Mom Versus Media Part Two – The Summer Media Allowance

Kid Playing Video Games

I’ve come up with a plan of regulating my kids’ appetite for media and screen time this summer and I wonder if you think it might be too harsh.

Before I get to my summer media allowance plan… some disclaimers. OCM readers may be familiar with the fact that I’ve had “Mom Versus Media” problems with my kids for years. Initially, I mostly thought I shared the same issues with just about every other parent of 3-17 year old children. Now, I’m starting to wonder if I’m on an island because of the severity of the “problem.”


I’ve learned through the years that “you can’t create motivation.” I wouldn’t classify either of my children as lazy but sometimes getting them off their tablets and doing something (ANYTHING) other than relying on media to entertain themselves has been an issue. They love being active and outside but… heading outside never seems to be their first option.

Summer is here and I’m having painful flashbacks of summers past where I felt I had to just about light myself on fire to get my kids off of their media devices to (heaven forbid) go outside and play. If I said “no more TV,” they’d jump to the computer. If I said “no more computer,” they’d jump to the tablet. If I said “no more video games,” they’d go back to the TV. You get the idea – a vicious circle.

My husband and I are putting our foot down this summer and came up with our own media allowance for our kids in hopes of helping our problem. This is going to be our “last-ditch” effort in our attempts to curbing my kids’ constant yearning to be “plugged in” all summer and to try to instill a sense that being outside, productive and social isn’t somehow a punishment.

Without further ado, here’s my summer media allowance plan:

NO tv, video games, computer time (YouTube videos), tablet or cell phone apps before 6p every day through the entire summer.

Simple enough, huh?

This rule forces them to plan their own day and not rely on electronics for entertainment. It also allows us to carry on our tradition of watching our favorite TV episodes after dinner.

So, what do you think? Is my summer media allowance plan too strict? Am I being a dreaded “helicopter mom”? I’d really like some feedback from some parents who may be in the same boat I am. To those who don’t have this Mom versus Media problem, I salute you!

I know this sounds silly (trust me) but… I’m actually worried about being able to follow through on this supposedly simple task. I’m already hoping I don’t have to play the role of “Cruise Director” for my kids’ summer vacation home from school and that they can functionally entertain themselves on their own minus tablets, video games etc.

In an ideal world, they will find true love outside of the electronics and form some great new habits. Who knows, maybe they’ll instinctually reach for a baseball mitt, musical instrument or an art kit rather than a tablet.

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