5 Tips for Sorting Out Screen Time


I just returned from a great weekend at Moharimet Elementary School in New Hampshire where we explored screen time from several different angles. After exploring screens through the lens of what our children are not doing when they are doing screen time (likely, not getting bored, not engaging in deep play and not wondering - a lost art in our Age of Google), we explored 10 tips to get in charge of screen time.

Today I'm going to share 5 and tomorrow I'll share 5 more. Please do let me know which of these resonate for you!

  1. Be a good media role model. Model "The Pause".
  2. Clear screen time parameters: the struggle is less when the parameters are clear.
  3. For tweens or teens who may be getting their first phone. Create a contract.
  4. Keep supplies stocked; a nice thick pad of drawing paper, sharpened pencils and a few field guides are a good place to start!
  5. Get comfortable with hearing, "I'm bored!." In fact, give yourself a secret pat on the back when you're children say this; allowing them the time and space for boredom (which is the precursor to deep play) is a true gift.

Do you use any of these practices in your family? Have some more to add? Join the conversation, and be sure to check back tomorrow for the next 5 tips!

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  1. Allegra on March 16, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Great tips! I love ‘The Pause’ – this to me is all about boundaries and protecting what I, or my family, define as special, sacred, worthy of attention. Also resonate with importance of ‘I’m bored’ – and not having to fix that, as a parent.

    • lisaweiner@mac.com on March 17, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      Hi Allegra!
      I’m glad you liked these tips! Look for today’s post with 5 more. I agree with you – ‘The Pause’ is so important and not automatically reaching for the phone is a great way to show our children what we value.
      And, yes – boredom is a great gift! Not only do we not “have to” fix it; we actually “can’t” fix it. (Have you ever noticed that whatever suggestions of what to do that we make to our children when they’re bored are *never* the right solution? They need to generate the solution from inside.)

  2. Lyssa on March 17, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    The Pause is definitely important. I often have my cell ringer off so that I am less inclined to pick it up. Yet it still draws me, even in its silence.

    Having supplies on hand is also helpful – especially the idea of a select few, carefully chosen.

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