Screen Time and Summer

I have not researched or studied anything to do with screen time. I have casually perused articles and certainly swapped stories and strategies with fellow moms. Screen time is allowed in my house and given the pros and cons I experience, I thought it would be interesting to share my attempt at handling screen time and summer.

We’ve always allowed television in the house. We limit it, but it’s almost always part of the wake-up routine and nighttime winding-down routine. Movies and shows bring us together to laugh, to sing, to dance and to fuss and fight over who is picks the next show.

In recent years the tablets have entered our home as screen time as well. It started as a collection of free downloadable games and has since transformed into the youtube world of kids playing with toys and opening things. I still can’t wrap my head around this phenomenon but it’s a big deal apparently. 

After various ups and downs of how and when to allow screen time, this summer we have fallen into a good rhythm.

  1. If you fuss, complain or otherwise whine for screen time, then the answer is No.
  2. If you clean or do a chore – other than regular picking up whatever mess you just made – then you earn 30 minutes.
  3. If you complete your summer reading or math – then you earn 30 minutes (this rule only applies to my school-aged kids).
  4. You can earn up to one hour total for the day.
  5. If you’re a grump when your time is up then you risk losing it the next day(s).

And that’s it! Overall this simple plan has worked really well with all 5 of my crew. Sometimes it results in screen time and sometimes it doesn’t. Which for me, means this plan is working.

Although there are moments that screen time feels like a struggle, I’ll be the first to admit it: why yes, sometimes I like it when the kids sit down and chill.




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