People Share their Summer Screen Time Rules

Last week I wrote about how to reset rules for summer. It is always so wonderful how many people share reactions to all of my TTTs and last week many of you shared great ideas of other rules. I fully appreciate this kind act of all of your sharing (and thank you social media for this positive aspect of your existence which allows the sharing of ideas to help our youth thrive— including helping social media not over consume you).

I am really excited to share here many of the ideas from other families and, at the end of this blog, some more of ours in our home this summer. 

Here are some rules that people have generously posted on Facebook in response to this question we posted last week: “What are the summer screen time rules in your house?” Share yours in the comments section below to help others.

  1. Pamela O.  Rule in our house: No reading; no screen time. I’ve let up on time limits some over the summer since we’re pretty strict during the school year about it. However, they still need a time limit or they would literally spend all day staring at a screen. Getting tough to limit screen time though because so many devices from phones, chrome books, iPad, kindle, Xbox to TVs. They device hop. I’m ready to lock them all up for the summer!! We use circle to limit screen time & keep them safe online.

  2. Debbie K.  All chores must be done daily in order to keep the phone.

  3. Raina J. No different than the rest of the year. iPad for math drills every day (less than five minutes) and that’s it. Maybe an occasional movie on Friday Family Fun Night. I do this with my kids 7, 8, 10 years old but not my 17 year old as he’s practically out of the house by now.

  4. Penelope S. For my 9.5 and 4.5 year olds we are doing 1 hour Mon-Wed and Friday. Family movie on weekends. Saturday, Sunday morning screen for 1 hour or so. Camping a lot this summer so no screen then either. It sucks be the screen police but is all for the better!!

  5. Natalie P. They need to have room picked up, bed made, eat breakfast, brush hair, read (basic morning routine) then can have 30 min screen time. I made a list of things they could do to earn more than 30 min screen time up to 2 hrs/day. But while traveling we have to adjust.

  6. Linda C. We have a 13 yr old and we just started no phone use/screens of any kind from 9-3, which was based on you're in school from 8:30-3:30 so this is better. This applies to everyday. Yesterday, exactly one week after school got out she asked to play ping pong during the day with us, cards at night. Starting to get bored. 😊 After those hours, she's allowed 1 show (they range from 20-40 mins). She's allowed a max 30 mins on Instagram but can message her friends to chat the rest of the day, except from 5:30-7:30 when the whole family has no screen time allowed. Complicated, huh?!

  7. Holly W. One hour of TV daily, One hour of video games on Fri/Sat/Sun AFTER lunch and after 30 minutes of reading and 1 hour outside. He can do extra chores to get more video game time. We took the iPad away last year, best parenting decision we've ever made. Our son is 9.

  8. Rebekah K. 8/10 yr olds came up with 40 mins m/w/f and then earn more from reading min for min after they do their list (instrument practice, exercise ideas, chores, playing with baby brother). T/Thurs 30 min max screen time that is some sort of school/educational app. Sat kids movie night. Sun are screen free.

  9. Mary K. When my kids were young (they are grown now) I made them punch cards. Every Sunday they received a new punch card with eight punches. Each punch was worth 1/2 hour of screen time. They could use their punches whenever they wanted (for approved shows). When the punches were gone, they were done for the week. When they gave their cards back to me the following Sunday they received a quarter for each unused punch and received their new card. Worked great!

  10. Melissa F. My kids are older, 11 & 15. Especially for my oldest I believe in self-regulation. But that is what works for us, she doesn’t really care about technology. I also think parents need to be accountable as role models. That being said, our Google Wifi is awesome because you can pause devices. We paused screens in our house from 9-9. That only works for devices without a cellular plan, but for my younger child this means he has to decompress before bedtime and when he gets up. He spends most of his day at the pool or with friends, but I don’t micromanage the rest of the time.

  11. Aline C. My 15 yr old is working at a summer camp for 6 weeks... phones are in office except for free time, which is limited!

While our son Chase is away working this summer Tessa our high schooler is still here. We talk a lot about screen time. Much of the discussions are around her increasing awareness of how she wants to spend her time, and where screen time fits in, and what sabotages her goals to not use it excessively. She tells us different  strategies she is trying. All of this is great and we still have some clear rules that she is always a part in making. For example, during the week, even now in the summer, screens stay out of her bedroom for most of the day. There are exceptions but they are mainly out of her room. On the weekend nights she can have screens in her room until late. She then keeps devices out of her room when she sleeps. As I often write about, we maintain a strict no screens policy during meals and in the car. This summer Tessa is filling her days with lots of things to keep her busy, such as jobs and some exercise.

Here are some questions to get the conversation started:

  • Do you think the amount of time you are spending on screens this summer is just right? Too much? Not enough? 

  • Share with your kids this list of other people’s rules and see if they like any of them. 

  • Are there any of your rules that need adjusting? Creating? Eliminating? 

  • Share with your family any summer rule/goal that you as an adult have implemented or are considering for yourself. ** Remember rules/goals don’t just have to be about the amount of time but can be about the quality of time. 

We would love for you to share this TTT any way that works for you, whether that’s on social media or via a newsletter. If you want to send it out in your newsletter we just ask that you credit us and link to our website, and let us know at

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