In a world where we are physically distanced from each other, our challenge is to maximize the gift of screens, but minimize the isolation we are feeling. Ironically, for our teens, this challenge isn’t necessarily a new thing. Join us for a peek our kids’ world. We are here to help you make a plan to help them stay healthy.
Parenting in the days of quarantine is a juggle of childcare, conference calls, household chores, and emotional roller coasters. Screens are providing a beautiful lifeline, but how to we best manage them without letting them consume us? Let’s make a plan!
Make a list of what core values will guide this season—or maybe a rally cry like, “Just keep Swimming” from Finding Dory or “Do the Next Right Thing” from Frozen 2. Ask your kids to join you, co-creating a vision for how you want your family to live this season! Then…hang them up! Whether it is just a handwritten post-it on the fridge or a Pinterest-inspired art print doesn’t matter, but hang your vision in your home as a visual reminder of what your family is striving for.
Even before quarantine, studies showed that we look at our phones 80+ times a day – and based on our own news and social media scrolling amidst this crisis, it’s likely gone up.
In the thick of flurries of group texting, news checking, and zoom scheduling, you might sense that you—and your kids—are online more than ever. But just like our devices need to recharge, so do we. If you are looking for a couple of zones to designate as “device-free”—we suggest tables and bedtimes.
During this time when kids are likely on screens longer and with less supervision, they are more likely to accidentally stumble onto unsavory content. If you haven’t yet installed filters and controls on your child’s devices, now is a great time. Here are a few ideas to help your family navigate the internet with a safety net.
In national surveys, families report that the number one battleground is managing technology. During this time of quarantine, we encourage you to get ahead of those battles by adopting consistent rhythms for screen use. Let consistent, predictable patterns “be the bad guy” so you don’t have to.
The days will be long and emotionally challenging, but if you can, we encourage you to look for some unexpected positives. In quarantines throughout history, Shakespeare wrote King Lear and Isaac Newton developed calculus and discovered gravity. We encourage you to make this season “time well spent” by guiding your kids towards meaningful activities—both online and offline.
As schools are out and families are stuck in, it’s creating a lot of change in routine and isolation. One idea for maintaining relational connection and consistency for our kids? Consider doing a facetime playdate! For many working professionals, a “virtual coffee” is a well-established way to connect with colleagues in other offices – to maintain connection though you can’t be together. Let’s try these for our kids!
We are in an unprecedented time and one where many more families will be spending a lot more time together. Here are some tips about how to be intentional about time offline and time online.