The world is opening up again after over eighteen months of unfettered screen time for many families. Certainly, gadgets and screen time helped families survive an extremely difficult year. But still, parents are desperate to get their kids back to some semblance of normalcy in all aspects of their lives, including their time spent on gadgets.
Take it easy. If you’re as tired as so many parents are of watching your kids spend hours at a time on gadgets and screens, the tendency might be to just cut them off completely. However, that is not the way to go. Step away from the cold turkey. Just like any other transitions you make with your kids, you’ll want to ease into them slowly. Consider cutting back an hour or two a week, until you’re back to the place where you’d like to be with time spent.
Give kids things to do with their downtime. Yes, boredom is a good thing. And to be honest, many kids reach for screens to give themselves freedom from their over scheduled lives. But even so, if you’re trying to get your kids off their screens, it’s helpful to have things for them to do or keep busy with as they transition back. Whether it’s craft supplies or chores, you’ll want to give them a few things to do to kickstart their brains when they’re offline. Once they get used to being away from their screens, give them the freedom to come up with their own creative use of time.
Be consistent. Whatever you decide to do, be firm and consistent about your plan. You don’t need to stick with it forever. Try a two-week trial period, and if things aren’t working, you can always change things around. That’s why you’re the parent!