Amy Iverson: 5 helpful ways to encourage your kids to go screen-free this summer

Alexovics Attila, sakkmesterke

Preschool boys playing on smartphone

Soft fascination is the term scientists use for everything we experience in nature. And research from the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that experiencing all the great outdoors has to offer can alleviate stress.

Maybe you think your kids don’t have stress. But other terms to describe the benefits may seem more applicable, like “lower frustration” and “more relaxed.” That sounds like a win to me. So we want our kids to get outside this summer. But that may go against what those children have on their bucket lists (binge watch Netflix, play Minecraft endlessly, Snapchat till they drop).

How do we control summer screen time without it turning into a huge argument each day?

Know what’s appropriate. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages limits for screen time depending on the age of the child. It highly discourages any screen time for children under the age of 18 months. As the mother of twins, though, I never condemn a parent who lets their littles veg out in front of Curious George for 30 minutes, no matter their age.

The AAP suggests high-quality educational shows and apps for children 18 to 24 months, and only when a parent is involved (again, see my above “never condemn” comment). For all other children, it suggests no more…

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