Ways the Screen Time app can reduce stress and increase fun on Christmas day. by Oliver Brushfield-Smith on December 15, 2016
Christmas is one of those times when lots of us parents realise, if we’re lucky, that our own folks worked pretty damn hard to keep us happy. Especially at Christmas. Not that we would’ve fully appreciated this at the time. No.
It’s only now we realise there’s much more to a “happy family Christmas” than simply ensuring the correct brand of skateboard is purchased or that the color on the new phone cover contains an acceptable level of sparkle. [/lead]
The real challenge is the juggling act involved with keeping everyone – big kids, small kids AND grown ups – happy, while avoiding conflict and cross frowns at all costs. It’s a day of high expectations from all parties. The parent would prefer the day to resemble his/her childhood Christmas. And the kids have their own ideas. Ideas which can quite often involve a device of some sort. Especially if they just unwrapped a new one from under the tree. And this is when problems occur. We didn’t have an iPad to get lost behind in the 80s and we’re not about to lose our children to theirs!
And so begin the arguments.
Thankfully our app is pretty good at putting a stop to such conflicts with features like the handy 5 minute warning and the ability to set a daily time limit.
There are lots of other ways to use the Screen Time features to your advantage on Christmas Day too. Below we’ve highlighted classic Christmas day occurrences and how to handle them cleverly with our app:
Screen Time feature: The whole package
Present unwrapping is easy screen-free time. Unless unwrapping…something with a screen. Will this be your child? Solution: get Screen Time uploaded onto their device before you wrap it for full festive control from day one. Or to buy yourself some extra time, ensure the battery is completely flat before wrapping 😀
Screen Time feature: Awarding Bonus Time
Gone are the days when parents do all the work. Offer the kids bonus time on their device for helping in the kitchen. You’ll sneak in a spot of extra bonding time with them while you’re at it. One potato peeled = 2 minutes bonus time. 1 carrot chopped = 2 minutes bonus time. One glass of Eggnog poured for mommy = 10 minutes of bonus time 😉
Screen Time feature: Task List
This is a controversial one that raises the ethical dilemma: should we bribe our children to make contact with our loved ones to wish them a merry Christmas? If your child will happily lift the phone to make that call to Granny on Christmas day, then good work! Or, if like many of us, your darling child would rather play with their new toys than thank the kind soul who sent them, simply add the call to their task list and reward with your preferred amount of bonus time. Is this bribery? Yes. We think sometimes that’s ok. Happy child, happy Granny, happy Christmas 🙂 Failing that, suggest to child in question that they FaceTime Granny from their shiny new device.
Screen Time Feature: Pause
This part of the day is all about the food, the crackers, the bad jokes, the reminiscing about past family Christmases, the occasional massively inappropriate comment made by older generations etc. For many, this gathering happens once a year at best. If you want everyone to be 100% present, use the Pause feature on your kids devices for their full attention.
Screen Time feature: Task List
Christmas is not complete without games. If the kids are reluctant, get them to suggest what games they’d prefer to play to make them feel more involved. Failing that, add ‘game time!’ to their list of tasks for extra bonus time. Who knows, they might have so much fun they forget to pick their device back up before the day is done.
Screen Time feature: Lights Out
Grown ups snoring on the sofa; the closing credits of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ are blasting out of the TV – this can mean only one thing: Christmas Day is complete. For the adults at least. Seeing as it’s Christmas, why not change the kids Lights Out setting on their device to a bit later than normal? Chances are they’ve earned it.