kids

Tips for Managing Your Children’s Screen Time

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Screen time is not a bad thing. Texting is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. Plus, there are several educational shows out there.

However, too much screen time can do much more harm than good. 

If you aren’t careful 5 minutes of intended screen time can easily turn into 2+ more hours. 

Almost all parents are familiar with the “come on, just 5 more minutes” request. 

Establishing reasonable screen time rules for your children can help them find a balance between time well spent on and off their screens.

Set Technology Times 

It’s so easy to lose track of time while watching TV or texting friends. We’ve all been there and it happens. Setting a timer or coming up with a schedule can help keep us on track. 

Family Activities 

Here’s some family homework. Sit down with your children this week and together come up with a list of fun tech-free activities you can do together. You can bake, play board games, or go on a walk. 

These activities can help remind both you and your kids that you don’t need a phone to have fun. 

No Phones in The Bedroom

Even if your phone is off, having it in your bedroom can be very distracting. We all have those nights where we just can’t fall asleep.

When your phone is right there, it’s so easy to scroll through social media at 2 AM instead of trying to fall back asleep. 

Keeping your phone in a different room while you sleep can help prevent endless late-night scrolling. 

Be Realistic 

Some rules are meant to be broken and everything is okay in moderation – screen time included.

When you’re not feeling well, sometimes the best thing you can do is take it easy and get lost in a movie or two. There is nothing wrong with having a movie night or binge-watching a series once in a while. 

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How To Keep Your Kids Excited About School

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Did you know when kids are excited to learn, they do better in school? Here are a few ways parents can keep their kids excitement going all year round.

Be a Role Model

Having your child see you excited to learn is key!

The next time you learn something new, don’t keep it to yourself. Instead share your findings with your child. Show them your enthusiasm for learning – it is contagious after all.

Read Together

It’s never too early to introduce your child to books.

Being a good reader will help your child build their confidence both in school and in life.

Set up a Designated Homework Area

Our environment can make or break our overall concentration and productivity levels.

Everything from your child’s toys and electronics can be very distracting.

That doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them. It just means they can’t be used during homework time.

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Tips: How do Deal with School Stress

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Getting ready to go back to school can be an exciting but stressful time of the year. Here are some tips on how to help your child with back to school stress:

  • Be Present and a good listener
    • Open ended questions
    • Listen to what their concerns are, but resist the urge to “fix” an issue
  • Rehearse and prepare
    • Visit the school ahead of time
    • Make getting school supplies a fun event
  • When school starts
    • Develop a routine and schedule
    • Give yourself plenty of time to get to school to not add to the morning stress
    • Get great sleep the night before a school day

Oregon has recently passed a law allowing children to take “mental health days,” similar to other sick days at school. This is a positive, student-led step forward. It normalizes that mental health challenges are nothing to be ashamed of, that addressing anxiety and depression, stress or grief is as normal as being seen for a broken foot. We do need to be mindful that the more we avoid a stressful situation, the bigger the anxiety becomes, and our avoidance patterns set in, making our world smaller and smaller. Other remedies should be explored if there are issues of interpersonal conflict, bullying, school anxiety that may be keeping a student from attending school.

The Wellness Center at Vista is also offering Mindfulness Classes for Kids

Also, check out Ryan Scott, PhD’s TV interview on Oregon’s new law allowing children to take mental health days at school:

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Tips: Talking To Your Kids After A Shooting

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We are frequently asked how to make sense of these tragedies. For adults and kids alike, it can all seem so senseless, and we can feel powerless to change things or keep it from happening again. Here’s some tips we offer from the heart, knowing that all of us hurt when tragedy strikes.

Make room for Anxiety and Stress / Talk, but also listen. Allow yourself and your children to talk about how scary this can be for the them and their friends.

Reassure them / of their safety and security (no matter what age). That the grown ups in their life are working to keep them safe.

Keep your routine / The last thing you want to do is avoid your normal day to day routine. Life is still normal, acting like it helps reinforce that their life is the same.

Do What Matters / Take some time to do fun things that you and your children enjoy. Take time to go for a walk together, play a game, have dinner together.

View our sharing of this information in a video interview below:

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