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June 28, 2013

Tech time or Not?

by Hansa Bhargava, MD

Its summer and my kids are home. As a mom, I love that the kids don’t have the stress of homework, practice, and all that goes with the school year. But soon, after the excitement of summer beginning has worn off, the dreaded “I’m bored” starts up. The other day, after 8 hours of thinking of stuff for my kids to do, I threw in the proverbial towel and turned on the DVD player. Finally, some relief, I thought to myself.

I admit, even as a pediatrician and knowing that the AAP recommends 2 hours or less of total screen time per day, it is very tempting to turn to technology. The truth is, the daily challenge of finding stuff for your kids to do during the summer can wear you down. And sometimes a mom just wants some “sane time,” even if it means “screen time” for her kids.

But are there other ways for parents to get time to breathe? When we were kids, we were just told to go outside and play. True, there are limits to that now, but maybe we can still do it. What about playing with dolls for 6- and 7-year-old girls? Or board games for older kids? What about reading books or just hanging out and listening to music? That day, I ended up inviting a neighbor’s child over for playtime. My daughter and the girl next door ended up dressing up as princesses, playing Barbie, and doing artwork. And guess what? I sat down for some mom time with a coffee and flipped through a magazine.

Have you turned to the tube? How do you keep kids entertained during the summer?

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