Tips and Advice for How to Limit Your Kid’s Screentime During the HolidaysJan 23, 2023
Whether it’s the summer break or during the festive period, the holidays can be a much-needed time for your family to break free of your usual routine. It’s a time when you and your children have the opportunity to slow down, reconnect, and explore different activities that you enjoy together.
Whilst it’s great to have some time away from formal routine and structure, it can also be challenging for parents and caregivers to keep a healthy balance when it comes to how much screentime your child may be totaling up.
Screentime Tips for Parents
Tech can educate, inform, and engage our kids. But it’s important to ensure that screentime doesn’t detract away from your child’s ability to engage in outdoor activities, spend quality time with family members, or explore their creativity away from technology.
Here are some top tips to help your family achieve that balance during the holidays:
- Have a conversation about holiday activities you are planning as a family
- Create a plan as a family of days out, daily routines, and ensure every family member gets to pick one activity for the whole family to do together.
- Agree to limits together so that your child knows when they are expected to turn their video game or smartphone off
- Try to be consistent with sticking to screentime recommendations for your child’s age
- Invite friends or family members over for outdoor play or outings
- Create a challenge to learn something new: an outdoor skill or hobby
- Re-introduce board games, card play, or toys to your family (with new titles like Fortnite Monopoly or old favorites like Rubik’s cube)
- Remember that late nights can be fun, but good quality sleep is essential. Watch a TV or online series together and agree limits so that binge-watching is reduced.
Tips for Quality Screentime
It’s important to remember that not all screentime is equal. Time spent online can be a great opportunity for being creative, for learning new things, and connecting with family and friends.
Here are some useful tips for encouraging quality screentime (and avoiding mindless scrolling):
- If you have a family media agreement on tech use, consider making a separate one that applies to the holiday period
- If you don’t have any form of family media plan, try creating one!
- Use this holiday downtime to take a fresh look at your family’s media usage and get to know what your kids are engaging with and enjoying online
- Play online games with your child and ask them about the strategy or why they like the game
- Do some online research on your family history or your community as an activity you can enjoy together
- Watch a movie together and discuss what’s happening and what you did or didn’t like
- Download apps that encourage you and your family to be healthier or enjoy time outdoors (fitness, treasure hunts, and birdwatching are just a few examples).
Overall, don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your family to have that perfect holiday—or the perfect conversation about tech use. The most important thing is that you spend time together as a family (online and offline) and make those special memories.
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