How To Set Screen-Time Rules (With Less Screaming)

Oh, this is a big one.

Fights over iPad time can drive any parent CRAZY!

It’s a hard nut to crack but we’ve got some breakthroughs that might work for you too!

But first, let’s look at good rules.

Effective Screen-Time Rules For Kids

Let’s start with the most important one.

Rule #1: No Screens Before 10 am

If you let kids watch shows early in the morning, they’ll start waking up earlier and earlier.

They learn this really fast.

Screens are addictive and they’ll quickly learn how to get an hour of cartoons in before you even get out of bed.

The trouble is:
Now they’re already over-stimulated BEFORE your day starts.

Neat Trick To Keep Smaller Kids In Bed

Kids under 7 don’t know how to read the time on a clock.
Especially in the morning.

That’s where this kids’ clock comes in handy!

It slowly turns yellow and lights up with a smiley face when it’s time to get up!

Yellow kids clock

Get it here at Amazon.

For us, it really changed our mornings!

Most mornings, our son would stay in bed until 7, which means 1-2 HOURS more sleep for us!

If, however, they just won’t stay in bed – what then can you do?

I suggest you:

  1. Have some favorite toys ready for them to play with.
  2. Maybe a few coloring pages too.
  3. Place this on the dinner table (or wherever your kid likes to play).

Make sure to tell your kid the night before what they can do so they know what to do – until it’s 7 am (or whatever you can get away with 😉)

Rule #2: No fast-paced cartoons after dinner

Trust me, it will be way easier to get your kids to bed if they haven’t binged cartoons for an hour.

That’s waaaay too much stimuli for little folks.

Here’s an article we wrote with 21 slow-paced shows kids LOVE.

If they must – make sure it’s a relaxed and slow-paced show that actually prepares them for sleep.

Rule #3: No more than 1 hour of screen per day

I’ll leave this to the experts in the field.

You’ll find this rule echoed across doctors, psychologists, etc.

What happens when kids watch screens too much?

“Impatience in real world interactions is one of the biggest results of excessive screen time,” Dr. Yousuf said. “You don’t have to be patient with a screen. It’s instant gratification.

Now onto the harder part.

How To Apply Screen Rules (Without Going Insane)

It’s never too late to get this right.

But E-V-E-R-Y dad needs some solid tips in order to get this to work.

It will always get a bit messy, but here are a few tips to (hopefully) avoid total breakdowns.

You can do it guys!

How To Control What They Watch

Make sure their device isn’t connected to the web.

Download their shows to the iPad, so you control what they watch.

It’s possible on all major streaming apps.

This doesn’t work on YouTube, though.


Kids (under 10) should NEVER watch YouTube alone. You can watch it with them.

It’s hard enough for adults not to get sucked into YouTube’s dark holes!

Just don’t install a SIM card on the iPad.

Easy Hack To Avoid Kids Getting Overloaded When Watching Screens

Google has a fantastic browser extension for parents.

It lets you slow down ANY VIDEO by 10% intervals!

Why is that great?

Because today’s shows are WAY more hectic and fast-paced than what we watched as a kid.

The shows we watched as kids were slower…

Turtles meme

Here’s the Chrome extension.

You can now use the “S” & “D” keys to adjust the speed.
(EASY to do without kids noticing)

Kids won’t notice a 10% slower speed (the sound pitch doesn’t change!)

Bonus: YOU can also use it to speed up videos when researching stuff.

Ready To Take It Up A Notch?

Here’s an easy way to help anyone (yes – yourself included 😉) stay offline after work.

Set an outlet timer on the router (here’s a good cheap one at Amazon).

It’s an easy way to shut down Wi-Fi when it’s family time.

We did that 3 years ago, and it makes it easier to not turn on the TV when you need to go and turn on the Wi-Fi.

Thanks for reading!

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