Screen Time Rules for Summer- 5 Strategies that Work - Pretty Real

Screen Time Rules for Summer- 5 Strategies that Work

9:48 PM

Girl with Smart Phone
Screen Time. We’re hearing so much about this lifesaver/learning tool/babysitter/brain-waster lately. Can you tell I have a love/hate relationship? On one hand, there are many fun and educational uses for a tablet. TV shows and movies can spark creativity and open up a child’s world. Not to mention the well-deserved break us mamas get while kiddos are entertained. On the other hand, experts warn about the negative effects of too much screen time and, forget the experts- the mom community clearly sees the relationship between screen time and general crankiness in our kiddos. In summer the screen time phenomenon is exacerbated. It can be challenging to keep the rules intact when we have so. much. time. to fill! While I'm not claiming to have this all figured out (today I needed to mark things off my to-do list so the kids have had free reign), here are 5 screen time strategies for summer that my mom friends and I have used with success.

1. Have a plan. If you go into the summer months without a plan, the kids will watch too much TV. Period. However if you decide how much time to allow, and when it should occur, that’s half the battle.

2. Get out of the house. My number one strategy is to get out, as much as possible. It might be the backyard (bonus points if you do something like we did here!), the library, the park, the pool, the gym, or the variety of other places to visit during the summer.  Your kids will thank you for a summer full of adventures. Subscribe to email newsletters from local mommy groups for ideas on where to go this summer. For local parents, Carolina Parent and Fun 4 Raleigh Kids are both faves.
Little Girls at Swimming Pool hugging

3. Priorities. Have a list of things for your children to accomplish before they ask for screen time. Check out Pinterest for a free printable or ideas to draft your own. Your list might include playing outside, reading, doing homework, picking up their room, etc. Afterward, they can be rewarded with a show. Or three. I don’t judge.
little boy with iPad

4. Keep a schedule. If your children know what to expect of their day they’ll be less likely to constantly ask when they can watch TV or use their tablet. For instance, if screen time is from 10 to 12, they know not to ask outside of that timeframe. While they might test you, after being consistent for a few days they will (ok, they might) give up. Consistency is key to avoiding constant negotiations (preaching to myself here).
Little boy watching the Disney channel

5. Just say no. If all of the above sounds exhausting, maybe you’re ready for a screen-free summer. The brave and disciplined moms who commit to no screen time during the summer report happier, more imaginative kids. This method eliminates all the energy that goes into planning, regulating, and negotiating screen time decisions.

Make sure to check out this list for 50 fun summer activities and this one for 25 more! 

Happy Summer! Adventure Awaits.

You Might Also Like