Less Electronics and More Family Time


Limiting the time your children spend on their electronic devices can be a challenge, but it doesn’t need  to be a battle, leading  to tears and tantrums.

My kids and their electronics!

My kids and their electronics!

Out of my three children, my 8 year old son LOVES electronics the most. He loves  the  X-Box, Wii, his iPad and would even settle for Minecraft on my iPhone, if need be. He could literally play for hours if I let him…with very short breaks for snacking and bathroom visits.  If left to his own accord, he would play all day!

However, in our home electronic devices are only accessible to our children on the weekend (unless it’s for homework).  From Monday to Friday afternoon all iPads, iPod Touches, etc. are safely stored in my bedroom closet and our kids know they are OFF LIMITS.

My husband and I made this decision about a two years ago when we found that our “family time” was becoming too limited and distracted. We would become frustrated when our game-night table was also littered with devices peeping and chiming every 30 seconds.

And, according to the Canadian Pediatric Society, “excessive amounts of time at a computer can contribute to obesity, undeveloped social skills and a form of addictive behavior”

Playing ball with my sister 1981

Playing ball with my sister 1981

When I was young I played Barbie, baseball, did arts and crafts and skipped rope.  When did all this change??

It was clear to me that my children had begun to loose touch with the SIMPLE pleasures like: reading, playing cards and throwing around a ball.

My kids, especially my youngest, needed an ELECTRONICS INTERVENTION!

At first , it was a challenge to implement these rules and I have to admit I felt a little guilty. Was it really realistic to DEPRIVE my children from their devices? Would they know how to fill their free time constructively? Would they resent me? How would it affect them socially?

It’s been over two years and I have to say it’s one of the best decision that I’ve made as a parent. The limitation of electronic devices has allowed us to spend much more quality time as a family with very little distraction. My children have also learned how to be more productive with their time.IMG_0062

I can now often find my children,(yes, even my little video game junkie) playing cards on the backyard deck and  working on their Rainbow Loom business. Our children respect the NO ELECTRONICS rule (most of the time) and I can see that the limitation has only encouraged them to be more creative, communicative and interactive.

Don’t get me wrong—TV, video games, and computers are excellent sources of education and entertainment for children. But too much time in front of a screen  can have unhealthy side effects on a family.

Playing baseball outside

Playing baseball outside

So consider monitoring and limiting the time your children spend playing video games, watching TV, and on the computer.  Just remember – everything in moderation.

What are your family rules about electronics?

  • Time With Thea
    Posted at 00:01h, 22 October Reply

    I love your no tech connected rules. I am so supportive of maintaining balance and modelling that for the kids. We are a very techy family with all kinds of Apple products. It is even the work my husband does. That being said, our children very rarely played games and used their devices for all kinds of other things. They were also very busy with their sports activities. Thanks for sharing! ~Thea

    • Lisa
      Posted at 23:13h, 24 October Reply

      I agree that it is crucial that as parents we model good behaviours for our kids. Thanks so much for you comment.

  • Alex
    Posted at 17:13h, 22 October Reply

    This is becoming an issue in our home so much so that we have started to do the same thing – except we put passwords on the devices so that they cannot be used without our consent. I still feel so strange that I never grew up with this issue and yet now it’s such a dominant one with how we raise our kids.

  • Lisa
    Posted at 23:14h, 24 October Reply

    I think passwords are also a great idea. Thanks for your comment Alex!

  • Dani @ lifeovereasy
    Posted at 00:49h, 25 October Reply

    I think this is becoming a huge issue for families. Things have changed so much even in the last 10 years. It will take some trial and error to figure it out. Sounds like your idea is working well.

    • Lisa
      Posted at 21:46h, 08 November Reply

      Thanks Dani!

  • Deanna
    Posted at 17:17h, 08 November Reply

    This was a great article and inspiring idea to try. I have actually been thinking about it over the past few weeks since I read it. I am definitely going to try this when my kids are older. It’s important to me to have good quality family time. The challenge will to stick with it!

  • Lisa
    Posted at 21:48h, 08 November Reply

    Thanks Deanna. It has really worked for our family…..

Post A Comment