Limiting screentime is easy when you make a few “rules” about it. Your kids might not even realize they’re missing time away from the television and computer when you implement the following! Keep a list on your fridge for kids to use prior to watching favorite shows or playing internet games.
Encourage reading by adding “no screentime until you read for 20 minutes” on the list. Let the kids read whatever they want, including books for school. Create cozy reading areas around your home to further promote this important activity.
Playing outside is important for many reasons: it gives children the chance to be active and helps instill a love of the natural world. “Banish” kids to the backyard for at least 20 minutes every day before the plop down in front of the TV. They can play outdoor games, swing on swings if applicable, learn about flowers and plants, play with the dog, and more.
No screentime until chores are finished is always a good one. Make it clear the younglings can watch television or use the computer only after they have cleaned their rooms, swept the front walk, cleaned the bathroom, raked leaves, vacuumed the downstairs, taken care of the cat, etc. Your kids will learn an important responsibility lesson when you enforce this rule–that work comes before playtime.
Writing in journals is yet another great “no screentime” rule. Have the kids sit down with their journals or diaries and write in them for at least 20 minutes before they zone out in front of a screen. They can write about anything they want–what they did in school that day, their goals for summer, what they want to be when they grow up, etc. Writing short stories is another possibility.
Try these and other ideas–and enjoy more creative, productive children!