Finding A Healthy Balance Over Summer Break

May 1, 2024 Middle School News

Finding A Healthy Balance Over Summer Break

As we approach the summer break, parents are presented with an opportunity to nurture their children’s well-being outside the structured environment of school. One of the key challenges many families face is finding the right balance between screen time and promoting health and wellness in our children. Here are some tips on how to navigate this balance effectively.

Encourage Variety in Activities

Encourage your child to engage in a variety of activities beyond screens. Provide opportunities for outdoor play, sports, creative hobbies, and hands-on activities that stimulate their minds and bodies. Create a variety of activities in their schedule to develop a healthy balance and encourage them to try something new. Ben Lippen offers a variety of Summer Camps which can be found here: Ben Lippen Summer Camps.

Establish Clear Guidelines

Setting clear guidelines around screen time is essential for maintaining balance, especially during summer months. Consider establishing specific hours or time limits for screen use each day, ensuring ample time for other activities such as outdoor play, reading, and family time. Focus on the importance of carving out dedicated time for family devotions and spiritual growth, free from the distractions of screens. Provide practical tips for incorporating devotional practices into daily routines and fostering meaningful connections with God and others.

Lead by Example

As parents, we serve as powerful role models for our children. Be mindful of your screen time habits and strive to model a healthy balance between technology use and other activities. Demonstrate the value of unplugging and engaging in real-world interactions. Make purposeful eye contact and give them your undivided attention during conversations so they know you are listening to them.

Create Tech-Free Zones

Designate specific areas in your home as tech-free zones, such as the dinner table, bedrooms, or family gathering areas. These zones provide opportunities for uninterrupted face-to-face interactions and foster stronger family connections.

Emphasize Sleep Hygiene

Prioritize sleep by setting consistent bedtime routines and ensuring your child gets adequate rest each night. Limit screen time before bedtime, as the light emitted by screens can interfere with sleep quality. Consider having them charge their phones outside of their bedrooms so they are not tempted to be on their phone in the middle of the night.

Monitor Content and Quality

Be proactive in monitoring the content and quality of your child’s screen time. Encourage educational and age-appropriate content, and discuss the importance of critical thinking, digital literacy skills, and viewing appropriate content. Set guidelines and let them know how you will keep them accountable.

Finding the right balance between screen time and health and wellness may be met with some resistance, however, by prioritizing open communication, setting clear guidelines, and leading by example, we can help our children develop healthy habits that will serve them well beyond the summer break.