Most Americans have been on virtual lockdown since March. Everything from sports to restaurants have been shut down for weeks. The one thing we haven’t lost is our screens. Which means a lot of us have filled our days with video games and online shopping while we binge on Netflix.
I get it. This is a stressful time, and a little distraction is good for us. But spending nearly every waking moment in front of a screen isn’t. It doesn’t take much for temporary distractions to become full-on dependencies. That’s true for all of us, but especially for our children.
One of the best ways to limit screen time is to turn off everything a couple of hours before bedtime. Electronics confuse your body’s internal clock, which makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Another good idea for limiting screen time is to replace it with something else. This is your chance to read that book you’ve been hoping to get to, or to enjoy the quiet and hear yourself think for a change.
Most of all, find ways for your family to connect. You can do better than simply fighting off boredom in the same room together. You can use this time as an opportunity for your family to deepen its roots. Take walks or play board games. Talk. Laugh.
After all, face-to-face encounters with your child are far more enriching than video games or a Netflix marathon. And best of all, you’re forging memories you’ll treasure forever.
For more great ideas for managing your family’s screen time during social distancing, tune in to our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Navigating eLearning and Screen Time During the Coronavirus Outbreak” with our guest Jonathan McKee. He’s sharing ideas for helping your children strike a good balance between e-learning, digital entertainment, outdoor activity, and face-to-face engagement. He’s also sharing five tips to get your teen talking.
Join us on your local radio station, online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or on our free phone app. Our conversation centered around Jonathan’s book Get Your Teenager Talking: Creative Questions, Stories, and Quotes to Start Meaningful Conversations. We’ll send you a copy for a gift of any amount. Visit our website for more information.
You can also call us at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). Thankfully, Focus on the Family has been ahead of the curve with technology that allows most of our staff to work from home and continue to minister to families. Our phones are open. Call us if you need some guidance with resources or to speak with a counselor. It’s all secure and confidential. I’m grateful to the donors who support Focus on the Family so that we can continue to come alongside you in your time of need.