Hooray, it’s finally summer! Which means no more carpooling, homework, packing lunches, driving to sports practices… but wait, what are you going to do with all of this free time? We all know what kids want with free time, and that’s more time on their electronics. While the summer is a time we often allow a little more leeway with screen time, here are a few ways to make sure your kids don’t spend too much time on their devices when school is out:
1. Set Time Limits – This one is pretty standard but it’s useful in making sure everyone knows when screen time is and isn’t allowed. This could be setting a time in the morning that technology can’t be used up until, setting a cutoff time at night, or just determining the total amount of time allowed per day on the screen and let them use it as they wish!
2. Have Activities Planned During the Day – This doesn’t have to be expensive! Some ideas include going to the local library, taking the dog to the park, planting a garden in your backyard, having a lemonade stand, or even just playing some board games. By keeping the kids engaged, you leave less downtime that they’ll want to spend on technology, plus it’s great bonding time for your family.
3. Sign Them Up For Summer Camps – This isn’t always feasible, but there are a lot of different camps out there that you could try to fit with your schedule! Even if it’s just a half-day camp for a week or so during the summer, it’s time that technology isn’t even an option and gives you free time as well. If you’re looking for a camp, Strong Girls has a great one each summer at Athens Academy, and the link to sign up is here: https://campscui.active.com/orgs/AthensAcademy0?orglink=camps-registration#/selectSessions/2604606
4. Be an Example – As their parent, the amount you use technology dictates what they think is normal. If you’re on your phone 24/7, they’re going to be confused when you tell them not to be. Set an example! Maybe use those time limits for yourself, and enjoy planning activities you can all do together to connect without the internet!
Have a safe and happy summer!