Are you worried that your kids are too addicted to their screens? Are you frustrated because they won’t respond to you when they’re looking at their phones or tablets? Over summer break, it’s easy to let the kiddos get carried away with their devices, especially if you don’t have anything planned for the day. But studies show how too much screen time can impact or deter brain development in children. What screen time rules can you put in place to better manage your kids’ screen time?
Create Clear Family Agreement Around Screen Time
It’s easy to react in anger or give your kids an ultimatum when they won’t listen to you while on their devices. Instead, set clear screen time rules up front. When is screen time allowed? When isn’t it allowed? How much is allowed? To help guide you, here are the suggested maximum amounts of screen time by age group:
- 18 months or younger: No screen time
- 2-5 years old: 1 hour per day
- 6 years and older: 2 hours per day. Only allow screen time after everything else (homework, chores, meals) is completed. Although you may be willing to give your teens more screen time, just be sure they’re getting enough physical activity and real-life interaction throughout the day.
Turn Off Screens at Regular Times Throughout the Day
Build in sacred time when no devices are allowed. For instance, meal times should be reserved for engaging with family members to promote bonding and connectivity. Another good time to enforce a ‘no-screen time’ rule is first thing in the morning. Get your kids off to a good start by working their brains or bodies instead of letting them sit in front of a screen.
Find Alternative Options that Appeal to Them
Finding interesting things for your kids to do outside of playing on their devices is half the battle. A lot of the times, it’ll take you getting involved and excited about these activities, so they can follow suit. Start by finding activities that appeal to each individual child. Schedule time to do some of the activities with them, like cooking or taking walks. You can also find other activities that they can do on their own, like lego-building and coloring.
What are some popular summer activities to get your kids away from their screens? Here are four your older kids are sure to love.