Screen Time Helps My Kids Get Dressed in the Morning

Photographer: Julia Van ArsdaleNo Restrictions: Approved for Editorial, Native, and Co-Branded use.
POPSUGAR Photography | Julia Van Arsdale
POPSUGAR Photography | Julia Van Arsdale

If you are a hot-mess mom like me with kids who absolutely despise waking up in the morning for school, you are usually running late. By the time they are finally dressed, you barely have time to drink your morning coffee. Breakfast consists of your kids stuffing their mouths with granola and yogurt pouches as they head out the door. The ride to school includes your kids lacing their shoes as they argue about who has the cooler-looking backpack. By the time you drop off the kids at school, you are drained, both mentally and physically.

Fortunately, I have found a hack that has worked wonders for my family's mornings and by hack, what I really mean is threat. Out of all of the glorious things in this world, what my young children value the most right now is screen time. Every day after they have completed their homework and before we eat dinner, they are allowed to have screen time. You will usually find my 6-year-old watching YouTube Kids while my 9-year-old will be playing a video game. No matter what they are doing on their screens, they love and cherish their screen time, and I use that to my advantage.

If my kids are not awake and dressed by the time I go into their room in the morning, they are not allowed any screen time for that day. They could come home from school with an A+ on their big history exam, and it wouldn't earn them any screen time if they were not ready in time that morning. Sorry, sweetie; but you snooze, you lose! No exceptions!

Now, our much smoother and relaxed mornings go like this: At 6:15 a.m., my kids' alarm on Google Home goes off, letting them know that it is time for them to wake up and get dressed. Their outfits for the day have already been laid out for them the night before to make the morning go even smoother. All on their own, they get out of bed, get dressed, brush their teeth, and comb their hair, all without me having to yell and lose my temper. At 6:30 a.m., I come into their room to make sure they are ready. They always are, because they know if they're not ready in time, they won't get any of their precious screen time that day.

I think many parents have a love-hate relationship with their kids' screen time, which I completely understand. One thing is for sure, though. I have never met a kid who doesn't love screen time, so by all means, parents, use it to your advantage if it helps your family, especially if it means protecting your sanity.