It’s no surprise that phones are addicting. We can’t get off them no matter how hard we try. I just totally checked a text after I wrote that sentence. I mean, it’s like, SUPER hard.

But you’re a mom, it can be even more frustrating, especially when you try to talk to your child while they’re looking at their phone, completely distracted by answering a text or watching a video on Instagram.

A mom of eight kids couldn’t take it anymore. Every time she tried to talk to her kids, they were buried behind their screens. She totally understands that kids need their phones—there are plenty of good things about those darn devices, after all—she just needed the frequency to go down.

She knew she had to do something about it, so she finally set some ground rules. And they’ve been working really well for her and her family.

So if you’re looking for some rules that are doable by kids—aka it’s not forbidding phones forever—check out these totally approachable screen time rules this mom recommends.

  1. Forbid phones from dinner.

    Whether you’re eating dinner at home or out at a restaurant, this rule is simple: No phones allowed. Dinner time is family time, and family time is quality time and time to catch up with one another—not time to check your Snapchats. Even the parents have to put their phones way for dinner, which makes it even easier for the kids to do it.

  2. Lock the phone up during homework.

    We know that phones are super distracting, and homework is one of those things that needs your full attention. This rule eliminates phones during homework time so the kids can out school first and get that done—THEN they can use their phone. It’s actually a nice incentive to get them to do their homework!

  3. Make it a game-free school week.

    Mom doesn’t allow any computer games during the school week—it’s reserved only for the weekends, and only when chores are done. She basically made it so games became something that you earn. It’s not a necessity, but a luxury. Go Mom!

  4. Set an alarm for when you need to put the phone away.

    In the case of this family, all kids must have their phone alarm set to 7:30 p.m., and when that alarm goes off, the devices go away. This helps everyone wind down for the night and get a good sleep, so they can hit the ground running the next day!

  5. Phone time begins after you’re ready for the day.

    Most of us roll over in the morning and immediately check our phones. But in this case, you only get your phone once you’re completely ready for the school day—face is washed, clothes are on, books are in the bag. What’s more, once the kids get their phone, they still need to be sharp. If they miss their bus due to too much preoccupation on the phone, then they need to walk to school.

  6. Change the notion that the phone isn’t theirs.

    The kids don’t pay for the phone—the parents do. So in this household, the mom tells the kids that “your phone is not your property—it does not belong to you. It belongs to us, your parents.” That means, the parents are in control of everything that has to do with the phone—game or app downloads, passwords, etc. Heck, they can even add a GPS tracker if they want!

What do you think of these screen time rules this mom made? Have you ever tried to monitor your kids’ screen time? What did you find worked—and what didn’t?