Screen Time Rules

Summer Reset — Online and Offline

Delaney Ruston, MD
June 6, 2023

This summer instead of my regular Screenagers' Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I'm recording podcasts based on Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesday blogs. I'm calling these BLOGCASTS .

Little girl showing a woodworking project she did

You will find the recording on my Screenagers Podcast Page, here.

Here is part of the transcript, but please listen in to hear the whole Blogcast:

"Today I'm talking about a summer reset, both in terms of screen time policies in our homes and ideas for things to do off screens. Summer's wide open time spans can heighten battles over technology use. This is a perfect time to revisit family guidelines and rules, what's working, and what's not.
So often, parents ask me how to put in rules after having gotten very lax about them. You can start by saying to your kids, “Look, it's summer, and it's time to reset family policies.”
Really wanting to hear our kids' input is called procedural justice — when they feel like we are taking the time to understand what they want and trying to make adjustments so that they feel heard and understood. Many studies have shown that even if people don't get their way, as long as they feel respected and they've had some say in the matter, they are much more likely to go along with rules —and it doesn't mean they're going get everything they want. Life has rules, and so home is a wonderful time to be practicing the self-discipline it takes to honor guidelines.
Resets can also happen when you gain insights into new scientific data related to the benefits of non-screen time things such as sleep and exercise. So by having a conversation about new science that you read, possibly on one of my blogs, particularly mental health issues, using that science to say, “Hey, I need to parent with integrity. And the science is showing that still having policies in the summer is really important to maintain your mental health and all of our mental health.”
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What are some examples of policies that can happen in the summer, even with all the changing elements? Well, first and foremost, still have a time when devices are put away. For sleep time, that's critical. And even if that's later, because the days are longer, it's a time to say, 'Hey, what time makes sense? Maybe it's 10?' What do your kids think? And from there, one of the key things is to have the devices go in the parent's bedroom, as opposed to the myth that it needs to be in a common space. 
Another rule is to find maybe a day, or a week, of summer when technology is completely put away other than when it's used as a tool for something like directions. Setting those days, even though there's going to be some leeway, I always say it's about maintaining an 80 to 90% consistency. 
Equally important to ensuring that there is much time off screens is to be intentional about what are the things that people are going to do during the summer. And one of the topics that is important to talk about is expanding horizons. We want our kids to have new experiences in the summer.
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It can be really fun to have a goal like “We are going to go to three new Indian restaurants to try out their naan. Or we're going to have the goal of visiting three statues this summer. And what goes along with this idea of expanding horizons is putting things on calendars. Just the other day, I know that my son is going to be here for part of the summer, so I have been looking for a concert in the park that I could get on the calendar. We have put on the calendar one night of backpacking, just the two of us. I know that if I get that on the calendar, it really increases the chance it will happen. And it's also a way to invite other people to join us."

...Listen in to hear the whole podcast episode here

As well as our weekly blog, we publish videos like this one every week on the Screenagers YouTube channel

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Screen Time Rules

Summer Reset — Online and Offline

Delaney Ruston, MD
June 6, 2023

This summer instead of my regular Screenagers' Tech Talk Tuesday blog, I'm recording podcasts based on Screenagers Tech Talk Tuesday blogs. I'm calling these BLOGCASTS .

Little girl showing a woodworking project she did

You will find the recording on my Screenagers Podcast Page, here.

Here is part of the transcript, but please listen in to hear the whole Blogcast:

"Today I'm talking about a summer reset, both in terms of screen time policies in our homes and ideas for things to do off screens. Summer's wide open time spans can heighten battles over technology use. This is a perfect time to revisit family guidelines and rules, what's working, and what's not.
So often, parents ask me how to put in rules after having gotten very lax about them. You can start by saying to your kids, “Look, it's summer, and it's time to reset family policies.”
Really wanting to hear our kids' input is called procedural justice — when they feel like we are taking the time to understand what they want and trying to make adjustments so that they feel heard and understood. Many studies have shown that even if people don't get their way, as long as they feel respected and they've had some say in the matter, they are much more likely to go along with rules —and it doesn't mean they're going get everything they want. Life has rules, and so home is a wonderful time to be practicing the self-discipline it takes to honor guidelines.
Resets can also happen when you gain insights into new scientific data related to the benefits of non-screen time things such as sleep and exercise. So by having a conversation about new science that you read, possibly on one of my blogs, particularly mental health issues, using that science to say, “Hey, I need to parent with integrity. And the science is showing that still having policies in the summer is really important to maintain your mental health and all of our mental health.”

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