Alert: The Media!

Like most children, ours are fascinated with any form of media. They would sit for hours on end searching the wide web for all possible games, play on the iPad endlessly, and watch movie after movie; that is, if we let them.

Early on in our children’s lives, we made the conscious decision to limit how much media they were exposed to. We shocked the world (well, our little world) when we told people we didn’t have television. (We have a TV, it just doesn’t get reception; videos only!)

As our children grew older and we became self-employed, computers became a part of our lives. This soon became something for us to consider. Do we let them play on it? How much time should we allow them?

In the last few years, my husband has started developing iPad/iPod applications for kids. So, inevitably, these devices have become a portion of our lives. Our children are often called upon to test the latest app and to check for “bugs”.

With all of the media that surrounds our children, it is easy to become lax in what they are consuming. Sure, we have filters! Yes, we have blocks! That doesn’t mean that everything  coming through is fit for our kids. 

We found that we needed to set limits. Boundaries needed to be put in place to ensure that our children knew the rules and that as parents we were being accountable.

Time is limited. Our children know that, during the school year, they are not allowed to have TV or play games on devices during the week. Yup, that’s right! From Monday till Friday night, our kids have to find some other way to keep themselves occupied. Not only are they limited to weekends, but they also are limited to a certain amount of screen time. When it comes to devices, the kids get one hour a piece, per day; period. In terms of TV, they usually get one movie on Friday and perhaps a couple over the weekend. They have learned to use their time wisely.

Space is limited. The laptop is placed on an open table in our front room, where it can be seen by anyone walking by. Our kids know that anything they are doing can be seen and heard. There are no computers in their rooms and most definitely no televisions!

Site unseen. Our children have their own user on the laptop. With their user, certain blocks have been put in place that allow us to keep our kids safe. If my husband or I haven’t approved it, it doesn’t get added to the list of sites they can visit. The same goes with devices and movies. If we haven’t seen it,  they don’t get it. Most of the sites that are approved must have something to do with expanding their minds. I don’t want them taking in junk! If it doesn’t add wrinkles to the brain, it usually doesn’t get added to the list.

During the summer, rule number one is a little stretched; it is summer after all! However, once the school year starts, the rule becomes firm.

Over the years, these rules have continued to work beautifully. Our children have learned to develop wonderful imaginations, to be creative, and use ingenuity; the media they are allowed has only helped to enhance this.

Do have certain rules for your children, when it comes to media? Which rules have you found hardest to keep?

6 thoughts on “Alert: The Media!

  1. Oh, I wish I had more of a voice in this regard. My husband is obsessed with TV and doesn’t believe in any rules about it unless it is affecting grades. I don’t want the TV in a main area of the house. I want time restricted on it. I did not grow up with a lot of televsion where my husband did.
    With me being home all day I can facilitate our activities. Weekends and summer holidays are really tough. My dear husband is in front of the TV most of the day unfortunately.


    • It is interesting that you mention this. I know several ladies who are in the same boat, their guy has no problem with the amount of TV their family consumes. I am very grateful that it is my husband who put his foot down on this one, not me.

      I am sure it must be tough to not have as much control, but you are being faithful to your husband’s wishes. That has a reward all its own, no?

      Thanks for stopping by and chiming in! It is always appreciated.


  2. I absolutely love this post and agree with you. But, I found it interesting to see that although this type of technology has now become a large part of your life, you still limit it with your children. That’s great!!! Because computers, internet and high tech games are not all there is to life…There’s a whole wonderful world outside of our computers! 🙂 You are a very wise parent and I love what you write about. Wholesome, smart, down to earth parenting tips. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my parenting blog


    • Because we have so much media access, it was imperative that we learn to limit it. It would become too easy to use media as a babysitter, which is always a bad idea. We love our Mac devices, but we needed to make sure they kids were learning to rely on their own ability to keep themselves amused and entertained.
      Thank you for the encouragement! The Lord is continuing to train us all in wisdom. It has been a blessing that He has allowed me to share the lessons I have learned with other people.
      Thanks for stopping by! It is always great to meet new people and to enjoy each other’s writing!


  3. We have Netflix, and we do limit during school. During the summer, we haven’t been as strict, but this year is when we really start buckling down. Our younger children have no issue with this – they LOVE playing outside. Our oldest leaves every weekend to be with his mother and her family – there, rules don’t apply. It is a free-for-all, and he can do as he pleases. That means, if he wants to watch TV all night until he falls asleep, that’s what he gets to do. At our home, he can watch a TV show or a movie, then he has to find something else to do. Since he is up later than all the other kids, he does get to watch something after they all go to sleep. Summer we aren’t so strict about, though, since he has no real responsibilities – but I’ve started kicking him to the library area to read or out the door to play because he’s not done a lot this summer.


    • I am sure it must be a challenging situation, being a step-parent. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job though!
      With us, we have found the key is balance. We restrict for good reason, but balance it out with fun activities and the ability to watch at the appropriate time.
      Thanks for stopping by and for the input. It is great to hear a different perspective.


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