One of the best parenting “life hacks” we’ve discovered lately is a simple timer on the iPad. Our children are allowed 30 minutes of media time after doing their daily check-list. Previously, we would set the kitchen timer, expecting them to cheerfully turn off their devices when the timer beeped. Maybe it’s just our kids, but there was always “One more minute, please!” or “I’m almost done with this battle!” or “I’m at an important level!” – which led to frustration for all. My husband found a timer built into the iPad, called Guided Access, which has restored a measure of peace to our home! Now, when our children are ready for their media time, they get their iPad, open the App they want to play, and I set the timer. It gives a 1-minute warning, and then shuts off when allotted time elapses. Hallelujah! I’m sure we are missing a “heart training opportunity,” but part of wise parenting is picking your battles, and this is one I’ve enjoyed not fighting anymore!
How the set up the timer (Guided Access) on an iPad:
- Open “Settings”
- Choose “General”
- Scroll down to “Guided Access”
- Turn “Guided Access” ON
- Set parent passcode
- Open the App that the child wants to play
- Triple click on the Home Button
- Guided Access info will pop up
- Enter your passcode to set timer for allotted play time
- A new timer is required if child wants to leave that App and play a different App
- They will be given a 1-minute warning
- The device will lock when the time is up!
Here is a more comprehensive post on how we’ve handled electronic devices in general.