These tips for summer screen time will help you and your kids thrive this summer!
Summer screen time rules are something all moms think about as summer approaches. With the break from school comes lots of free time which can result in kids wanting their screens more. This can result in screen battles. Sound familiar?
Today, I wanted to share some tips with you and provide a dose of grace concerning screens.
Tips for Summer Screen Time Rules
There is no one size fits all set of rules for screen time. Every family is different.
I am not here to tell you what to do, because your family is different than mine. Instead, I will give you tips and tools to help you with your own unique family. What works for your friend may not work well for you. It is good to hear what works for others and then try what may work for you.
Give yourself grace if you let your kids have more screen time than your friend. It is okay. In different seasons, your kids may have more or fewer screens. It will vary.
Determine what works for your family.
Since there is no perfect set of rules, you need to determine what your family rules are. Take some time to think through what may work. Here are some examples of things that may work:
Set time limits. Each day your child will get a specific amount of screen time. When the time is up, they are finished for the day.
Set specific times for screen time. This may be that every morning your child gets 30 minutes and then in the afternoon an hour of screen time.
Set specific days. Some families only allow screens on the weekends. This would mean Monday through Friday are screen-free.
Have screen time be a reward. Some families have a list of things that must be done before their child has screen time. The child knows they must complete the list before having time.
Let it go style. If your child is not prone to wanting screen time all of the time, you could use this approach. This would let screen time come naturally.
Make your family rules clear.
Once you determine what your family rules will be, have a family meeting to share them with your kids. It helps to lay out the rules ahead of time so they are not shocked. Talk through the plan and keep it positive!
Set up boundaries.
If you haven’t already, make sure that boundaries are set up surrounding screen time. This may be that they need to be in a specific location to use their screens or safeguards are set on devices. It is important to set up these boundaries so your child knows what is expected.
Use the screen time wisely for yourself.
With the proper boundaries and safeguards set up, screen time can be a time where you are refilled! If you spend the entire time your kids are on screens doing chores, you will feel stressed when the time is over. Use a portion of the time for yourself to read or simply be still. This way, when screen time is over you will feel refreshed and ready.
What works for our family?
Remember, this is what works for us. It may not work well for you and that is okay. I am sharing this simply so you can see it in action and take ideas from this.
Am Screen Time- When my kids wake up they get to go on screens. I usually wake earlier to go on my walk or workout and have my quiet time. During this time, my kids can wake up and get on a screen if they want. After my quiet time, I check my list for the day and make breakfast. We aim to have screens off by 9:00ish. This may mean they get an hour of screen time in the morning. I am fine with that.
Afternoon Screen Time- After lunch, we have quiet time in the summer. As long as they have already done their reading time, they can have screen time. Quiet time is from 1 pm-3 pm. They can be on a screen the whole time or they may get off and play quietly. Honestly, it varies each day on what they do but they know this is the time when I work on my blog.
Evening Screen Time- Every evening around 8 pm, our family gathers in the living room and we watch a TV show together. This is our calm downtime. Now and then if it is a rainy day, the kids may get a little personal screen time before this but at 8 pm we all are together. We have watched different series together and it is when they have a snack before bed. The goal is to have them showered and ready for a show by this time. During this time, we will slowly go into our putting the kids to bed starting with the youngest.
This is what works for us. It has been the right amount of screens to give us some structure but freedom. In seasons where the kids were younger and they napped, I would have them go on screens as I made dinner. Every day may not completely follow this but it is a basic structure.
As you put your family screen time rules together, consider your season of life and give yourself grace! There is no perfect way only the best way for your family.