Recently, social distancing, being in quarantine, and washing your hands have become mantras of Mothers and Fathers across the country. While maintaining the sanity of our family members might be low on our list of priorities, quarantining 24/7 is a challenge.

It’s Not Easy…

Kids are stuck at home, robbed of the opportunity to engage in face-to-face relationships, and are restricted from their physical activities and sports teams. With that being said, it’s inevitable to become more lenient about your “screen time” rules.

Achieving a Healthy Screen Time Balance

But how do you achieve a healthy balance during the quarantine? Randy Kulman Ph.D. & child clinical psychologist recommends the following:

“First, model healthy living for your kids. Make time to exercise; talk to friends and family; engage in a hobby; take care of yourself psychologically and spiritually; and use screens to work, relax, and communicate with others”.

Next, he suggests you create the expectation that everyone in the family will engage in daily physical, social, creative, unstructured, and digital play activities. Be crystal clear with your family. Yes, they will have more screen time, but it’s not a free for all, you expect them to engage in healthy activities daily.

5 Daily Priorities

Here are a few basic steps that will keep screen time in check and get you started:

Physical Play: Take a walk as a family each day, no matter what. To keep it easy, try to establish a routine time.

Social Play: Facetime or Zoom with family members or family friends each night.

Creative Play: Do something new every day. Your kids have more time on their hands, so make an effort to have them try something new. Try a new recipe, read a book by a new author, take apart a Lego construction and make something different, do a craft project with items found around the house, or learn about something of interest through an Internet search.

Unstructured Play: Take a few minutes each day to relax, stretch, daydream, make a plan for the future, and appreciate nature and the spring season.

Digital Play: This is where your kids will tell you what they want to do. Allow age-appropriate gameplay and consider playing with them.

Article adapted from Psychology Today.

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