Don’t we all want to keep kids outside as much as possible? I mean, why not? Sunlight, dirt, exercise, self-reliance… it’s all so good for them.
Well, if you family is anything like ours, it can be a daily struggle to keep the kidlet off the screens in the summer or over the weekends. If it were up to her, she’d be on her iPod, the TV, the Xbox or some combination of the three all day, every day of her summer vacation. *sheesh* Kids these days, huh? 😂
Well, I’m super stoked to tell you that I think we’ve cracked this mystery of how to actually keep kids outside and I wanted to share it with you. RELATED: 10 Ways to Lose the Fear & Let Your Kid Be A Kid
Even if the exact scenario doesn’t work in your situation, you can glean some inspiration from the methodology.
What we did was tell our 13 y/o that there was no screen time at all this summer, unless we were watching a family movie.
She about died for two seconds until we told her that she could earn screen time.
For every hour she spent playing outside, riding her bike, playing with friends, swimming, she would be allowed half an hour of screen time to use as she saw fit, whenever she wanted (within reason).
So, she spends three hours playing outside with friends in the neighborhood or down the street? 90 minutes to play Minecraft.
Spent an hour swimming at the pool? Half an hour watching Netflix.
I’ve got to tell you: it’s working like a charm. RELATED: Why Trying to Build Your Kid’s Self-Esteem is a Waste of Time
Unless it’s raining, then all bets are off and she can earn time by reading, doing chores, doing crafts, drawing, etc…
When she got out of school in May, she didn’t know how to occupy herself and would drive us crazy by wandering around aimlessly if she wasn’t on a screen.
Now? She practically begs to go back out after dinner because she’s learned to love it so and she’s learning to occupy herself, even without a friend by her side.
I couldn’t be more proud when she comes home sweaty, dirty & exhausted before bed.