Before I became a dad, I told myself that any of my future kid(s) would be able to consume as much electronic media as he or she wanted. Now that I’m actually a dad, and I have a son who is obsessed with electronic media, I’m starting to have second thoughts. I mean, it was fine when the boy was little, like, before he was in school and stuff, but I think his consumption of electronic media is starting to get in the way of him being a productive member of second-grade society. Plus, I’m starting to have visions of my son at age 20, and he’s living in my basement playing Minecraft all-day-long.
So I’m trying out this new parenting technique that I like to call “limited screen time after dinner.” Here’s how it works:
- After homework and dinner, the boy is allowed a set amount of screen time before bedtime.
- I’ll set a timer, say, for 15 minutes, and when the timer goes off, the boy’s screen time is done.
- Once the timer goes off after 15 minutes, the boy will renegotiate for additional screen time, at which point I’ll add 10 minutes to the clock.
- After 10 minutes, I’ll tell the boy that he’s done with screen time, and he’ll invariably ask for five more minutes of time.
- I’ll concede and give him five more minutes of screen time.
- Once five minutes have passed, and the boy has used a total of 30 minutes of screen time for the evening, I’ll turn off all of the lights in the house and hide in my bedroom while the boy begrudgingly brushes his teeth and gets ready for bed.
I’ll readily admit that it’s not a very well-thought-out technique. So sue me, sheesh!