Electronic devices are a part of our lives, whether you like it or not. As a parent, it is very important to manage them within your family.
I actually like electronics, so we are pretty lax on our use of them. We have firm-ish rules with them, but we stay flexible.
Every morning, my kids watch a cartoon (or recently, The Cosby Show). I am not a morning person, so this gives me time to wake up.
Through the years, we've had different rules for electronics (hand helds and computer), but where we've landed (for now, at least) is letting our kids play unlimited electronics after school on Friday.
Sometimes, they can play on Saturdays, if our Friday was busy. Or if we have friends over and want to have adult time. Friends are important to us, so we are willing to sacrifice ideals for relationships.
There have been seasons of life where we allowed one hour a day. But the unlimited Friday electronics day is so much easier to manage. It builds anticipation throughout the week, and they know that Friday is THE day.
Chloe isn't as effected, but my two older boys get all wonky when they play electronics too long (we call it "electronics brain"). It effects school work and attitudes. So I prefer to only deal with this for one day.
So Friday is our day. But, as I said, we are flexible. If we are on a road trip, I let them play. If we're on vacation, they play a lot more. If I am having an awful day, sometimes I will turn on the Xbox.
Once again, this is just what works for our family. I actually think being familiar with electronics is a necessary part of education in our world today. I know families who utilize electronics far more than us....and families that don't allow them at all. This is one of those areas that I think is up to the family to decide.
Caleb and Luke, for what ever reason, fight the most among all of my kids. Yet they will play the Xbox for hours together, working together and having a blast. Their relationship in that context is worth it to me.
Also, electronics use changes in seasons of life. When I was pregnant and had a newborn, they played all of the time. I was miserable and tired.....so I was much more relaxed with the rules. It was short lived and we adjusted back once I was feeling good again.
What is your family's guidelines for electronics usage??