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What does a balanced school year look like?

After a year of zoom school, google chats to stay in touch with friends, and a lot of extra time at home this summer, many of our children are hooked on their screens. Parents are wondering what a balanced offline and online life looks like this school year, and how screen time can fit into the picture.  

The good news is that after the summer, going back to school helps to naturally wean our children off screens. Just make sure your child engages in the following other 6  life areas this school year - and then let screen time be life area #7.  

Six areas your child should be engaged in for a healthy balance

  1. Hobbies: As life opens back up, it is time for your child to re-engage in their interests and hobbies.  Sports, dance, art, music - make sure your child is re-engaging in whatever lights them up!
  2. In-Person Hang Out Time: Too much online socializing can leave kids depressed and lonely. Hanging out with friends and family face to face more powerfully sparks feeling connected and cared for.  Make sure your child begins to see their friends in person again and work toward quality screen-free family time each day.  
  3. Exercise: Endorphins, endorphins, endorphins! Get your child moving each day, especially on the weekends when there’s no school. 
  4. Chores:  Research indicates that helping out in the home is essential for healthy development.  It’s usually easier and faster to just do it yourself, but it is important to get your child helping out on a regular basis, even on the weekends.  
  5. Sleep: Sleep patterns may have gotten a bit wonky during the quarantine, so use the structure of the school schedule to re-establish healthy patterns or at least ensure that your child is getting enough sleep. Going to bed early-ish and keeping screens out of the bedroom at night will help.   
  6. Boredom: “Mom, I”m bored” - the sentence parents hate to hear.  But actually boredom is healthy for your child’s development. When your child is bored, it provides a break for their over-stimulated nervous system, and often leads to creativity and connecting with their authentic interests.  It can be hard to tolerate the complaining, but if you leave your child to feel boredom, you’ll find that they’ll eventually find something to do on their own.

If your child is hitting these 6 life areas on a semi-daily basis, you can rest assured that they are having a balanced life.  Let them enjoy some screen time as modern life area #7, and take a much needed break yourself!

Navigating screen time with children is tough for most parents. If you need some extra help setting up an effective plan and/or teaching your child the skills needed for healthy and responsible screen time, we invite you to learn more about our program. We got you covered! 

Sign up for our newsletter to get healthy screen time insights and tips from clinical psychologist, Dr. Demi Rhine.  

About Beyond Limits Academy

Beyond Limits is a simple step-by-step online program that teaches parents and preteens how to prepare for a lifetime of safe and healthy technology use. Going beyond just screen time limits, our skills-based approach provides a clear roadmap that reduces conflict and sets children up to manage their own tech use independently and responsibly. In an increasingly digital world, preparing our children to use technology wisely is no longer an option . . . it's a necessity.

End the constant screen time battles, we'll show you how!


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