Burnt out and overworked, it can be easy for us parents to fall into the trap of handing over an iPad or iPhone when the summer doldrums hit the hardest. However, an excessive amount of screen time can be harmful to our children. For this reason, we’ve come up with three easy ways to decrease your child’s screen time this summer.
Make Family Outings an Adventure
Family outings are a great way to spend time with your child without involving a smart device. Even simple activities like heading to the grocery store can become time to bond with your child, instead of handing them over your iPhone to play on while you grab the broccoli. By creating a challenge or game in association with your planned outing, you can give your child something to focus on and get excited about, even if the trip is a part of your mundane routine. These outings don’t have to cost a lot either. Walking to your local park with a packed lunch or taking a stroll around your neighborhood are some fun ways to get your child outside, keep them active, and keep them entertained (off their screens).
Schedule Daily Activities Together
While it can be hard to find time in the day for “activities”, involving your child in your day-to-day routine can create established unplugged times for bonding. Cooking or cleaning with your child can teach them valuable skills while you get your chores done. Setting aside a time for reading together will also boost your child’s desire to learn and seek entertainment outside of their smart device.
Make a Family Media Plan
The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed this awesome tool called the “Family Media Plan” in an effort to curb media time for children through family collaboration and communication. A Family Media Plan (which you can print out or share with other members of your family) is tailored to your family’s priorities and values, and is designed to work around a parent's busy schedule. After establishing your priorities in the Family Media Plan, you will be given suggestions on how to effectively implement them into your household. You can even assign priorities to your children and update it as they get older and your family's priorities change.
Angel Watch: The Bonus Method
Another easy way to decrease your child’s screen time is to replace their iPhone or smart device with an Angel Watch. With Angel Watch, a kids 4G GPS smart watch, you can use all the helpful tracking and contacting features of an iPhone or smartphone, without the apps, internet, or social media. Free from the presence of these distractions, your child will use their smart watch as a means of communication rather than as the center of their lifestyle. Plus, this waterproof smart watch for kids is perfect for taking on outings to the pool, beach, or even running in the sprinklers at home. With our 4G kids texting/video calling watch, you won’t have to worry about your child taking day trips with a friend’s family or staying over at their house. Angel Watch makes it easy to limit your child’s screen time and encourage them to pursue other activities.
It is crucial that we keep an active eye on our children’s screen time usage to avoid damage to their mental health. For more information about screen time and child safety related topics, we encourage you to check out our blog.