Get the kids unplugged this summer with these 4 tips


Andrea Updyke

posted in Tips & Tricks

This post is part of a sponsorship with Foresters. For more in this series, check out Taking a tech time out on Mother’s Day and 5 ways to connect with your kids offline.

TTO MothersDay R2 small Get the kids unplugged this summer with these 4 tips

We are all about technology in our house. I work from home, my husband is a computer engineer and our boys love anything that blinks and moves. We are definitely not anti-tech. But even (or maybe especially) because we are very connected, we still see the need to take a step back and regroup once in a while. Or to take a “Tech Timeout“.

Taking a tech timeout doesn’t have to be a huge deal. It can simply be about setting some boundaries and sticking to them. Here are a few ways to get into a routine that everyone can live with. Who knows? You might even enjoy it!

Plan ahead

Most of us probably try to unplug on a regular basis, but rarely go cold turkey. Decide ahead of time what an acceptable daily amount of screen time is for your child and plan around it. Screens aren’t inherently bad, but they are as tempting to little eyes as they are to you and me. Having a game plan with limits ahead of time will keep you both in check.

Use a timer

Many children (including my own) respond well to the ultimate authority of time. Once the boundaries are set, there is no shame in relying on a buzzer to be the buzzkill. I’m not saying it’s always easy, but it didn’t take long for my kids to adjust to this method of reasoning. If you haven’t yet tried the timer, give it a shot. You may be surprised!

Be consistent

The enemy of any boundary is inconsistency. It can be tempting to give into the old, “just five more minutes, mom!” request, especially if you are busy. But consistency is the key to making sure your family doesn’t slip into a pattern where suddenly the whole day is gone to tech.

Talk it out

When you sit down to look at your schedule for the week, ask everyone (who can answer) what they would like to do during the week. Plan an outing or two like swimming or taking an after-dinner walk that everyone can look forward to.

What are your tricks for taking a tech timeout?

The Tech Timeout challenge started by Foresters encourages families to take a daily break from technology. Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.

Pledge to turn off all the technology in your home (yes, even your cell phone), for at least one hour a day, and get to know your family better.

Foresters plum 300x1211 Get the kids unplugged this summer with these 4 tipsThis post is part of a sponsorship with Foresters.

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