Screen Time is my kid’s ultimate carrot and kryptonite these days. During the school year, we have structured our free time and activities so that everyone knows that screen time is privilege, not an expectation.
Several summers ago, we went a little extreme and eliminated screen time completely for the summer, cold turkey, from the first day of summer to the very last day. It was hard (for me!) and met with plenty of resistance from the minions, but ultimately it has served our family well.
And then recently, my kids have brought valid points to the table and I’ve reconsidered our No Screen Summer adventure.
And ultimately come to the conclusion that it’s time for a change.
So how are we handling screen time this summer?
You gots to earn it! Similar to R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Screen Time in Moderation
This is the common teaching from health professionals – everything in moderation. Well, this includes screen time. And because screens are basically my kid’s currency, they are going to have to earn it and work for it if they want it bad enough.
Screens in our family during the school year come with general rules:
- You may play on the iPad (anywhere but your room)
- You may watch a show, but you must agree on a show together
- Headphones MUST be on with the iPads (because mama needs it quiet)
*all electronics have parental controls in place
While opening Pandora’s box with the re-introduction of screen time, the one thing I want to avoid are the incessant questions of ‘When?’ ‘Now?’ ‘How much?’ ‘Can we watch more?’
Nope, I ain’t doing it.
The children need to know how to self-regulate and that’s my goal in teaching them healthy boundaries when it comes to screens.
Screen Time Printable
So in hopes of warding off as many of the perpetual questions from the minions surrounding the addition of screen time to our summer routine, I created this fun printable that will reside in each of their rooms.
It is printed out and put in a visible place for each of them to reference throughout the day. There is an exact map for them on how they can get screen time.
There is a spot for them to mark every day of the week. You’ll notice there’s only 6 lines, because I’m not an animal, we all deserve a day of rest. I’ll model that for them with one day in the week being reserved for family time, however that may play out. For your rule followers, it just gives you freedom because this isn’t a binding contract.
I’m also creating this printable for you to share with your family and friends if you think it will be helpful!
Just click the link above and it will take you directly to the PDF, hit print, and voila – you’re on your way to a whine free screen time for the kiddos for the summer!
For those that don’t have chore sticks, here’s your Summer Printable.
And before you go thinking wow, she sounds like a saint, make sure you start at the beginning of our story with screens and read why we initially chose to be a No Screen Summer family. I had three kids, four and under and we were in pure survival mode. There is no guilt or shame here. So mamas of tinies who need a cage, I mean an activity, for the toddler while you’re nursing or putting the littlest down for a nap, please hear and read ZERO judgement on this end. I get it, we’ve been there too!
We also talked about why we’ve decided to add it back finally into our summer schedule here.
This is just what has worked for our family, and hopefully it will help provide some guidelines and structure for your family as well if that’s what you are looking for!