How We Reduced Screen Time with NO Tears or Tantrums! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

|

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here.

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

This fall, I started enforcing the rule that the kids couldn’t use technology (t.v., computers, iPad, etc) until after dinner. While the benefits were awesome (more time outdoors, creative projects everywhere) there were limitations, too. Namely, my sanity. Especially during snowstorms, rainy days, and that pre-dinner witching hour that makes me break out in hives just thinking of it. Plus, they’d get cranky when I said no or when it was time to turn it off. While reading the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown (a must-read book for anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed), there was a nugget of wisdom that rocked my world. The author suggested handing out a limited number of ‘Technology Tickets’ at the beginning of the week and letting the kids turn one in when they wanted screen time. They could also earn additional tickets by reading for 30 minutes. At the end of the week, they could turn in unused tickets for .50 each. We gave it a shot, and just like the author promised, IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM.

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

How well did it work? We reduced screen time significantly, there were no more tantrums or whining, and by week two they earned $2.50 each in unused tickets! It’s a funny thing– by giving kids the structure to make good choices, they felt in control and made better decisions. Imagine that!

Listen, do I wish my kids never felt the need to use screens and instead worked on creating world peace? Of course. But as I recently heard quoted on NPR, technology is the air they breathe and the water they drink. It’s infused in their lives more than we could ever have anticipated. I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. But as a parent, I can help them navigate this brave new world that I didn’t have myself; you know, having been born in the Jurassic period and all.

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

But I digress. These tickets are so easy to use. I printed out one color for each child (there’s three to choose from, so if you have four kids, first of all God bless you and second, you can have the kids write their names on each one or print on different colored paper).

Each sheet has five 15 minute tickets and five 30 minute tickets. I’ve found that they do a great job of knowing which one to use and when, and quickly figured out they could combine two 30 tickets for a movie, or each contribute one 15 minute ticket to watch a full episode of Scooby Doo. I’m telling you, these tickets have been such a blessing and restored peace again!

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

 

Another rule: THEY are responsible for taking care of them. If they lose their tickets, too bad– they don’t get replenished again until Sunday night. See, it also teaches responsibility!

If they run out early, reading for half an hour earns them one more. At the end of the week if they have extras I pay up– .50 per ticket. Well worth every penny.

Since I made them for my kids (and we tested them and they work SO well), I wanted to share them with you too!

To print, click on the image below. Then we’ll email you a copy for you to print. Feel free to get fancy and laminate them or print on cardstock, quite honestly I printed mine on plain paper and they have held up well so far!

Click Here For Your Free Printable Technology Tickets

Click here to subscribe

What do they do instead of technology? Here’s a few photos from this week:

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

 

I can honestly report that these tickets have been a game-changer. If you love this idea, I hope you’ll share this post!

By the way, here’s the book I recommended (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less).  It’s not a parenting book but rather about simplifying and overcoming the urge to do more. I LOVED IT, and it has been a guiding principal in getting me through the busiest summer of my life so far.

Take the challenge and let me know how it works for your family. Just make sure you’re ready for more peaceful summers and less tantrums over screen-time!

This ONE simple trick will reduce your child's screen time with no tears or tantrums! Completely changed our lives for the better! (Free Printable Technology Tickets)

Save

Share This Post With Friends!
Pin on Pinterest
Pinterest
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Similar Posts

18 Comments

  1. Hi Carrie. How many did you hand out at the beginning of the week? Just an idea for me to start with.

    1. Hi. Just came across this site as I was looking for ideas on how to reduce my 8 year olds screen time. Curious like the woman above – how many did you hand out in the beginning of the week?
      Also- are you still doing this? I know this post is from last year!

      Best
      Heather

      1. Hi! I need to write an update, but yes, we’re totally still doing this and it rocks! The past few weeks I’ve let it slide a bit because my husband was traveling and we’ve been so busy they haven’t had time for screens, but I’m tightening up again the first day of summer vacation to make sure they don’t vegetate in front of a screen all day. At first I handed out all the tickets from one sheet, then realized they did fine with just 7 or 8 (one for each day plus a bonus.) It really works and even their pediatrician loved the idea when my kids were telling her all about it after she asked about daily screen time!

  2. Hi! I just discovered your site and love it! I have done a version of Technology Tickets, and I will just add that the “earning” part is just as important as the “ticket part.” My guy earns screen time by practicing his violin, unloading the dishwasher, and other stuff as well as the fabulous reading. I have found its best to have the earning activity agreed upon ahead of time instead of spur of the moment, though. Thanks!

    1. Great point! My son actually reminded me about earning the tickets a few days ago, and has been reading so much more since realizing he could earn them that way. Love the additional activities like chores and practicing instruments!

  3. Question! How do you handle educational technology time? I.e. Using the iPad to do math games? Do they use their tickets for that? Or is that freebie time?

    1. This is a great question. Often I’ll give them an extra ticket to use for educational technology time. Sometimes their homework involves using a device so that’s a freebie since it’s required.

  4. Hi there! My wife and I are looking for ways to limit screen time for our 3 year old son. We also have a 1 year old. This seems like a great idea, but what age would you start this at?
    Thank you 🙂

    1. I started this with my 2 year old. He caught on faster than his older brothers. We have been doing it for a year now and it has made such a difference in my house!

  5. These are fabulous! Any way to get a pink set? I color code my peeps. Blue and pink. Kind an ocd thing. Thank you!

  6. Hi! I just came across your blog. I was looking for printable reward tickets for my son… He gets obsessed with screens. He is 8, on the spectrum and gifted. Wonderful, but strong-willed. 😉
    I think this is a great plan.

    I was wondering do you do anything about consequences? For example 2 of your kids get into a bad fight and hit… or something. Do they lose any tickets for that?

    Or can they earn more for good behavior? I am thinking I might give him some at the beginning of the week, and he can earn more by remembering to use his manners on his own and keeping a positive attitude.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi, I’m so sorry I’m just seeing your comment now! I do take away screen time for negative behavior, our rule is if I have to repeat something three times (ie, ‘please go brush your teeth’) and they don’t do it they lose screentime for 24 hours. Every child is different, so choose what you think would work best for your kids and my advice is to stay consistent– that’s what seems to work with us. 🙂

  7. We have been doing this for a year now with our three boys (3,6,8) and LOVE it! We made a few tweaks to fit our lifestyle and it has made such a difference! We don’t have fights about technology anymore, the boys understand if they are out of tickets they either have to earn more or find something else to do. It has made such a difference a few of my friends have began doing this with their children as well! Thank-You!!

  8. I’m just going to get started with this! How do you handle the tickets? I mean, do you give them all on a certain day of the week and then that’s it? do they have to earn them? I know this isn’t a new post for you but I’m so happy I found this, hoping for some major changes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.