Parent hack for kids with devices

Like many of you, we have kids with devices. Specifically, an iPad 1 (so VHS!) and an iPhone 4s. Our kids wake up pretty early on weekends used to immediately start playing while we sleep. That part was fine because they let us sleep a little longer.

The challenge was that they’d still be playing by late morning on the weekend without having eaten anything, changed out of their pyjamas or brushed their teeth. Sure there are times when a pyjama day is a perfect way to spend the weekend but we don’t want to raise Zombie Screen Kiddies.

We came up with a pretty effective little parent hack to get them to do all that admin without a weekly fight about it. We introduced a new rule: no devices on weekends before they –

  • eat breakfast
  • brush their teeth (properly)
  • change into day clothes.

The result has been impressive. Both kids are typically fed, teeth brushed and dressed by 7am.

The bonus benefit is that our son has been helping our daughter with her tasks. He gives her breakfast and a 1 minute timer so she brushes her teeth long enough. He even opens blinds in the apartment so they’re exposed to some of that natural light.

They didn’t even argue with us when we introduced the rule. They’re probably still too young to realise when they are being manipulated.

I am really proud of them for embracing this new rule. I’m also really impressed with our ingenuity.


4 responses to “Parent hack for kids with devices

  1. nuclearpengy avatar

    Brilliant! In your next iteration, you can add being served breakfast in bed as a condition. 🙂

    1. Paul avatar

      I don’t think I have that level of mastery yet!

  2. nuclearpengy avatar

    ROFL 😀

  3. victoire avatar

    It really does work! Although I still help the kids make breakfast and get dressed, so much more gets done when they don’t dive right into the tech. Now to figure out how to wrestle them away from it once they are glued to the screens!!!

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