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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Nov 30 2021, 12:21 am
My kids are way too attached to their electronics and I really want to stop it. Please tell me what your kids do to entertain themselves a whole afternoon on school days.
My kids are home at 4
6 yr old goes to sleep at 8:30
10 yr old goes to sleep at 9:15
13 yr old goes to sleep at 11 (he is in shul from 8-9:15 learning/davening) but that's it

Our school offers no extracurricular activities
My 6yo goes to karate twice a week
It is nice weather now, but it's dark by 5:30

Even with friends and crafts and outdoor time and cooking, supper, showers, homework (not more than 10 minutes a night for anyone) I can't seem to keep them busy for what is between 4 and 6 hours each night

Can someone please post a "schedule" of what their kids do in the afternoon?
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amother




Natural
 

Post Tue, Nov 30 2021, 12:49 am
We put up a puzzle table all winter in common area and buy lots of puzzles

Baking
Board games
Crafts
My girls have an easier time

Right now my 13 year old son is having a hard time. We were trying to brainstorm activity options:
Baking
Some of these may be screen time:
Learning to type
Learning a skill like quick books, programming, or excel
Excersize video
Take piano lessons online
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salt




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Nov 30 2021, 2:21 am
Playmobil for the 6 year old.
Lego perhaps? Maybe more for boys.
Books, do they like reading?
Friends.
Baking.

A little more expensive but would any of them learn a musical instrument. That would mean a weekly lesson, but daily practice, and a great skill at the end of it!
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amother




OP
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:07 pm
Thanks to those who answered!
We do every single one of these things, but it still doesn't fill hours and hours day after day. (I also have a 2 yr old, so she definitely gets in the way of some of these activities on a daily basis).
I really don't get what people are doing with their kids all afternoon - I feel like I'm missing out on a secret Sad
I asked for someone to post a "schedule" because I want to see some ideas in real time of what's going on in other people's homes
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amother




Rainbow
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:22 pm
Wow I’m the opposite, I find it so hectic when they come home, I wish I had more time. A schedule? Let’s see:
4:20—off the bus
4:20-4:45–unwind, tell me about their day, eat a snack
4:45-5:45–homework. Not exact timing. But there’s so much homework! Usually it goes past that time too because they get distracted and have to keep coming back, so probably won’t finish until 6 actually.
6:00-6:30—they have a little free time. It’s not enough time but it is what it is. They play dolls, Lego, magnets, animals, color, whatever. Meanwhile I finish up supper.
6:30-6:50—Supper
6:50–7:20—bath/shower time
7:20-7:45 get in pajamas and ready for bed.

And bedtime is 7:45.
Of course I’m not rigid with a schedule, this is just me thinking how it can turn out on a random day. But sometimes homework stretches on and on, sometimes I’m late with supper, sometimes bath time stretches on, and I’m always frantically rushing for them to get to bed on time. They usually go to sleep past bedtime, around 8.
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:25 pm
I have a 5 year old that gets home at 2 and 7 and 11 year at 4:10.

My 5 and 7 year olds love to play pretend, they make up all kinds of games. They play trains, cars, duplo playmobile until I get home at 5:30. Once I get home, they get 15 minutes of screen time while I am nursing the baby and warming up dinner. They like to help me finish up with dinner, eat dinner, shower, homework and bedtime is 7:30.

My 11 year old crashes when he gets home school is exhausting for him. He usually wakes up when I get home, eats dinner, goes to masmidim for an hour, sometimes I do an errand on the way home like grocery store or target and he comes with. He is supposed to do his homework at Masmidim but doesnt want to so he does that at home. He has be in his room time at 9:30. He is a major reader. So that keeps him busy. I let him have 15 minutes of screen time he likes fruit ninja or a how to video.
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amother




Bone
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:26 pm
I’m also surprised at how long the afternoon is. We are rushed rushed rushed. Home at 5:15, homework and play, dinner at 6:30, then rush to shower and bed before 8

(Why does your 6 year old go to bed so late??)
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thatworn




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:28 pm
Mecchano. I am not sure what it is called these days. It is like lego, but with nuts and bolts. My 6 and 8 yr olds love it, My 8 year old is the type to climb the walls but this keeps him entertained. I feel that it could also keep a 13 year old entertained.
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bigsis144




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:30 pm
OP, my kids (9 &12) don’t have homework most nights and they’re on the computer from 4-8 because if they’re not I can’t do anything else.

They won’t read or play legos or… bake 😂
If I take them to the park (when it’s light) or the library, they complain that I’m “wasting their time”. As if they have an internal need for a minimum amount of time in front of a screen, and they will be deficient if their needs are not met.

If they were doing useful or learning things like coding or writing stories or math games, I’d be more okay with it, but it’s mostly watching OTHER PEOPLE play Minecraft on youtube. Why do they need this so badly???!!! Why doesn’t anything else I offer them meet this need???


Last edited by bigsis144 on Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mha3484




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:33 pm
Also my husband and I teach our kids from a young age that we are not the entertainment director. We have a lot of toys and they have each other and they can entertain themselves. I go to goodwill and occasionally get new cheap toys which makes it more interesting but I really let them figure out what to play.
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amother




Acacia
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 4:34 pm
I’ll agree. I have very very minimal afternoon. Till 6:30 is dedicated to coming home, unwinding, homework, dinner, bath baby and put him to sleep (he’s 2 lol, not such a baby) at 6:30/6:45 I sit down and play for my kids for 1-1.5 hours. And then older ones read or hang out with friends. Never enough time

Just wanted to add - not to sound holier than thou- My kids used to watch everyday after school. I listened to a speech from the school principal that inspired me to stop. I still allow Friday afternoon and Sunday morn. When I was thinking to stop I could not imagine life without devices. I think the kids brains become wired from devices and they need that stimulation. It really subsides with time and becomes much more manageable. Now I can’t imagine life with devices after school, there never seems to be time!
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amother




Bone
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 5:29 pm
amother [ Acacia ] wrote:
I’ll agree. I have very very minimal afternoon. Till 6:30 is dedicated to coming home, unwinding, homework, dinner, bath baby and put him to sleep (he’s 2 lol, not such a baby) at 6:30/6:45 I sit down and play for my kids for 1-1.5 hours. And then older ones read or hang out with friends. Never enough time

Just wanted to add - not to sound holier than thou- My kids used to watch everyday after school. I listened to a speech from the school principal that inspired me to stop. I still allow Friday afternoon and Sunday morn. When I was thinking to stop I could not imagine life without devices. I think the kids brains become wired from devices and they need that stimulation. It really subsides with time and becomes much more manageable. Now I can’t imagine life with devices after school, there never seems to be time!


We also only allow it on Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. (And in car for long trips but that’s Always on a Sunday anyway)
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honeymoon




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Dec 01 2021, 5:43 pm
My kids read tons. They go through tons of books and magazines in a week. They also do sudoku, word puzzles, trivia and geography games.

Your kids might enjoy learning to play an instrument. There are several programs available online or usb.

Would your kids be interested in developing a skill like woodworking, painting, crocheting, photography, food decorating etc.?
There are few things that make children feel as content as when they are kept entertained by something they are good at.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Dec 02 2021, 12:01 am
Quote:
Just wanted to add - not to sound holier than thou- My kids used to watch everyday after school. I listened to a speech from the school principal that inspired me to stop. I still allow Friday afternoon and Sunday morn. When I was thinking to stop I could not imagine life without devices. I think the kids brains become wired from devices and they need that stimulation. It really subsides with time and becomes much more manageable. Now I can’t imagine life with devices after school, there never seems to be time!


This is really what I'm hoping for. I'm trying to prep myself ahead and figure out what to do with our time before I throw it at them

Did you stop cold turkey?
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justforfun87




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Dec 02 2021, 12:15 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Quote:
Just wanted to add - not to sound holier than thou- My kids used to watch everyday after school. I listened to a speech from the school principal that inspired me to stop. I still allow Friday afternoon and Sunday morn. When I was thinking to stop I could not imagine life without devices. I think the kids brains become wired from devices and they need that stimulation. It really subsides with time and becomes much more manageable. Now I can’t imagine life with devices after school, there never seems to be time!


This is really what I'm hoping for. I'm trying to prep myself ahead and figure out what to do with our time before I throw it at them

Did you stop cold turkey?

Like others have said those families that don't have screens find ways to fill the afternoon. I see it in my friends who don't allow screens that their kids play, do art, find what to do with their time. Unfortunately my kids are stuck on screens so I find the evening stressful as well. I have limited it down to 30 minutes a day and they follow it nicely.
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amother




Acacia
 

Post Thu, Dec 02 2021, 12:20 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Quote:
Just wanted to add - not to sound holier than thou- My kids used to watch everyday after school. I listened to a speech from the school principal that inspired me to stop. I still allow Friday afternoon and Sunday morn. When I was thinking to stop I could not imagine life without devices. I think the kids brains become wired from devices and they need that stimulation. It really subsides with time and becomes much more manageable. Now I can’t imagine life with devices after school, there never seems to be time!


This is really what I'm hoping for. I'm trying to prep myself ahead and figure out what to do with our time before I throw it at them

Did you stop cold turkey?


I stopped after the summer. My oldest was the most attached and still occasionally asks for it. It’s a hard no. Right in the beginning I bought an exciting indoor toy so the first week passed easily, it got better after that.. my kids are active so it was a pull up bar that hangs from a door but has a bunch of attachments to try different exercises. All the kids loved it ..
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amother




Heather
 

Post Thu, Dec 02 2021, 12:27 am
Your kids have a short school day.!

My boys come home 5:15 , they relax and eat supper until 6. They thankfully dont have much H.W. I do have a fun basement that I just set up in centers, I copied my K sons classroom.lol Complete with signs, Lego center, art center, sports center, they play a lot there.
My older son goes to maariv at 6.45, generally by 7:30 my younger kids go upstairs to sleep, bathe... and by 8:00- 8:30 the older ones come upstairs.. they do read in bed ..
My son has shacharis early in the morning. He needs to be outside at 6.55 already..

I just took out my kids tablets yesterday, chanukah as a treat for them, it was last taken out chol hamoed sukkos..
Bh my kids have a toy store downstairs and they use it..
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Dec 02 2021, 8:15 am
Yes, my kids have a very short school day. DS 13 starts at 8 and the younger ones at 8:30. We live a 5 minute walk from school. So there's no commute. Basically zero homework
And there's no school on Sundays for anyone and no such thing as "clubs" here. Way, way too much free time all around.

I think my plan will be to wait until after winter vacation in a couple of weeks (because then they have 2 weeks off of school again Can't Believe It )
We were pretty good with no screens before corona, but wince then it's been getting worse and worse
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Dec 02 2021, 8:59 am
Electronics is an addiction. Literally. What if someone told you you couldn't use your phone at all for 6 hours after work?

They will act out and be pretty upset. It will take time for them to find ways to regulate without it.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Dec 02 2021, 9:34 am
Quote:
Electronics is an addiction. Literally. What if someone told you you couldn't use your phone at all for 6 hours after work?

They will act out and be pretty upset. It will take time for them to find ways to regulate without it.


Thank you. This was so helpful. NOT

I am acknowledging there's a problem in my home and looking for ideas to make the transition easier. In what way would this post help me on a practical level? I didn't ask for mussar

The posters above gave great ideas and some of them actually stated the exact same thing as you in a nice tone

Sorry for the tangent- PSA to everyone, please read over your posts before hitting post and think if your words will actually be helpful. I get lots of good ideas and advice on this site, but the attitudes of some posters here really grate on my nerves sometimes
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