Set Summer Screen Time Limits

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With school out and schedules thrown out the window you may find that little Johnny is spending more time with electronics than he is with you. Don’t fear, there is a way to get the kids away from the ipad without anyone getting hurt.

The key for setting limits on screen time is to create, and stick to, clear guidelines and rules for electronics during summer – but you can also make it fun. Here are some tips:

Schedule it

Since summer days are long and without a schedule of sorts, the way to get the kids not sucked into Minecraft all day is to schedule their screen time. If the kids know that they get to be on the computer from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. every day, and that it’s a hard and fast rule, they should soon be cool with the new “summer hours.”

Your job is to be consistent. Let them have the electronics as the rules state and make it end when the time is up. Set a timer so that there’s no confusion as to when screen time is up.

Make them earn it

Have fun with this one. Have the kids do chores or good deeds and after so many, they get a certain amount of time on the iPad. Or for every adventure they take or new skill they learn, they get minutes towards their screen time.

Keep a chart and maybe even make it a contest between kids. Competition has a funny way of making everyone participate.

Make it fun and do good

Allow the kids a certain amount of minutes on electronics each day. Use pennies and pop one into a jar for every minute they are on screen time. Start them with 60 pennies. If they were on for 15 minutes, they need to pop 15 pennies into the jar. Once they’ve used up all their pennies for the day, no more screen time.

Or make it like an arcade game and have them pop in 25 cents into the jar for every 10 minutes on the ipad (we only wish arcade games lasted 10 minutes!). This can also help when two siblings are sharing one device. Set a timer and when the ten minutes are up it’s the next child’s turn after the 25 cents are paid.

The added bonus! Take the money at the end of the summer, cash in the change and donate it to a cause you all believe in. Now that’s screen time doing good! SB

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