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father and daughter playing basketball Digital Wellbeing

5 Ways to Reduce Screen Time During Summer Break

The Bark Team  |  May 09, 2023

father and daughter playing basketball

Summer break is a time for kids to relax, play and explore the world around them. But between TikTok, Instagram and texting friends, it can be hard to convince your teen to take their nose out of their phone and look around at all there is to see. If you are hoping to connect with your kid this summer or just hoping to help them ease up on their screen time during summer break without coming across as a nag, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve listed five ways to encourage your teen to put down the screen and make the most of summer fun!

5 Ways to Reduce Screen Time During Summer Break

1. Set clear rules and boundaries

Setting clear rules and boundaries is essential to reducing your child's screen time. Kids need structure and guidelines to follow, and while it’s up to you as the parent to establish them, it helps to have an open dialogue with your teen on what you want for them and what they believe is fair. When setting rules and boundaries, be clear and specific about what is expected of your child. For instance, you could set a time limit for screen time each day and designate specific times when devices are off-limits, such as during meal times or before bedtime. When setting rules and boundaries, be sure to explain the reasons behind them. Emphasize the importance of getting enough sleep, the need for physical activity or your desire for them to get outside and make lasting memories.

2. Encourage outdoor activities

Encouraging your child to engage in outdoor activities is an excellent way to reduce screen time. Summer is the perfect time to get outside and explore nature, so take advantage of it! Plan fun outdoor activities such as bike rides, picnics, hiking, swimming or playing games in the park. Consider rounding up parents in the neighborhood for a field day, summer celebration or weekend competition. These activities not only help reduce screen time but also promote physical activity and help your child make new connections or solidify older ones. 

3. Promote creative play

Promoting creative play is another way to reduce your child's screen time. Encourage your child to engage in activities that stimulate their creativity and imagination, such as drawing, painting, writing stories or picking up a new hobby. These activities not only reduce screen time but also promote cognitive development and problem-solving skills. Provide your child with the necessary materials, tutor or even enlist them in a summer camp to fine-tune their abilities. Don’t forget to celebrate their wins and praise them for their creativity and hard work along the way!

4. Plan family activities

Participating in family activities is another way to reduce your child's screen time while promoting family bonding. Plan fun activities that the whole family can enjoy, such as a board game competition, movie night, cook-off or weekend trip. Not sure where to get started? Check out Camp Bark for creative ideas on how to spend rainy days in, activities for athletes, artists and much more! These activities not only reduce screen time but also promote socialization, communication and quality time together as a family.

5. Be a positive role model

Finally, be a positive role model for your child when it comes to screen time. If you're always on your phone or computer, your child will follow your lead. Set an example for your child by limiting your own screen time, especially during family time or when engaging in outdoor or creative activities. When you do use screens, be sure to model responsible digital behavior, such as avoiding excessive social media scrolling, engaging in positive online interactions and avoiding online negativity.

How Bark Can Help

Reducing your child's screen time during summer break can be challenging, but it’s well worth it in the end. By setting clear rules and boundaries, encouraging outdoor activities, promoting creative play, participating in family activities and being a positive role model, you can help your child develop healthy digital habits and enjoy a summer break full of fun and exploration.

In need of some backup when it comes to enforcing your screen time rules? Bark gives you the ability to set healthy screen time limits with schedules as dynamic and flexible as your summer activity plan. Check out how you can create custom daily screen time schedules down to the minute and start your free trial of Bark today.

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

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