Summer is here and it’s time to think about kids, phones, texting, tablets, laptops, and XBoxes! My summer media allowance plan for my kids in previous summers worked out really well!
If you’re not familiar with my seasonal-since-2006 Mom VS Media rants, here’s the gist of it. In the past, I’ve had painful summers with my kids (now 16 and 14) hopping from electronic device to electronic device in their pajamas and languishing inside when it’s perfectly beautiful outside. 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. Truthfully, I wish it didn’t have to come to this. If I had my way, I wouldn’t have to implement a summer media plan… at all.
Summer Media Allowance for Kids
I entered summer 4 years ago with a new plan and a new attitude! My summer media allowance plan for kids the past few summers was simple – NO tv, video games, computer time (including YouTube videos), tablet or cell phone apps before 6p every day through the entire summer. And, long story short, it WORKED beautifully! I let them check their phone for texts at lunch but that’s it. After a rough 1-2 week adjustment period, my kids instinctively, well… acted like kids! They hopped on their bikes, went to parks, visited friends, and enjoyed the summer weather.
My summer media allowance isn’t just the hardline rule of no devices before 6p, you have to follow through and make the plan easy for your kids. One way to help is to come up with a dry erase board with lists of activities your kids can do in the summer besides the dreaded tablet. We put ours on the fridge. Lastly, in order for temptation not to creep in, I had my kids hand in their tablets at the end of each night and stash them until 6p the next day. By July, there were often days they didn’t even use their electronic devices at all for the day.
Again, I started this plan when my kids were much younger (12-10). Now that they’re a bit older I am trusting them more during the daytime in the summertime with their phones. I think the years of this summer media allowance has them naturally choosing other options besides screen time and I’m relieved for that – I think they are too.
This year I’m going to add the Michigan Child Protection Registry to my summer media allowance plan. The Michigan Child Protection Registry allows you to register your child’s email addresses, mobile phones, and messenger IDs to prevent adult ads, porn spam, drug spam, and other harmful messages from reaching your kids via their mobile devices. This registry is FREE and is very similar to the federal Do Not Call list. You can learn more about this FREE, easy program at www.ProtectMiChild.com.
Have a fun, safe summer! Do you have any tips for our summer media allowance plan page?