Summer Media Allowance Update – A few weeks ago I dropped the parenting hammer on my 2 kids and instituted a rigid media “allowance” for the summer months.
Summer Media Allowance Update
I wrote about the Summer Media Allowance For My Kids a few weeks back as a nearly desperate ploy to get my kids to kick their media habit and get outside more. In previous summers, it had been nearly downright painful to watch my son and daughter languish in video games while it was sunny and 80 degrees outside. They were fine when events were arranged FOR them (play dates, camps, music lessons, sports practices etc…) but screen time was always the first “go-to”.
My summer media allowance plan is simple and firm – NO tv, video games, computer time (YouTube videos), tablet or cell phone apps before 6p every day through the entire summer. It was a bit of an adjustment for my kids at first, especially my son. But, they quick adapted and adhered to the rules and almost immediately began looking for outside help in the “things to do” department.
So far, so good. No… so far, so GREAT!
I wish I had adopted this plan years ago. Knocking out the electronics has worked wonders for my children finding their way outside. Better still, they’ve become remarkably independent in terms of finding things to do without the crutch of television or the crutch of a mobile device to entertain themselves. I can’t stress the independence part enough. They’re turning into self-starters actively seeking fun things to do outside of the house and the media withdrawals haven’t been nearly as bad as I had feared.
With the summer media allowance, my kids have been going on long bike rides, taking long walks around the neighborhood and seeking out new friends to spend the day with. We’ve had some luck along the way. My son and daughter have been frequently invited to spend days with friends at a local swimming club. But, that’s a testament to their being out and social. It’s like an adult in the dating world, there are more opportunities the more you “get OUT there.” It’s like that old saying… “you miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
Basically, my kids are FINALLY acting like children did when people my age were growing up. I’m starting to feel bad that I’ve spent the past few years thinking they were somehow incapable of occupying themselves without the aid of a high-speed connection or a remote. Their constant lounging wasn’t THEIR fault – it was mostly MINE.
Maybe I could learn a thing or two from my kids in regard to the summer media allowance update. I’m thinking of instituting another one – on myself.
Stay tuned for another Summer Media Allowance Update coming soon.