“I gave 3 reasons why screens are bad, and my daughter gave me 13 why she needs a screen.”
Screens are almost unavoidable nowadays. We grown-ups need screens to work, pay bills or take advantage of a sale on Amazon, and kids use screens for education and entertainment.
While there are both pros and cons, the most alarming outcome of prolonged screen time is the diminishing family time.
Family time is essential for parents as well as kids. We all know that by heart. However, often, we find it hard to balance screen time and family time.
We have tried and tested different ways to draw a healthy balance between screens and family time. The following are our four suggestions:
1. Ground rules
Well, setting ground rules usually means parents setting limits on kids activities. But no, that isn’t always fruitful. Instead, find common ground and have guidelines for the family. In this discussion, put forward your expectations and hear out what kids have to say. Conclude the discussion with agreeable and realistic rules for parents and kids.
The secret to having kids respect what we say and pay heed to our advice is to treat them as equals.
Dining tables are perfect for celebrating, quarreling, and reconnecting. As we recall, our family dinners are never quiet. Make sure that everyone has at least one meal together. And no screens while eating. Use this time to learn about each other’s day or make plans for the next day. The house is open for discussion.
Food tastes the best when you have it with family. Though not factually true, it emotionally is.
3. Weekend trips
We try to go on an outing once every month. We prefer road trips and going to places like flea markets, farmers markets, yard sales, etc. where there are few distractions, and we can explore together as a family. We avoid going to places like malls, movies or places with screens and interruptions.
We tend to go back to our phones and tablets when we are bored with an activity.
4. Alternate activities
We encourage kids to help in the kitchen, garage, lawn, backyard, etc. Through these errands, we get to spend more time together rather than sitting glued to the screens lost in those fictitious worlds. In fact, kids do enjoy cooking, gardening, cleaning the car, their bicycle, setting up their rooms, etc.
Kids love bragging in their schools, especially when they bake a cake or help dad fix the air conditioner.
We hope that these few ideas come handy in having a wonderful family fun time. Let us know in the comments how you balance screen time and family time. We would love some innovative ideas! 🙂