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Back To School: Sleep Time and Screen Time

Well parents, it’s that time of year again…back to school. I feel like every year there is a back-to-school-blog, and it’s a cliché. So this year I am going to try to make this blog a little different by talking about two main subjects: sleep time and screen time. This is especially important for any kids with learning differences or attention issues, as they need to concentrate twice as hard to keep up. Lack of sleep and too much free time on their screens can really set them back.

At 40 years-old, I am in the oldest age group of millennials and times have changed with technology from when I was a kid. Then, when it was bedtime, it was bedtime, and if you couldn’t go to sleep, you just laid in bed until you did. Now things are different with technology and sleep. You want to be able to trust your child if they do have a phone, and if I may say something, I think that children should not have phones until they are 12. That said, kids grow up fast these days.

We let our child have a phone, though she doesn’t have an internet connection. However, she is able to have a few games on there. I have noticed that kids with no with cell phones will try to take their parents' phone to their room, hide it in their bedside table drawer, and lie about how it got in there. Technology is making us smarter, but it is also making us forget about the old ways at the same time. As Stephen Hawking once said: “Speech has allowed the communications of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, that possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”

Kids will sometimes not even ask if they can borrow our phones, they will just take them. They are using them almost as a friend, because they know that the phone and other technologies will never say no to them. The pandemic has not made it any easier for kids to let go of technology, which in turn has made it harder for them to go to sleep. During summer break, they will probably be on their devices a little bit more, which is why I am writing this blog. Kids stay up later during summer break, but as school approaches, we need to help them get back into a rhythm. The first thing you can do is talk to them about setting a bedtime for 10:30 pm instead of 11, and then a couple of weeks later you can dial it back 10 or 9:30 and so on. And you can do the same thing with screen time.

My tips:

  1. Minimize Screen Time as you get closer to school.

  2. Bring the bed time down every week until it gets to their normal bed time.

  3. Minimize chocolate and candy, especially candies with any dyes.

  4. Depending on how old your child is, you should have them play more educational games to help them get ready for school. This can be learning with you, the parent, or on one of their devices, such as a learning App.

  5. One parent should teach them one subject, while the other parent teaches them about another subject.

  6. Most importantly, have dinner as a family and include your child in topics of conversation.

Please click the blue link at the bottom to go to my blog and leave a comment about how you deal with sleep and screen time for your kids.

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