It may not be realistic to ban all screen time this summer, but get creative. Encourage your teens to engage their brains more and zombie out in front of screens less. You know your teens’ interests and needs. You also know your family and what might provide feasible and fun options to screen time.
What my family has tried so far:
–Declaring a “screen-free” day. Last Saturday (the first one of the vacation), my teens awoke to a sign on the t.v., “Screen-free day! Enjoy the wonderful sunshine!” My guess is that they weren’t thrilled, but with the remotes strategically relocated to the kitchen cupboard, I had a little leverage. I also suggested that this meant EVERY screen, not just t.v. The results: more attention for our dog, drawing, and teens finding ways to engage their bodies and brains that didn’t require a screen. Hooray!
–Participating in local events. The Greenwood Car Show is being hosted today in North Seattle by the zoo. Finding local events that can be multigenerational might take a little work, but it can be done. My teens are off to the show with extended family. We are also thinking about playing at the medieval fair that is in the area in August.
–Employing other teen talent. Our tween loves to draw. I contacted the local high school’s art teacher and we now have two artistic students working with him weekly. Does your teen want to improve singing skills? Hone Spanish skills? Look to our talented local teens.
Our teens may not be ecstatic when we encourage a little motion or brain-use during their treasured summer time. But if you explore together and imbue a sense of adventure, you just may be able to pull it off! Give it a try!