School will be out soon, which means your kids will have tons of free time on their hands. With all that spare time, it can be easy for your kids to get lost in their screens. If you’re worried about your kids getting too much screen time after school is out, I have a few simple tips for you. These six easy ways to limit your kids’ screen time this summer will help you keep their time on a screen to a healthy amount.
6 Easy Ways to Limit Your Kids’ Screen Time This Summer
1. Make Them Earn It
One of the best ways to ensure your kids aren’t on an electronic device too much during the summer is to make them earn the privilege to use their device. There are a variety of ways you can enact this rule based on your household’s priorities.
If chores are important in your family, make sure your kids have completed all their chores before they’re allowed to start using their devices. And if reading or outside play time is important, set a required amount of reading or outdoor time that your kids must complete before they can start playing on their electronics.
2. Make Screen Time Rules
If clear rules aren’t established early on, your kids will take free rein of their electronic usage. Make sure your kids understand the rules at the beginning of summer and be sure to strictly enforce those rules throughout the season.
One great way to make sure everyone is clear on the screen time rules in your household is to write them down and post them in a place everyone can see, like on the refrigerator. Some examples of good rules for summer screen time use include turning off all devices at a certain time each evening or not allowing device usage in your kids’ rooms.
3. Make Screen-Free Time
Setting aside time during the summer that is completely screen-free is a great way to create limits for your kids. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, a technology break is a wonderful way for your kids to detox from their devices and spend some quality time together as a family.
It’s also a good idea to schedule family time together that doesn’t involve devices. You could have family board game night, go on a hike together as a family, or enjoy dinner outside one evening.
4. Make Screen Time Rules As A Family
A simple way to ensure success in limiting screen time this summer is to make sure everyone is on the same page. Start by working with your partner to agree upon a set amount of time your kids will be allowed to use their electronics while school is out. Then, make sure you present a united front as the screen time limits are enforced.
As you work together to set time limits and rules surrounding screen time during the summer, it’s also a good idea to get your kids’ input. Letting them see they have a voice in the process will help them ease into the idea of screen time limits. And if they feel like you and your partner worked with them to create the rules, they may be more likely to follow them without an argument.
5. Get Help Monitoring Screen Time
There are a variety of apps and smart devices that will help you keep track of your kids’ screen time and remotely turn off their devices when time is up. Apps like Zift can allow you to monitor the time your kids spend on the internet, as well as what they’re viewing. It will alert you when your kids are viewing inappropriate sites or when they install a new app on their device. And you can instantly view their online searches and block their access to the internet if they’re on a site they shouldn’t be.
Screen Time is another great option for keeping track of screen time this summer. It allows you to set screen-free times, approve downloads, and reward your kids with additional time if they earn it. And if you’re looking for a smart device that helps you monitor your kids’ screen time, consider Circle. This smart modem gives you total control over all connected devices on your network.
6. Be a Role Model
Being a good role model will help show your kids the importance of screen-free time. It’s hard to enforce less screen time with your kids if you struggle with screen time balance. That means the rules you set for your kids should also be rules you and your partner follow while at home.
There are a few simple steps you can take to scale back your electronics usage while at home. Start by avoiding multitasking – stop scrolling through your phone while watching TV, or sending text messages while trying to have a conversation with someone. It’s also a good idea to keep devices away from the dinner table and bedroom, especially if you expect your kids to do the same. Finally, take note of other bad media habits you may have, like leaving the TV on for background noise or scrolling through your phone when you have a spare minute, and adjust your actions accordingly.
Summer shouldn’t be filled with conflicts over screen time. Be proactive! Make sure you help your kids find great educational resources when they are on their digital devices. And, help them take what they’ve learned online, off-line!
Does your family have a plan for media? If not, be sure to check out my Family Digital Media Agreement! It’s a simple and proactive way to get your whole family on the same team when it comes to technology in your home.