Raising Boys and Girls Podcast: How to Manage Summer Technology

If you haven’t already, listen to the podcast now:

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The Raising Boys & Girls podcast is bringing you expert insight and encouragement to help you have an INTENTIONAL SUMMER! Join Sissy Goff and David Thomas this week as they share strategies for managing technology over the summer.

Helpful Insights from the Episode

Think about using technology for learning and not just consumption.

Consciously flip your phone over, leave it face down, and even move it away from you.

Product - Brand

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How do we put limits on technology for our kids during the summer?

Remember: Kids do still really need limits.

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University of Michigan study about emotion and confidence.

From 1990-2012 confidence, self-esteem, life satisfaction, and happiness were gradually rising.

In 2012, smartphone ownership rose to 50% of the population in the U.S. and these things began to decline.

In adolescence, psychological well-being decreases 

Kids who get limited screen time—one to five hours per week—are happier than kids who get no screen time at all.

Kids who get twenty or more hours of screen time a week are the least happy.

The happiest kids are the ones who get more face-to-face interaction than screen time.

Happiness Time Grid

The happiest kids according to activities:

Positive (Happiest)

  • Exercise/Sports
  • In-person social interaction
  • Religious services
  • Print media


  • Homework
  • Working


  • Reading news online
  • TV
  • Video chat
  • Texting
  • Social media
  • Computer games
  • Being on the computer in general

AAP screen time guidelines.

Be aware of your own screen time habits.

Kids learn more from observation than information.

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Put a family technology contract in place. Or if you have one, revisit or revise it for the summer.

Make sure your contract is:

  • Clear
  • Concrete
  • Concise

Create a list of jobs or activities kids can do to earn extra media time.

Stay out of the power struggles with your kids and media. Use tools to set limits.

Technology is one of the biggest sources of feeling like a failure for parents. Give yourself grace in this. 

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3 Intentional Practices for Technology Over the Summer:

  1. Talk as a family and agree on technology boundaries.
  2. Have a regular family check-in around screen time.
  3. Take a technology sabbath as a family.

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Family Screentime Check-In: Ask . . .

  • What would they like in terms of technology use this summer? 
  • What do they think is fair?
  • What would they like to do to earn extra technology time?

Make a list . . . Things more fun than screens . . . 

Check out the Common Sense Media movie lists

Look at your family check-in report and talk about it. Ask questions that encourage kids to use media for their benefit.

Pre-Sabbath Chat: Ask . . .

  • How do you feel about going without it?
  • What do you think you’ll miss the most?

Post-Sabbath Chat: Ask . . .

  • What did you really miss about it?
  • What did you learn about technology’s impact on you?
  • What did you learn about yourself?

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