Monday, June 1, 2009

Is it summer yet?

In our house, we're finally down to the last week of school- yea! Both kids and parents (not to mention teachers!) are all really, really ready for summer. Even adults who continue to work full time throughout the summer have a sense of anticipation for some lazy summer days. Everyone should get outside and soak up some liquid Vitamin D sunshine- but not so much as to invite a sunburn!
Time flies faster each year (gee, our parents were right about that) and summer is no exception. If you don't set some family rules for summertime, before you know it your kids will be sprouting roots on the couch, permanently attached to their iTouch/laptop/other handheld electronic device.
The good news is that when electronics are time restricted, kids are amazingly creative with their "extra" time. From creating dances to painting rocks or playing board games, their are a million activities that kids don't have time for during the school year, yet should have plenty of time for in the summer.
The AMA, AAP (Amer. Academy of Pediatrics) and the AAFP (Amer. Academy of Family Physicians) ALL agree that the MAXIMUM amount of total daily screen time should not exceed 2 HOURS.
So, remind your kids they have a watch, or get them a stop watch so they can keep track of their own screen time. TV shows are easy to count, but get that clock running when they plop down with their lap top or iTouch...
Bottom Line: LIMIT SCREEN TIME this summer, and you'll find your kids enjoying a larger variety of activities and stimulating more corners of those wonderful developing brains!

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