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Monday, January 23, 2012

Tech Tickets

For the twin's birthday this year we got them Leapsters. We intended to keep them busy on our flight to Disney with these.  Since this is our first experience with a gaming system we had no idea what we had gotten ourselves into. If it were up to the boys they would play them all day long.  We quickly learned we needed to come up with some way to monitor game time.  We already limit what and how much TV the kids can watch.  Thanks to my new time waster pinterest I found this great idea:  Technology Tickets.  This blog contains another mom's creative solution - the kids are given tickets at the beginning of the week for the entire amount of time they can play games, watch TV and play on the computer.  I tweaked the idea to fit our family.  I made up tickets on the computer.  Each child has a different color.  That way they can't steal from each other once their tickets are gone. I used card stock that I had lying around.

 I used 15 minute increments.  Eliana is struggling with 1/4 hours, and I thought this would help her apply what she was learning.  The kids got the tickets on Monday morning during school.  I started with 5 hours for the week.  Even as I type it still sounds like too much.  The tickets are good for computer time, TV & movie time, Leapsters and playing games on daddy's Kindle.  They don't have to use tickets for computer time that is for school or if we watch a movie during family time. I gave each of the kids an envelope with their tickets in it.  We then hung the envelopes up in the school room.
I'll let you know how it goes at the end of the week.  Would love to know what you do at your house?  How do you monitor time?  How much time to your kids get?

2 comments:

  1. I did something similar when the kids were younger.

    You could "earn" time each day by accomplishing tasks that were required. I broke mine into 5 minute increments--because you could also "lose" time for various offenses.

    You started the day with 15 minutes. (My kids were in the 3rd, 4th & 6th grade when we started it) You could earn extra minutes by making your bed without being asked, by getting up on time, by completing chores properly the first time (my kids had a tendency to "do their chores", but not do them correctly on purpose so they could finish faster), and other responsible behaviors during the day.

    You could lose time for being unkind to a sibling (which was a MAJOR problem at that time), talking back, lying, etc--you get the point.

    the 5 minute increments were nice b/c before I had tended to take away their "time" for the day in the morning b/c they were unkind and then I really didn't have any good disciplinary actions for the rest of the day (once you lost your time--what more did you have to lose?? was their thought process). But I noticed when we switched to the 5 minute increments--the kids would lose 5 minutes and realize they didn't want to lose anymore and it helped with behavior all day. Also, it was nice they had a chance to earn time throughout the day if they woke up grouchy--they could choose to work hard the rest of the day and recover from a "bad" morning.

    The downside? Remembering to remove/add time to the jar if you weren't right next to it. There were days we were too busy and the kids didn't have time to use "time" and that made them mad. If I let them roll over their time--there were weekends that they would spend HOURS playing video games--which was way worse in my boys' behavior especially--then an hour or so each day.

    Overall, it was a good system. We used it several years until the kids were used to doing chores and being responsible in general. Now each teen gets 1 hour of time for video games or computer time each day. All chores/schoolwork must be completed before they can use time. On the weekends we're more flexible on how long they can play--especially if they have friends over or are interacting online with someone.

    Good luck :)

    ~Shawna
    ps..I love that you color coded so they wouldn't steal from each other :) I wish I had thought of that!!! Way to think ahead! :)

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