Have you ever heard the phrase, “Kids don’t remember their best day of television”? It’s so true. Your kids will remember the days they spent playing ball with friends in the front yard, a special project, or lazy days at the pool with their family. They will remember things that have meaning and create memories.
I love summertime! My kids are home and our days are more relaxing. With the kids having less activities and more free time, can come the dreaded words “I’m Bored!”…which is normally followed by “can I get on the” iPad or computer or play a video game (any type of electronic)! My husband and I both work from home so it can be tempting to let them occupy themselves quietly with a device, but we don’t want them spending their entire summer indoors, behind a screen. We have set up a few rules to help them (and us) limit the amount of time they spend on electronics.
Here are 5 tips for setting electronic boundaries during the summer:
1. Limit time online.
This is the most obvious, of course, but can be hard to enforce. Give them a set amount of time to use and set a timer. You can make up your own system of how to enforce this rule or use these printables:
2. Certain times of the day are SCREEN FREE!
Really, it’s just so easy to pick up an electronic. It takes no thought or effort. Make certain times of the day screen free. You might even need to put it on the calendar! 😉
3. Let them earn extra time.
If you want your kids to get some extra chores done each day or just play outside, you could set up a system that they earn extra electronics time AFTER they’ve done something you deem as important or helpful.
4. Help them create a summer bucket list.
Have them think up things they could do by themselves and some things you can do as a family. (For some great ideas, check out THIS list.) Write them down, then post it up somewhere where everyone can see it daily. (HERE is a great printable and more ideas.) A bucket list will give them something to work toward throughout the summer…and who doesn’t love checking things off of a list!!?
5. Limit usage when friends are over.
When your kids have friends over it can be easy for them to sit down and play video games all afternoon or (if you have older kids) have their phone in their hands checking social media every 5 minutes. Are they really spending quality time or having fun together when everyone is distracted? Just let your child know in advance that the electronics rule will still be in effect with their friends. You might relax the rule a little, but don’t throw it out the door all together.
You can take it one step further…have your teen and their friends toss their phones into a basket! Will they think you are the crazy mom?! Only for the first time or two they come over… and then they will realize how much fun they had while hanging out at your house! (Click on the image to get the cute printable below.)
Setting boundaries isn’t easy. It takes work and follow through as the parents. What you will hopefully start to see is your child being more creative, finding fun ways to spend their time, and making memories this summer!