Technology Tickets

Something we've been trying out lately are Technology Tickets.  We went through a phase where Eric only wanted to watch films...all day long.  Film after film after film.  The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends no more than one to two hours a day of educational, non-violent programs for pre-school-age children, so we wanted to make sure Eric wasn't watching more than this.  We want films to be enjoyed as a small part of his wider experiences like playing outside, building things, cooking, playing board games, reading, going for walks, playing imaginary games, playing hide and seek, going to the park, etc.! We didn't want him to just be watching TV!

As a way to quantify the amount he was watching and so he would understand this boundary we made Technology Tickets: 10 tickets, given every week on Monday, each ticket worth 30 minutes of screen time.  We decided that 5 hours over the course of the week would be a good amount to still allow Eric to enjoy watching films which he loves, would fit into our family life, and would be within the recommended guidelines.  Eric has autonomy over when to use them, and understands that he gets 10 which have to be swapped in. 

When they are spent we hang them up on a hook in  the kitchen.  We don't take them away as a punishment or add any as a reward.  We really enjoyed designing and making them together and Eric and I each have our favourite ones! So far they're working really well for us and have created a much better balance.

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