💬 Challenge Set! Structuring Their (Screen) Time

Replied to Challenge Set! Structuring Their (Screen) Time. | Learning & Leading

With the above being taken into account, as well as again, trying to steer my darlings away from watching… ONLY YouTube videos, I decided to structure their screen time, and more so iPad time, by throwing out some challenges and projects for them to complete. To be honest, I thought that this idea would crash and burn however they have responded to what’s been set well. Their enthusiasm and motivation to complete these challenges have been great and I am pretty proud of them for seeing them through.

In setting these challenges and knowing my kids, I knew that there needed to be a few parameters around what I was setting. My kids are highly competitive and see anything that is deemed to be a challenge or pits one against another as competition – something that I was wanting to avoid. The parameters I set may differ for other kids and families however, they worked for us and until the wheels fall off, I’ll continue with them. There are only 3 and this is how they were pitched.

  1. You are rewarded for attempting the challenges being set. This is not about competition and who is the best. It is about participation, being challenged, and giving it a go! 
  2. Time limits are set. Challenges are not ongoing and or to last years at a time! 
  3. You must give it your best. No half baked attempts or deciding to opt-in purely to get a reward. I need to feel that you’ve not given your best.
I really enjoyed this piece on digital parenting and wondered what it might look like with my two daughters. The eldest can list all the fears around screentime, but is happy to sit and watch videos while playing Lego or drawing.

What I like about the ‘challenges’ is that it is not about how much screentime, instead it is about how that time is used. This was something Mitch Resnick discussed in this extract from Life-Long Kindergarten. The only addition I wonder about is something like Duolingo. Is this a challenge or too educational?

In regards to Garageband, I was reminded of something Austin Kleon said:

Like most parents, I angst about giving the kids too much screen time, but Garageband has taught me: Not all screen time is created equal. The right piece of software matched with a child’s natural proclivities and talents and passion can yield complete gold.

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