Poker Chip Parenting...Curing the Plugged in Plague

Here's the problema...
To be more specific~ 
Crop Top  
(oh sorry, not that one, but did we recapture your attention?)
We are just a few weeks into summer vacay and our own lil' cherubs at home have got the Plugged In Plague 
"Mom, can I watch a show?" 
"Mom, can I play the Wii?" 
"Mom, can I check the village on my fake app that has absolutely no real meaning in real life whatsoever?"...
Okay, sorry added that last one too. 
But, seriously...
Be free! 
Get Outdoors Children...
It's Summer! 
 We got to chatting about this little problem and decided us teacher moms needed to vaccinate this bout of the Plugged in Plague stat! It was time to put on our poker faces. We could no longer let them see us cringe every time they asked to plug in...
So we devised a plan...
We're calling it Poker Chip Parenting to you, but to the short people in our homes we're calling it "Technology Tokens".

At the beginning of each week (we're doing Sundays) our kiddos get 7 Technology Tokens. We felt if spent wisely 1 hour a day was realistic, especially considering they were previously being sucked into the Black Hole of Apps and Tablets.
Christy is giving her kiddos colored poker chips, and Tammy just had plain old white sitting around, so she wrote "1 hour" on each one with a Sharpie and had her kids write the first letter of their first name on the back (sorry, no pic). Let's be honest...This is simply to avoid any "whoops, I didn't know those were hers or his" moments.

We don't let them break up their minutes, but you could certainly make the time for whatever fits your family's needs. 

We have had a few opportunities to teach them to use their technology tokens wisely. One of the girls wanted to use a token with just 20 minutes until soccer practice. Mom said, "Sure, but you will only get 20 minutes and it will cost you an hour token." She decided it wasn't worth using her token. That a Mom Girl! :)

Of course, they resisted at first...They're kids. But, after a few days we actually heard one of them whisper under their breath, "This is kinda cool". 
Huh..."Kinda cool" ~
We'll take that as a H.U.G.E Mommy compliment 'cuz they don't come around very often.!

~ Here's the Kicker ~ 
They get their 7 chips to use as they wish.
Well, within reason. 

They can't use them at bedtime.
in the middle of a family dinner.
anytime we say no, basically.  

Yup, that's how us kinda cool Moms roll. 
It comes from a place of complete and total love. 
We love them enough to not let them do whatever they want, whenever they want to do it. 
It's a beautiful thing and one day we might be kinda really cool for doing this. 
We hope...
This is another valuable life lesson for them.  
If they spend all their tokens in one day, (Yes, that would drive us batty on the inside, but poker faces on the outside!) or before the week is up, they do not get more. 

So far, we've experienced a mix of spending habits with different kids. A few have gone hog wild only to be saddened later, while others have gone cold turkey on all technology to covet their precious tokens. Too funny! 

We are not going to carry over technology tokens into the next week (Use it or loose it!), but we may offer a little incentive for extra chips that are left at the end of the week ~ Maybe so many unspent chips earns a trip to the book store or something like that...not sure...What do you think?

Anyways, currently we are peaceful moms once again as our kids are resting comfortably after the nasty Plugged in Plague. 
Full physical activity has resumed. 
They are playing outdoors, 
Diving into summer reads, 
and most importantly, a bit more

From the length of this post, maybe it's about time we do the same ~ unplug ~ or we have a feeling some certain taller men in our homes might make us some technology tokens of our own! 

Thanks for hanging in there friends...eesh!

So we're not just using these poker chips this summer at home... We're onto something for class too.

Stay tuned for some fun ways we're going to use them in class.

 No, it won't earn us a World Series of Poker bracelet or even a trip to Vegas for the Bloggy Meet Up next week (BOO!), 
It's "kinda cool"...Like us...or so we're told under their breath. :)

Fluttering Through First Grade


  1. How can you NOT love Shel Silverstein?!?! I had one little love who had a copy of The Giving Tree out for one of his two school library books all. year. long. I'm also thinking of adapting your technology tokens....for myself! I'm getting a little crazy!

    Thanks for sharing!
    Dede @

  2. Love everything Shel Silverstein! I had a group of about five kiddos that would pour over his poems and laugh and laugh. Cutest thing! My sister in law does no computers, iPods, etc. Sunday through Thursday. And her boys have to earn their time by doing their chores and completing homework. Extra time can be earned by reading books since they both would rather pull out their own teeth than read. She said they resisted at first, but now it's no biggie.

    Rowdy in First Grade

    1. Does your sister-n-law make house calls? Hahaha. Love that idea! If these summer tokens lose their luster, we are seriously considering a bon fire at the beach. If we don't have them, we won't ask for them. Right?...say the Moms who are plugged in as we speak...

  3. Oh, how I had to laugh when reading that you often dress alike. Kristi and I do too! It is crazy - to the point if we are doing something in front of parents, we will text to find out what the other is wearing so we WILL NOT look like twins. Too funny!

    Teaching Little Miracles

    1. Oh thank goodness we're not the only ones! It is seriously a problem. Sometimes we don't even notice it and other teachers point it out. We had to stop shopping together a while ago...We kept bopping in the aisles asking the other their opinion about the same exact outfits.

      Christy & Tammy

  4. LOVE how you guys are making your kiddos unplug. I'm also facing the same problem with my 6-year-old triplets........and my 13-year-old......well, her iPhone is permanently attached to her hand! I might scream if I hear one more kid ask me if they can play on the iPad! I might have to try the token idea, too!

    Extra Special Teaching

  5. Thank you for mentioning the PRIM book. I just ordered it after seeing your post. This looks like exactly what I need.

  6. Oh. my. goodness. The poker chip parenting idea is amazing!! I'm definitely going to store this in my "future mom plans" schema and hope that I can use it someday too! Thanks for solving my personal dilemma of giving children access to tech at a young age.

    By the way, I'm now following your blog!
    Miss A's Kindergarten

  7. I LOVE your Technology Tokens!!! What a great idea!!!!! :-) I will store this in my "future mom plans" file too! :) Glad you are having a wonderful summer! It IS going by WAY too fast!!! :)

  8. Poker Chip Parenting.... great idea.
    I've never heard of the "Pre Referral Intervention Manual". I need to find a way to check that out.
    Shel Silverstein is the best... The Giving Tree gets me EVERY time!
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤

  9. I'm loving your bog! I am also a secret "Samatha" hopeful. Maybe a maid would help! Ha Ha ! I have nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award! Stop by my blog to check out the details!

    Teaching with Moxie

  10. I just found your blog off the Currently Link up! It is so cute!!!! I am your newest follower :D

    Twins, Teaching and Tacos.

  11. Poker Chip Parenting!! I love it! hmmm I might have to try that with my 11 yr old! I found your blog of of Currently Link up! I am your newest follower!

    All Things Teachery

  12. Just took a look around your site & would like to offer you an award - accept your award here:

    ~ Kimberlee ~

    Two Fulbright Hugs

  13. I really love reading and following your post as I find them extremely informative and interesting. This post is equally informative as well as interesting . Thank you for information you been putting on making your site such an interesting. Free Casino Chips


Leave Some Love...