Help Your Kids Foster a Summer of Growth
By Brodie Simmons, LPC
Are you worried about your kids having too much time on technology this summer? Do you often feel there is too much of a battle to get them to do anything else? Summer is a great opportunity for kids to experience more of what life has to offer, but far too often kids get stuck experiencing what their screens have to offer instead. Consider these simple guidelines to help foster a summer of growth!
- Have a conversation with them about their technology use and other activities.
- Ask them how much time they think is healthy on a screen.
- What other interests or hobbies do they have that they can experience during the summer
- What do they think they can do to earn their entertainment technology time. (Have an idea of what you want and see if you can get them there as well).
The more you ask them and help them to explain their thoughts and feelings to you, the better communication you will have with them in the future.
- It’s important to think about how your child is maturing and how you as the parent want to instill certain values. These could include things such as time spent as a family, academics, exercise, creating relationships and of course time spent on technology. Don’t get caught up in the specifics and think of the principles.
- Kids need structure... not endless time on technology
- Parents need to spend quality time with kids... not just time on technology in the same room.
- Kids want to feel like their parents care about their interests
- Kids need to build other skills as well and develop non-technology hobbies
It is always a good idea to find opportunities to continue having healthy conversations with you kids. Ask them what they notice is different during the time they are playing video games compared to when they are not. You want them to recognize that they are different when they aren’t playing as much. This will give them some understanding and buy-in to the idea of creating the balance and structure that makes for happier kids. Then ask them about how they think you feel when they are nicer and have a better attitude. This helps build empathy and provides you an opportunity to praise positive behaviors and better attitudes.
If you communicate with your kids and create a summer plan to help them experience more than what their screens offer, you will have happier kids and a more fulfilling summer!