Summertime Battlegrounds: Screen Time, Boredom, and Sibling Rivalry

Updated: Jun 25, 2018

By Inda Brink, LMFT

School is out. Whew! Gone are the morning rushes, making bag lunches, homework headaches, and other projects! Sounds good but...the kids have their faces buried in their screens and yet everyone is irritable and bored. Then the sibling squabbles ensue! Now, you can’t wait until school starts up again! Take a deep breath!!


Let’s set up our expectations and engage the kids with summer fun. By the time school starts up again, what experiences do we wish our children to have had during the break? What stories do we want them to tell?


Screen Time:   What do we model for our children? Set rules around the usage of screen time, for example no screen time an hour before bedtime, screens are not permitted in the bedroom, chores need to be completed before screen time. Now is the best time to instill a good habits with electronics.


Check out the terrific resource at: Commonsensemedia.org


Boredom:  No screen time, what are we supposed to do instead? Without having to deal with school and homework issues, we can focus on the other skills that we want to teach our children. The Bay Area has many options and cultural diverse experiences, we don’t have to go far to have fun and learn so much. Schedule these ideas, see if a friend would like to go too. There are lots of things to do at home too: learn to cook something new or teach an old family recipe. Have your children shop for ingredients by taking them to the farmer’s market. Conquer boredom by having a list of fun things to do.


Check out: BayAreaParent.com, Parkhere.org, Discoverandgo.org


Sibling Rivalry:  Can’t you just get along?  Well, maybe.  

During the school year, the kids are too busy to fight with each other and now they have too much time together. Some conflict is normal and expected. Other times they will need your help to intervene. Ask yourself, are they arguing because they are bored? Needing my attention? What is the frustration? Have them express their feelings and talk it out. Time apart would benefit them too.


Need more ideas? Parents, please join me for CFCG’s free San Jose Parenting Class on Tuesday, June 26th at noon. RSVP to inda@childfamilygroup.com

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