While summertime is full of fun with vacations, sports, picnics, and park time, it also includes a lot of downtime for your kids. After all, parents often still have the same amount of work and housework to do over the summer. Then, there’s the extra time spent entertaining your kids. It can be easy to fall back on giving your children a little extra screen time for an easy distraction.
It’s important to set screen time limits to help avoid potential problems in your children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, too much time can affect your child’s attentiveness, end up causing difficulty in completing school work, cause sleep and eating disorders, and even lead to obesity. You also have to worry about what your child is being exposed to on the Internet, which can lead to them making harmful or risky decisions.
There are a few ways to help limit the amount of time your child spends on their devices.
Set a Schedule
Have defined times during the day and week that your child can use devices. You can set up a certain time each day that they can play video games or watch TV or movies. Or, for older children, you can opt for a point system. They get “tickets” for an hour of screen time and can cash them in when they choose.
Make a Reward System
Another good way to limit your child’s screen time, and give them a little extra motivation on all those schedule-less days, is to set up a reward system. Make a list each morning of a couple of simple chores to do such as taking out the trash or unloading the dishwasher. Then, once they have checked off the list, they get the Wi-Fi password from you. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Find a Fun Alternative
Children are less tempted to be on their device all day when there’s something else to do. Invest in board games or craft kits. Take trips to the public pool or library. Or, if all else fails, at least find educational games for them to play on their devices.
While summer can be filled with fun for your kids, sometimes it gives them a little too much free time each day. Help them make the most of their summer by limiting their time spent staring at their devices.