Simple ways to stop screens from taking over summer originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
The kids are on summer vacation and while every parent starts the summer full of big plans and ideas, at some point the devices often take over.
Genevieve Shaw Brown, “Good Morning America” digital family editor and author of "The Happiest Mommy You Know," offered her tips for stopping the screens from taking over this summer vacation.
3 easy ways to cut back on your kids’ screen time
1. Start small
Brown told “GMA” it’s best to take baby steps when you’re cutting back on digital devices.
“Plan just one outing a day and make it first thing in the morning,” she said. “This may mean having a picnic breakfast and heading to the local museum as soon as it opens.”
Just having one thing planned automatically cuts out a few hours the kids might otherwise be on devices.
2. Hold yourself and the kids accountable
It’s important to know how much time is actually being spent on screens before deciding how much to cut back, Brown said. To do this, go into the settings of the device and look at the screen time usage.
“Set daily time limits for the apps you want to manage,” Brown noted. “You can go as far as setting up a screen time passcode on your child’s device so they can’t access it when the limit is hit.”
3. Schedule downtime: Depending on the age of your kids this might require a family discussion, Brown said.
“Set a time each day when everyone heads to their bedroom device-free,” Brown said.
Let the kids do whatever they want: build a fort, read, stare out the window -- but no screens.
“This goes for parents too,” Brown said. “Kids model what you do, not what you say, so it’s important to lead by example.”