Summertime can be a blessing or a curse for kids these days, depending on how they choose to spend their time.
My advice? Choose for them, if they’re at all inclined to overindulge on screentime. Here are some tips to get a handle on this issue:
Alternatively, let your child become bored (see electronic fast above)—they will eventually partake in healthy play on their own as they “come down” from being overstimulated—even if they insist they won’t! Read Nancy Carlsson-Paige’s Taking Back Childhood to convince yourself. Believing they will return to natural play sends a message that you believe they are capable, smart and strong.
It’s hard to get away from our devices, no doubt. But think of screens like junk food: sometimes we need to cleanse and detox for our brains and bodies work properly again. Aside from the numerous direct benefits of an electronic fast, the process helps parents regain perspective of what healthy play looks like. Try the fast first, then moderate screen use for the rest of the summer as strictly as you can. Try it!
To learn how to determine screen limits that fit your child's emotional and physical makeup, see Reset Your Child's Brain: A Four Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time.