This Parenting Hack Will Keep Your Kids From OD’ing on Screens This Summer

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Well, it’s finally here! School is out, summer is in, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Lots of relaxing days, no alarm clocks, and fun summer activities are on the horizon. At least, in theory. The reality is, we have A LOT of downtime during the summer. And too much downtime can easily turn into too much screen time. Because while my kids are free for the summer, I am not. Mama’s gotta work! So when I need a little quiet time, or just want my kids to STOP FIGHTING FOR THREE MINUTES FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, we tend to go right to the iPads. But I don’t want their little brains to liquefy from too much YouTube, so this summer screen time hack is definitely something I’ll be using.

Summer screen time is our savior and also the bane of our existence, right? You know what they say about too much of a good thing.

chris farley no more for today GIF

Now, I’m not one of those “no screen time moms”. LOL god no. I happen to think monitored screen time is really beneficial, at least it has been for my kids. I mean, I certainly didn’t teach my 3-year-old to count to 20 in Spanish (thanks, Endless Spanish!). But I also don’t want my kids to waste their days sitting inside during the summer. So a checklist of activities for kids to complete in order to earn screen time is perfect.

I’m a big fan of lists, especially when it comes to getting kids to complete chores/daily tasks. Remember that mom with the amazing financial responsibility list for her daughter? This summer screen time hack is a lot like that.

Now, the beauty of creating your own list is that you can add whatever tasks or activities you want your kids to do! I try to leave off things that my girls have to do everyday no matter what, like brush their teeth, dress themselves, and eat breakfast. I don’t like to reward mediocrity, LOL. But in order to earn summer screen time, I’m going to include things like: read quietly for 30 minutes (that’ll get them 10 minutes of screens), clean their rooms (10 minutes), put away their own laundry (20 minutes), and do a puzzle together without fighting or crying (20 minutes). I’ve also got a list of easy craft ideas they can complete for screen time, and they’ll be required to play outside for a total of two hours everyday (which won’t earn them any screen time but will give me plenty of quiet time).


If you can avoid summer screen time altogether, I applaud you! But if you’re just looking for ways to limit the time your kids spend on their devices, creating a To Do list and making them earn screen time may just do the trick.

(Image: iStock/Nadezhda1906)