Many times, we become fearful of what our children might do over the summer if they are not scheduled tightly or what their technology usage will look like if they have too much downtime.

Is this something that you think about as the summer is approaching? Are you concerned that your kids won’t have enough to do?

Summer is so exciting, but many parents are concerned about the amount of time their children will have without structure. The question I am frequently asked is how do I keep my kids off technology all day long? Regardless of the age of your children, this is a huge opportunity to open the discussion with them from a place of curiosity.

I can remember one summer when one of my kids was in high school, she literally watched a series on Netflix every single day. The next summer when we were discussing options, I politely said, I know one thing that you will not be doing – watching gossip girls on the couch all day long – and I laughed. Luckily, she laughed too.

I tried not to let fear get in the way of the planning. I tried to look at the schedule and the opportunities for her as just that…opportunities. Empowering our kids to take part in the choices in front of them as summer approaches, for all ages, makes a huge difference.

For example, you can ask questions such as the following:

I am curious what your plans are for the summer?

How would you like to manage your time?

What would you like to participate in this summer?

How do you plan to keep your studies and reading going?

What activities would you like to do?

How can I help you to create a plan?

Lastly, let’s talk about technology and what that will look like this summer. Ask your children, what ideas they have to create screen time boundaries for their summer?

Together, with your children, create a plan for the summer, one that offers them a balance of scheduled time and unscheduled time. Once you have a plan that your children have been part of creating, take a deep breath and allow it to run its course.

Empowering our children, at any age, to be part of this discussion really helps them to feel seen, heard and valued. They are more likely to be committed to a plan if they were responsible for helping to create it.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful summer.

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