Game plan for the summer screen time in your home! Here are some ideas to choose from to make your summer more sane with on-purpose screen time instead of screen time that takes over your entire summer. Create your own family media plan here on the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) website: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/media/Pages/default.aspx
Posted by Arlene Pellicane, Speaker & Author on Tuesday, June 4, 2019
What images come to mind when you hear the word “summer”?
Pool parties…barbecues…family vacations…screen time.
For many kids, many summer hours will be wasted away on video games and watching YouTube videos. How can you prevent screen time overload before it begins? Here are a few choices of game plans you can adopt this summer. By the way, this isn’t just for the kids. It’s for adults too!
The Priority List: My friend author Dannah Gresh realized when her kids transitioned to middle school, she would lose a lot of control over what they were watching. They needed to be able to self-moderate. She had her kids write down a list of their priorities. They wrote their list which included family, time with God, soccer, piano, video games, and time with friends. They had them put them in order of importance which made them realize why they didn’t get to play video games all day long. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has a website where you can create your own personalized family media plan.
Nighttime Round Up: Collect all phones, tablets, and laptops at night. Adjust the collection time depending on the ages of your kids. The summer is a great time to catch up on your ZZZs. Of course your children will say, “But it’s summer! Why can’t I stay up late?” I think it would be okay to stay up late watching movies together as a family (after all, it is summertime) but you don’t want your kids checking their phones all night long. They need to catch up on sleep this summer.
Track the Time: Observe how much time your children are actually spending on phones, playing video games, and watching videos/TV. Arrive at a goal number (for example, 2 hours a day). Enforce that time limit by disabling apps, setting screen time limits, having a computer sign in sheet, use a timer, etc to track the time.
Media Free Days: Challenge your family members to have a screen-free day. This may force them outdoors, to work on a long forgotten project, to get creative, to build something, or to finally write grandma that overdue letter!
Screen time can certainly be a fun part of the summer. But it cannot take up the majority of the summer. Have a game plan for your screens. Make it clear to your kids so they are not caught off guard. You CAN do this!