How to Avoid Too Much Screen Time during the Holidays


Whether you are traveling to see family or just stuck inside avoiding the cold, snowy elements, the holiday season seems to give us permission to relax a bit when it comes to screen time—especially as we head into a 2-week break from school.

But how do we keep the “little extra” time from turning into a full-blown binge watching?

Here are some ideas recently shared from an article in the New York Times:

Decide How Much is Too Much
Although every family defines screen time differently, it is important for everyone (including loving grandparents) to get on the same page and implement a consistent plan. This isn’t just about how much overall time, but also the circumstances of when screen time will be extended—such as during a long plan ride but not during family dinner.

Pick Your Battles (and Win Them)
Set very clear rules with your children on when and where digital devices can be used and make sure you stick to them.  “That will go a long way to keeping peace,” said Dr. Susan Newman.  “They know what to expect, they know that this is how it’s going to be.” And when children challenge your rules (and they will), make sure you stand your ground—saying “no” has lots of benefits, including helping your child build resilience.

Find New Activities
Be prepared to give kids a few options to replace their beloved screen time.  Would they like to play a board game, go the library, make some hot chocolate?  “I love anything that’s a little bit funny and dramatic — like charade games or magic kits or stuff like that — because I think when kids feel that natural satisfaction from the fun that comes from those more social games, it makes it easier to replace the media use,” said Dr. Jenny Radesky.

Be Willing to Bend the Rules (Briefly)
If your trip has unexpected delays, it might be easier for you (and all involved) to bend the time rules just a little—your kids will soon figure out when they’ve had too much digital.  “Sometimes kids are going to overdo it and they’re going to regret, it,” said Dr. Radesky.  “Parents should be open to those teaching moments too.”

Read the entire article here.

What are your screen time rules during the holiday break?

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