Alright... Thank you so much for all the input on this! I put my last post on my Facebook page and also the Positive Discipline Network (www.positivedisciplin.ning.com - you should ALL check this site out and join). I received tons of fabulous advice. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Its funny how you can forget that you know what to do when you are knee deep in the problem... Your stories and advice reminded me that I know how to handle this tech-time drama.
Here's what we did... We again discussed screen time at our family meeting last night. This time I went into it totally open with no rules set in stone. If I am trying to teach my kids about democracy, I can't really be a dictator, right? We made a list of time limits for screen time. I made sure to have 30 minutes on there, the kids and Ben also came up with 45, 50, 60 an 70 minutes. I told the kids to cross out a time that didn't work for them. Shocker, it was the 30 minutes. Then Ben and I got to cross one off - I'm sure you can guess which one we chose. Then the kids were left with 45, 50 and 60 minutes. They picked 60 minutes. So now the kids can do tech time during the week for up to 60 minutes. We still have the 7:00 cut off time. We also talked about how some days will be too busy for tech-time.
I then worked individually with both kids to come up with a list of things that need to the taken care of before they ask for tech-time. Funny, I had mentioned keeping track with stickers to Rowan before I came to my senses, and when we did this list she said, "Can we make spots to keep track with stickers?" I told her that I didn't think that would help her to do her best but that she was welcome to create something to track her progress throughout the week. SHE MADE HER OWN STICKER CHART! HA! There is no reward or punishment tied to this, just her wanting to keep track... Sweet Rowan.
So the kids brainstormed lists of responsibilities. The lists were long, so the kids felt powerful and invested by crossing some items off. I was surprised by some of the things on their list... In the end they both had 5 things to take care of before they ask for tech time. Rowan was excited to type and print hers out. Both kids signed the list and we put them on the fridge. Here's what they look like:
And of course, the drama has totally died down since I blogged about it. We shall see how this all turns out... I especially appreciated the advice about allowing the kids to feel the disappointment of having it be time to turn things off. We are going to brainstorm ideas about how to deal with the disappointment in a way that doesn't affect all the people around them...
Anyways, thanks for the support. :)
You guys are awesome.