I don’t know about your kids, but almost every day when my kids come home from school, after grabbing a snack, they ask for screen time. Whether it’s watching a show, playing a game on the iPad, or checking out one of their favorite You Tube channels it was becoming a default for them which was something I wanted to avoid. Torch, a new and exciting wifi router, is sponsoring this post and I’m excited to share with you how it can help you to manage your kids’ screen time.
In order to change our family’s routines and habits regarding screen time, I first looked at our after school time, and what I wanted them to do instead of spending time watching shows or playing on the iPad. Then I came up with a plan for managing their after-school screen time that I think will work for both of us.
Managing After School Screen Time for Kids
After School Snack
My kids need a snack right after school, I think most kids do, so I’m trying to be more intentional about having a healthy snack out and ready for them when they get home. I’m also making a point to stop whatever I am working on to sit down with them while they are eating to talk about how their day was at school.
Before, my kids would come home and raid the cabinets and often plop in front of the TV with their snack while I was busy working on something else. This way, I’m being intentional about spending time with them and talking with them after school. This doesn’t have to take long, 5-15 minutes at the most, but I think it is time well spent.
After School Chores
I don’t want my kids to feel like they have to spend all of their time after school doing chores. And with the older two gone at school all day, our house usually doesn’t get super messy during the day so this is usually just something small or quick that they can do to help me around the house. I’ve also been focusing on chores they can work together on, helping to teach them teamwork and cooperation.
After school chores are things like folding a load of our cleaning wipes and towels, or putting away their laundry that I folded during the day, unloading or loading the dishwasher, or helping with some dinner prep. I want them to continue to be involved with and learn the importance of helping around the house to keep things running smoothly, even when they’re not home from most of the day.
Homework and Reading Time
I am so thankful that my kids get to attend a Montessori public school and they really don’t have much, if any, homework. My 2nd grade daughter has to practice her spelling words every night and read for 20 minutes, which she usually does before bed. My son in Kindergarten is a beginning reader, and so even though he doesn’t have assigned homework, I want him to work on his reading for at least 10-15 minutes after school.
So I like them to sit down together, my son with a book, my daughter with her spelling and do that before they get distracted by other things. Then they have it done and don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the evening.
Invitation to Play
One more thing I am trying to work on being intentional about is setting up an invitation for my kids to play after school. This is usually as simple as setting out the Legos or the Duplos either in their room or in the living room, setting up their small art table with art supplies, or putting play dough or even a board game or card game out on the dinning room table.
Basically, it’s just putting things that they like to do out where they can easily see them and get involved with playing, without much thought or effort on their part. I find that when I do this, they are much more likely to get so involved in playing or working on something they don’t even think to ask for screen time.
So after they’ve had their snack and talked to me about their day, helped with chores, finished their homework and reading, and spent time playing, then my kids can choose to have their screen time according to their preferences.
We’ve talked about managing screen time for our kids before, and so you know I’m not opposed to my kids watching TV or using devices for entertainment or education. I think there are definite advantages to so many of the things that our kids have access to online.
But as parents, we also know that there are some major drawbacks to the internet that we have to be aware of for our children, such as inappropriate or mature content, how addictive and time consuming it can be, and being able to track what sites our kids are using and seeing online. And that where Torch comes in!
Torch is a new wi-fi router that gives parents simple tools to protect their kids’ internet use. It provides content filtering, time keeping by limiting internet use during certain times, and reporting by letting you know what your kids are doing and where. Torch helps parents provide a safe Internet for their kids to learn from and explore freely.
I am so excited about the ways that Torch will help me navigate the pitfalls of the Internet for and with my children. I love the idea of having specific time limits for each individual child based on their needs, as well as general “black outs” for when it’s really important to connect as a family, like dinner time. I also love that Torch is building an online community of parents to encourage discussion about Internet safety so we can help and learn from each other.
Learn more about Torch and sign up to receive more information about this new and exciting product!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Torch, all opinions are my own.