In the past weeks we’ve gotten lax on our computer habits. We’ve been out of school. Been through a round of summer time sickness. We’ve let the boundaries slide. I noticed as we got away from our habit that the grumpiness moved in to stay. All our habits mesh with and compliment one another – so other areas were affected.  Time to go back to basics. Settling into what has worked for years. What is expected by everyone.

No computer until after 4 pm. If jurisdictions and summer jobs are done.

But MOM!! You say? I’m sorry, complaining has earned you a bit of extra work before your computer privilege. Or, you just may have to wait until tomorrow for your turn.

Benefits of boundaries:

  • Motivation to complete simple household chores
  • At least a half hour of outside time first
  • No repeatedly asking, Mom? Can I get on the computer? 4 pm is the set time
  • No arguing over who gets a turn first – we set up a rotation or a child may be rewarded based on diligence
  • No whining when computer time is up – the computer sets the time for us
  • Computer time is viewed as a privilege and a blessing not an entitlement

Blessings of boundaries:

A new habit we’ve added this last year is 15 minutes to a half hour of computer time in the morning if jobs are done in a timely manner. During the school year we follow the Before 8:45 habit from Everyday Homemaking. On summer break we are a bit relaxed with the required time.

The bottom line? Moderation makes for a happy home.

What about parent habits? The same for me. Half an hour in the mornings after my jobs are done (Kendra’s Starting the Day Right). I like to tweet a Bible verse or encouraging quote. Since I am an adult I do breeze by the computer to check email or type a thought in my open Word document. Moderation though – especially during school time. Remember what happens when we let the boundaries get loose. Usually I do most of my tapping during afternoon Quiet Time or after children are tucked in at night.

Need more detail? Some electronic resources by Hodgepodgedad: The habit of protecting (keeping our children safe on the computer), TV Wasteland (Our TV Habits), Alex the Compubutler (limiting computer time using Apple’s parental control features – including the funny script he wrote for phone time)

Easy ways for children to earn the computer privilege? Angie’s Habit Training, Kim’s Chore System, Kendra’s Behavior Journaling, and our Hodgepodge Tools Not Rules, Jurisdictions and Service Opportunities.

Fun Computer Learning links:

Summer entertainment away from the computer: Kendra’s Scoop, Summer Camp at Home

More encouragement on taking an active role in the habit of electronics with our children in Kim’s post on Tim Hawkins’ family, Parenting in the Digital Age.

I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes. Psalm 101:3

How about you? What are your computer habits? Or maybe you’d like to share a fun, learning website you and your children frequent.