Screen time routines. A hot topic in many homes today, especially this past year. Setting up screen time routines can be daunting, but with a good starting point plan, you will likely be more successful long term. Today on the blog, I’m sharing four tips for setting up screen time routines.

A picture of a boy watching TV.

Write your screen time routine down.

If your screen time routine is not written down or planned out, it has a much lesser chance of sticking. So, with any routine, we write things down and stick to it most days! James Clear, author of Atomic Habits on writing things down:

A study in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that 91% people who planned their intention to exercise by writing down when and where they would exercise each week ended up following through. Meanwhile, people who read motivational material about exercise, but did not plan when and where they would exercise, showed no increase compared to the control group.

Be consistent with your screen time routine.

Consistency breeds familiarity. Consistency is key for instilling new habits and routines. Setting up a screen time routine will be more likely successful with consistency. Here is a blog of mine on some tips for making habits more consistent.

Periodically revaulate your screen time routine.

As with anything in life, it’s so good to take time to periodically reevaluate. Is it working? How can it be improved? Does it feel natural? Is it helping? Make necessary tweaks along the way until it feels better.

Build it onto another established part of the day.

What I mean here is that, tacking your screen time routine onto an already established routine or part of the day means that it will become more predictable and also have a higher chance of sticking long term. This is sometimes referred to habit stacking. You can read about habit stacking in this blog here.

Habit stacking is a strategy you can use to group together small changes into a routine that you follow daily. The key to consistency is to treat a habit stack like a single action instead of a series of individual tasks. (from developinggoodhabits.com).

Our current screen time routine for the kids, for reference:

  • They get screen time at the end of their quiet time for usually 30 minutes.
  • We watch a couple movies together on the weekend. Sometimes the kids watch one by themselves together (so the adults can nap lol).
  • My oldest (10) has old school video game time once a week for 45 minutes usually (he misses out on part of a movie).
  • We set timers for the timed screentimes.

It’s never perfect. Sometimes if it’s raining out, they watch a little more. Sick days? Screentime is their gift. The nine months we had our house listed? Lots of extra screentime. It was on me to clean the house in full before showings and care for three kids, so screentime was a saving grace! Early and late pregnancy? Extra screentime.

PRINTABLE CHECKLIST FOR MAKING ROUTINES STICK

You can sit down with a handy checklist printable and worksheet and work on one routine at a time. It prompts you for each of the above areas as well as gives you space for a bit of writing when needed. Helping you write things down and giving you that much more chance of making your routines stick too. You can download that freebie HERE.

And if screentime routines is an area you’d like to work on right now, I’d encourage you to grab your pen and paper. And write a plan down. Try it out, see how it feels, and then go from there. And instead of doing the comparing game, remember to look at your family and do what works best.

Other blogs of mine you may enjoy:

How to Make Habits Stick without Much Effort

10 Simple Habits to Create a Simpler Home

Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!