The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Limiting iPad time

on May 4, 2016

We have had electronic devices for a while, first iPods then an iPad, and limiting time on them was never an issue. The girls would be enthralled with them for a while, but after a few weeks they would move on to other things and only play with them occasionally. Around Christmas time they downloaded some new games and things changed. They were constantly asking to play, and if I said no, or told them time was up it was tears and fighting. Something had to change.


I wish I could remember who I stole this system from (or even how I found it!), but we now use a token system. The kids get five tokens per week, and each token is worth 30 minutes of screen time (we use them for iPad or computer time).

I love this system. If they want to play, they have to turn in a token. It’s not up to me, it’s not my fault, it’s all in their control. If they have chores or homework to do that comes first, but otherwise if they want to turn in three tokens on Sunday afternoon – GO FOR IT. Also, only five tokens means that they can’t play on them every day, which I love. If they practice piano for 30 minutes they can earn an extra 15 minute token, but that doesn’t happen too often. In the beginning, I paid 50 cents for each token they had left on Saturday, but we’ve stopped that since I rarely have cash.

We’ve been doing this for almost four months now, and it’s working so well for our family. There are no fights about their iPad time, and they know when the timer is up, they have to put their iPad away. I thought five tokens might not be enough and cause problems, but they usually have a token or two left at the end of the week.

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