Friday, July 6, 2018

Electronic Rules

It seems like whenever we get things just right it isn't long before we have to tweak the whole system again. This time it's in regards to our kids electronic time. I'm mainly writing this down to document it, but maybe it will help some other parents out there that are struggling to help their kids find balance. 

Here's our current rules: 

Everyday the kids have an alarm that goes off at 4pm reminding them to do their daily tasks. 

Daily tasks: 

Owen - Sweep and vacuum downstairs
Jack - Unload and load the dishwasher
Ella - Wash and set the table
Zeke - Feed and water the cat

Every kiddo will get 1 tally mark for their daily task each day IF they ALL do their daily task. So for instance if everyone, but Zeke does their job they don't get a tally mark for that day. We are trying to get them to work as a team and encourage each other. Thankfully this hasn't turned into pointing fingers at the person that forgets. 

What are tally marks? Each tally mark is good for 15 minutes of electronic time to be cashed in on Saturday. Tally marks do not roll over the ones that have been earned for that week must be used that Saturday. 

The kids also have weekly tasks:

Owen - Bring down all laundry and sort
Jack - Clean the bathrooms
Ella - Empty all bathroom & bedroom garbages
Zeke - Empty recycle

Weekly tasks are to be done on Mondays if the kids do their daily task and their weekly task they have the opportunity to earn 3 tally marks that day. So with 3 on Monday, and then 1 for each of the other 6 days of the week that means they have an opportunity to earn 9 tally marks. If they do earn all 9 they all get a bonus tally mark. Bringing their total to 10. 10 tally marks equals 2.5 hours. 

To us electronic time is...watching tv, going on the computer to play games or playing on their kindles. I do let the kids go on the computer to read every now and then, but not to often since we only have one computer. 

We do have electronic time on Friday for family movie night and then we usually watch America's Got Talent on Thursday night as well. 

So far this has really worked out well. We are teaching the kids responsibility with their jobs as well as team work. They are earning time that they can use, but we are giving them boundaries in which to use that time. Hopefully this works for a while and we won't have tweak things for at less a few months or better yet maybe a whole year.