Also, we no longer have the issue of "just one show" running into two or three shows at a time.

2.  We set up a stick system to earn time on tablets.  Instead of paying our children an allowance for extra chores (which really isn't in our budget right now), we allow them to earn sticks for time on their personal tablets.  Each stick represents 20 minutes and it is their responsibility to keep track of them and use them wisely.  If they run out of sticks, they cannot use their apps.  We also prohibit the use of tablets before school, which makes our morning routine less hectic.

3.  We signed up for a streaming service that allows us to easily control television viewing. While we still use other streaming services for adult shows, we were recently introduced to Kidoodle.TV which gives me even more freedom in monitoring viewing for my children because of its kids-only content.

Kidoodle.TV is a safe, ad-free streaming service that provides a selection of new and vintage children's programs.  The best part of Kidoodle.TV is that you can fully customize it for each child by age or specific titles.  That means that my 8-year-old can get on and watch shows that are geared for his age group and I can put my 3-year-old on his account where he can choose from a few select titles that I've chosen just for him.  You can also set time limits ranging from 15 minutes to unlimited viewing so your child's account will shut down when you want it to.  I love this service because I don't have to worry about my kids accidentally clicking on a show that is not appropriate for them or switching to adult shows without my knowledge.  A 4-digit pass code ensures that each child can only view the titles in their account.  This gives me some peace of mind that I can walk out of the room to put laundry away or start dinner without worrying.  I can even use Kidoodle.TV on the go!
If you're interested in learning more about Kidoodle.TV, you can check out their website, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.   They are currently hosting a giveaway on their Facebook page - Enter to win one of 3 iPad Minis being given away in March and April by entering here.

Kidoodle.TV is also offering a special discount for Mamas Like Me readers.  You can save 25% off a year's subscription to Kidoodle.TV by entering the Code: BLOGHER25 when you check out on their website.  This code expires June 30, 2014. Otherwise, it's just $4.99 a month.

We are also partnering with Kidoodle.TV to offer a fun giveaway for Mamas Like Me readers.  You can enter to win $100 Visa Gift Card by commenting below and telling me: 
 What devices do your kids use? Do they have their own or share with the whole family?
(Please be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you if you win!) 



Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#KidoodleTVBH” and “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US or Canada (excluding Quebec) Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 3/17-4/18.
Be sure to visit the Kidoodle.TV brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!



138 comments:

  1. We fight the screen time battle here too. I recently put an app on their iPads that shuts them down when time is up because I got tired of "just 5 minutes to finish this video" turning into "but he got 5 more minutes, I should get 5 more" to "but now I need 2 more minutes to finish my game". We also learned from the time my oldest started school that screen time before school didn't work for us. After school, we have a homework first policy. We just recently got rid of cable, though the kids rarely watched anyway once they had their iPads. It has cut down on the number of toys they think are must haves.

    If I had to do it over again, I think we probably would have been wise to say no for longer to video game systems a generous uncle started getting them when they were still in preschool.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My sons each have their own tablets (they are 9 and almost 11).

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  3. tweet:

    https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/445662532007505921

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  4. My son uses his own laptop and iPod Touch

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  5. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/445687634925334528

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  6. The only 'device' we use is a plain old tv, but I do let my daughter watch Sesame Street. :)

    chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. My boys have innotabs and as a family we have an ipad and kindle
    vandenbossche3@hotmail.com

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  8. https://twitter.com/618mom23boys/status/445787204606894080
    vandenbossche3@hotmail.com

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  9. My kids have their own devises, inexpensive tablets.

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  10. https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/445924027664568323

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  11. My son uses a Kindle to play games and watch videos. He doesn't share it much with family.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  12. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydinpa/status/445938780563079168
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  13. We all share the TV and playstation.

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

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  14. We all share the iPad and laptop. :-)

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  15. The whole family shares a tablet and computer.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  16. -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/446843207427436544

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  17. At home my daughter gets to use my iphone, so we have to share. Neyabenz(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. The TV, computer, iPad -- none of which she owns!

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  19. My son has his own laptop and iPad.

    s2s2 at Comcast dot net

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  20. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/447200215624200192

    s2s2 at Comcast dot net

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  21. Tweet: https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/447365121833439232

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. forgot to include my email address: onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

      Delete
  22. My older kids have their own Kindles. My younger ones use mine to play educational games on. Email mistyharms2@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Tweeted : https://twitter.com/mistymarie34/status/448603420749221888 mistyharms2@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. My kiddos have their own although we also have a shared family computer :)
    heatheranne99@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Tweet!
    https://twitter.com/ScoomerBlog/status/448683981874032641
    heatheranne99@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I gave both my kids their own ipods

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  27. My child uses my laptop, and she has her own iPad mini that she bought with her own money.
    madelinebrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  28. Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/452542194847477760

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  29. my 5 and 3 year old use their Nabi. My 5 year old also has an XO tablet. My 5 year old likes to use our laptop most of all. We share a laptop between 4 of us. jaimisue@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. We share in our house, The kids don't have their own devices.

    I've never believed that everyone has to have
    their very own everything.

    It's enough that we have enough to go around.

    ReplyDelete
  31. My kids share a Kindle and our laptop with us with password protection.

    ReplyDelete
  32. https://twitter.com/kj20082006/status/453767978983501824

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  33. My kids all have an iPod touch that they use a lot. They also have a Kindle that they share.
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  34. tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/454049946698661888
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  35. they share our iphones, kindle fire, wii, and computers

    ReplyDelete
  36. My kids use a desktop PC for games and homework.
    lazybones344 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Our family shares the ipad and laptop
    tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. https://twitter.com/disneyfan40/status/455454295438008321
    tweety800265(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I don't have kids, but my niece has her own Android Tablet.
    austma7@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. My niece (I don't have kids) owns her own iPad but our family only lets her use it to play educational games. We also limit her time with it to one hour a day if she does all her chores. She shares it with the rest of the family.

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  41. Used to use the family iPad, but recently abandoned it...

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  42. I have no kids to use any household devices

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  43. Our oldest uses an iPad and our youngest has an iPod Touch. They don't share with each other.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My daughter just got a play tablet. She's only 3.
    elysesw@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/455495363881746432

    ReplyDelete
  46. he has his own iPad
    mintstatesportswear(at)juno(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  47. https://twitter.com/sohamolina/status/455541943489945600

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  48. We have a family iPad we all use.

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  49. My sons share an xbox and my iphone.
    seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

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  50. My nephew owns a Kindle Fire which he uses for playing games and reading. He shares a Wii and computer and occasionally borrows his mom's iPad.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/455671304666890240

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  52. My girls have their own. My oldest has a phone and my youngest has an ipod touch. thank you!!
    crystalfaulkner2000 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. My daughter has a Leapfrog Leappad and I find it to be very educational for her.
    stoopidgerlart@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  54. my kids like to 'borrow' my ipad pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  55. i tweeted https://twitter.com/DaPryz/status/455726326515650561 pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  56. My grandchild can use my desktop with me.

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  57. my daughter uses her ipod and my son uses an ipad that is supposed to be the whole family's but he is really the only one who uses it

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  58. We have one tv in the house, and one iPad. My ten year old uses the iPad to stream her favorite shows only after homework and chores are finished. The funny thing is that there are very few shows that she is interested in - most are too young for her, or are intended for older kids. That alone has made it easier to pare down the tv time. Plus she has become immersed in the Percy Jackson book series.

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  59. My kids are grown, but I've watched my 2yo granddaughter go from daddy's phone, to mommy's to the ipad. They do limit her time, but it doesn't please her!

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  60. The kids have one computer which they share with each other - thank you.

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  61. Tweet https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/455891717133451265

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  62. My kids have their own laptop, mp3 players and tablet. They share the laptop and tablet, for now and they also use the main, family computer as well :) I think it's important that kids learn to use technology at a young age so they can use if successfully and grow with it as the tech grows :)
    anastasia2013@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  63. Tweeted :) - https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/455903021549879296
    anastasia2013@gmail.com

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  64. My kids all have their own phones and ipod touch. They also use my laptop.

    ReplyDelete
  65. They get to use the family ipad.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I let my son use my Ipad, but he is too young to call a device like that his own.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  67. TWEET--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/456020493347614720

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  68. My little one uses my phone and my four older kids have their own tablets and laptops
    neiddyruiz@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  69. my tweet https://twitter.com/neiddy_ruiz/status/456080759317463040
    neiddyruiz@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

  70. my nephew uses any and everyone ones kindle and ipad

    ReplyDelete
  71. https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/456113496909156352

    ReplyDelete
  72. My children use our old iphones (not turned on) or ipods. We share!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  73. My daughter has a laptop and iphone. She is on twitter, on her iphone, all day long.

    ReplyDelete
  74. https://twitter.com/smilekisses/status/456346955765907457

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  75. We let our daughter use our Asus tablet or chromebook, but only while supervised. She uses school-recommended websites for math and loves to watch rainbow loom tutorials!

    ReplyDelete
  76. we share one tablet... no other hi-tech goodies here!
    4mariemh atgmaildotcom

    ReplyDelete
  77. the family uses a desktop computer
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  78. My daughter uses my laptop and cell phone sometimes

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  79. The electronics weren't around when my children were growing up. They had TV with limited programming and that was it. Their entertainment was actually playing with each other and friends.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  80. my daughter uses a kindle fire herself and the faimly uses an ipad

    joe gersch

    jtwark@mail.com

    ReplyDelete
  81. My grandkids each have their own devices, my grandson has a tablet and my granddaughter has an InnoTab.

    ReplyDelete
  82. My step-daughter is grown, but she uses her own iPhone for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  83. https://twitter.com/myfolly/status/456776361852424192

    ReplyDelete
  84. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/456790301063921664

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  85. My entire family shares a PC. For now...

    ReplyDelete
  86. My daughter uses our iPad mini…we all share it as a family and have passcodes, locks, and restrictions on certain things for her.

    pittsy82@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  87. tweeted https://twitter.com/pittsy82/status/456829113655779328

    pittsy82@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  88. my daughter is 5 and she only has toys for devices...although she has a toy lap top computer which has a lot of games

    ReplyDelete
  89. https://twitter.com/ardy22/status/456844877901205504

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  90. We have an old android phone that is disconnected that the kids use. My kids broke my tablet. :)
    tamarsweeps-at-gmail-dot-com

    ReplyDelete
  91. We all share the apple tv and sometimes my daughter plays with my smartphone~ she loves FaceTime

    ReplyDelete
  92. No kids so I don't have to share.
    This looks like a great thing for families.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  93. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/456956324266266624

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  94. My kids are older. My grandson has a tablet and shares the computer, phone & ipad.
    discriminating_diva at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  95. https://twitter.com/dddiva/status/456969950402330624

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  96. My kids use an iPad that is shared by them and I :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. My daughter has a Kindle Fire.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Tweet: https://twitter.com/HeartnSoulmom/status/456986704960712704

    ReplyDelete
  99. They use a Desktop and we share it. They do not have their own.

    motioncitycutie(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  100. We let the kids watch TV and use the DVD player. On occasion we will let them use the computer supervised. They are young and don't have their own yet, but maybe we will let them when they get older.
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  101. My kids share the computer and ipod with the rest of the family.
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  102. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/457172778752675840
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  103. We have the IPad and the Kindle! We like the Kindle a lot for reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My email
      jewelwood (at) gmail dot com

      Delete
  104. https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/457174037731364865
    jewelwood55 (at) gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  105. The grandkids loving using the tablet when they are here. They either share or one uses the desktop.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Tweet: https://twitter.com/njhhb/status/457174841909465089

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  107. When our daughter was young she had to have her own iPad and tablet.

    ReplyDelete
  108. My neices and nephews have various smartphones.

    ReplyDelete
  109. My kid has own phone and snags my iPad every chance he gets.

    ReplyDelete
  110. We share an iPad.
    ajoy1332 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  111. https://twitter.com/ajoy1332/status/457191000226557954
    ajoy1332 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  112. we share an ipad device.
    pinkmint@outlook.com

    ReplyDelete
  113. https://twitter.com/cmarquez482/status/457203334966165504
    pinkmint@outlook.com

    ReplyDelete
  114. We share our devices such as our PC with each other.
    poopxsmells@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  115. tweet: https://twitter.com/matwom/status/457210127880167424
    poopxsmells@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  116. My son has an ipad.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  117. https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/457216576085708800

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  118. https://twitter.com/eaglesforjack/status/457225428470468608

    ReplyDelete
  119. They both have their own tvs, my son has an Xbox live and my daughter has a laptop and smartphone.

    ReplyDelete
  120. We all share the TV in the living room.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Kids share with the whole family.


    eugeniewu [at] gmail-dot-com

    ReplyDelete
  122. The children have some devices of their own, some shared.


    hlee99 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  123. tweeted at
    https://twitter.com/leedhowell/status/457293386689818624

    hlee99 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  124. My younger daughter has her own kindle fire

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  125. tweet
    https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/457297623766945792

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I use YouTube KIDS, it has all the same features plus it's FREE!

      Delete
  126. My kids have their own gadgets.

    ReplyDelete