I post this article on the use of screens during summer every June, right when school’s out and parents need it most. Here’s to a fun, relaxing summer for your whole family!
Carol kicked off her work shoes and put them away in the front hall closet. “Hi, kids; I’m home!” She called out.
It’d been an extremely long work day for Carol, and the commute home had been long and sweaty due to heavy road construction and her car air conditioning being out. All she wanted to do was get her shoes off and collapse.
When she walked into the kitchen, though, she gasped.
The kitchen looked as though someone had dirtied every dish and pan and countertop, and then run out in a panic.
In the distance she could hear machine gun fire.
The machine gun fire was coming from the TV in her family room, where her teens lounged on leather furniture, still in the t-shirts and sweatpants they’d slept in the night before. One stared, unmoving, at a movie on TV, one sat engrossed in Netflix on an iPad with headphones; the oldest was hunting and shooting camouflage-clad villains in a warehouse on a computer screen in the corner.
“Have you guys been in here like this the entire day??” She asked.
Many parents today worry about kids’ screen use during summer vacation.
But what’s a parent to do? It takes too much energy to constantly suggest: “Why don’t you go outside for a while?” Parents already tired from work don’t want to start battles with teens who might become sullen, snarly, and disrespectful when asked to disconnect.
How can parents get teens to do more chores, spend less time on screens, and have more of the kind of summer fun that satisfies most deeply?
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