Dr. Matthew Clark shares tips for helping the entire family be more engaged this summer.

  1. Reality check. Log how much your children are plugged in during the summer week. Examine your own habits, too.
  2. Decide on new guidelines with your child. Two Hours per day is recommended by the American Medical Association -- or specific times for specific activities and times of the day.
  3. Top neurologists understand we need bored/imagination/thinking time. This is now limited and it’s when we do some of our best thinking/planning/self-reflection/problem solving and brain healing.
  4. Help Children and you find new ways to fill the time. Artwork, writing, board games, swimming, forts, bikes, obstacle courses, craft gifts, reading, toys, bug and leaf hunting, fishing, cooking, planning a vacation/trip/adventure together, music lessons, clubs like 4-H or Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, VBS, set up a tent in the yard or at relatives, volunteer work, humanitarian projects and more!
  5. Be an example to your children. No one brings phone to the table, including you.
  6. Don't have the TV or Laptop on in the background.
  7. Discontinue using screen time as a reward or punishment. Overemphasis, take devices at bedtime, ut on charger in kitchen, etc.
  8. OurPact a parental control app that allows parents to set limitation on when internet and applications are available on children’s devices.
  9. No plug in can be kind of cruel. The world has changed and it’s a crucial social connection for some kids.

Courtesy: Dr. Matthew Clark, The Clark Institute

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