This is an actual conversation I had with Nicky (age 10) after school today.
Nicky: Dad, can I play on the computer?
Me: No. Remember during the last school year when we did what we called “screen-free weeks”? You and Ryan would go from Monday to Thursday during the week with no computer, no TV, no Nintendo, no iPod because otherwise that’s all you’d do. You’d never read, never play outside, never play board or card games, never play with any other toys, just video games and TV. Sometimes you’d even ignore homework. Once we started with the screen-free weeks, you found other things to occupy your time. For whatever reason, we’ve managed to get away from that recently, so you guys are spending too much time staring at computer or TV screens. So we’re going to start that up again. If you need the computer for school work that’s fine, but otherwise you’ll have to find something else to do.
<Five minutes later>
Nicky: Dad, can I watch a movie?