My dreams for Spring Break are simple: sunshine, finally kicking the flu that’s haunted our house, and finding a screen time balance during all these days off.
The problem is that my kids have different views on nine days off. They’re planning for this to be Screen Break–a break with all the BrawlStars, Clash Royale, binging on bad Netflix shows, and endless YouTube hack videos.
And I get it because I kind of feel like doing the same thing. We’ve been fighting two kinds of flu and then struggling with the flu’s fun parting gifts of bronchitis and sinus infections. Also, spring sports have started up, but Houston is still too cold for soccer and track and baseball. We sent our kids to freezing practices this week with the motivation that Spring Break was “ALMOST HERE! And then you can snuggle under covers all day long!”
Here’s what I’m doing to help our family rest without making these nine days Screen Break…
1. We’re doing Bursts. This is the best motivator I’ve found for the boys and video games. I give them a list (or they write it themselves, see below) of what they need to accomplish in a morning. For every couple to-dos they accomplish, they’ve earned an electronics “burst.” They have to set the timer themselves and really get off when it dings. This works for us because it breaks up their screen time so they don’t fall into a technology trance. Also, it gives them power in “earning” screen time. I might also be raising micro-managed kids, but whatever. So many days and so many electronics.
2. We’re using the Storyline Productivity Schedule. This is the tool I’ve used every day for years to help me finish my creative projects. It works. I have written four books using Donald Miller’s system and I think it can work for my kids too. We need to deep-clean the house over break (because: flu) and I’m trying a zone defense here. Each kid is responsible for an area and they need to scrub or organize or vacuum. They have to put that on their daily schedule, but they also get to list creative goals they want to accomplish. This (hopefully) helps kids think beyond the screen and to brainstorm other ways to spend the day.
What are you doing at your house to help balance screen time during Spring Break?