Works for Me Wednesday – Computer Game Chips
Every Wednesday the children (and Tim) receive poker chips equivalent to 3 and 1/2 hours of computer game playing time.
White Chips = 30 minutes
Blue Chips = 1 hour
Green Chips = 2 hours
Throughout the week the children (and Tim) are free to ‘spend’ their computer chips as they wish, so long as permission is granted (Tim, obviously, doesn’t need permission) and a computer is available. When the chips are gone, the children (and Tim) are able to earn additional chips through service projects around the house (laundry, cleaning, extra chores).
Computer time is carefully monitored by the use of timers (see our Tuesday Parenting Tip for more on our love of timers). We have several kitchen timers and a stop watch that we employ to keep track of game time.
One of the saddest sounds in our house for the children (and Tim) is that little beeper, signifying 30 minutes has ended. Oh, the moans and groans you will hear from the children (and Tim). On the other hand, this crew can hear the clink of a chip as it hits the floor or counter from any room in the house. It’s a tragic thing to lose a chip to the washing machine where it is claimed by the laundress.
Benefits of this Discipline
- We become better stewards of our time – no more hours slipping away unnoticed in front of a computer game
- There is a cap to how much time, overall, one can spend on the computer – chips gone/computer game over
- Mom gets extra chores completed by eager computer gamers who are out of chips
- Mom doesn’t have to worry about her computer being used for long periods of time – 30 minutes is actually a very short period of time
- The family is encouraged to find other forms of entertainment – outside play, board games, reading
- Dad provides an awesome example of how to put limits on extracurricular activities
- Less fussing and nagging from Mom
I’m sure Tim (and the children) can share further blessings from this practice, if we ask them.
All five children gather to watch an intense moment on Daniel’s Star Wars Lego game. See the family unity and love.