Screen Time

Here in San Francisco, we’re one week into remote learning, and I’ve heard from parents about how they’re struggling to manage screen time. It’s a guaranteed way to engage your child while you get things done, and now with most of children’s days spent on a screen with lessons being taught virtually, it is way too much. The fallout behavior from screen time can be hard to handle, so limiting it will make life easier.

How do you manage?

Use teachers as allies. Request that most assignments are handwritten and uploaded rather than typed. Ask them to assign screen-free reading. Ask them to assign ways they can help around the house (cooking, folding laundry, etc.).

Listen to Audiobooks. Screens aren’t the only way to entertain! Audiobooks are an incredible way to engage children as young as three or four. If you can, read the book to your child first, and then have him or her listen to it. The connection from the first read will last for several re-listening sessions. Right now, Audible has opened a portion of their library during school closures.

Find a Podcast or two. Podcasts are also a great way to fill time. Put it on the schedule when you need to focus on your own work.

An Album a Day. Listen to an album a day; share your favorites and expand what your child loves. Take turns picking the album, so you can hear what they love, too.

Set a screen schedule. Some families have special days for movies, which makes it easier to say no. There are ways to put restrictions on devices, and hiding the cord is always an option, too.

Any other ideas? Comment below!


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