The last day of school before the never-ending summer holiday is less than a month away, and while that’s great news for the kids, for those of us who are still at work for another three or four weeks, it can be problematic.

How do you keep your children entertained for over six weeks without them spending hours in front of the television, especially if you’re not around to supervise? According to Skyworth brand manager, Jaco Joubert, it is important to make sure you have a screen time management system in place. “Too much screen time is stress that many parents face. Unfortunately, when it comes to the holidays, more screen time is unavoidable. However, there are ways to manage screen time, without removing the TV from the equation completely,” he explained.

Joubert provided the following tips to help you manage your family’s screen time these upcoming holidays:

  • Establish cut-off or set times: Rather than prescribing an amount of ‘screen time’, give kids precise quantities and clear cut-off points. Tell them, ‘you can play two FIFA matches’ or ‘you can watch two episodes of your favourite show’. This prevents them from entering the ‘state of insufficiency’ where they never feel ‘done’ or ‘complete’ when they’re in front of the screen.
  • Appropriate apps: Help your child make good app choices. There are so many fun educational apps that your child won’t even know they’re learning.
  • Go outside: If you’re not leaving the city for the holidays, why not arrange some outdoor family fun days in your own hometown? Take them somewhere new or even somewhere they love going. By distracting them and placing them in a new environment, they won’t even think about wanting to use devices or turn on the TV.
  • Face-to-face conversation: Stress the importance of talking it out in real life. Engage your kids in fun and productive conversations to remind them that family time can still be fun. Making a habit of eating dinner as a family around the table is an easy way to schedule in face-to-face conversation, instead of huddling behind the TV – do that after dinner.
  • Set a good example: If you’re constantly ‘plugged’, the message you’re sending your kids is not a healthy one. By finding more ways to press the pause button, it shows children the importance of connecting face-to-face and spending time doing activities away from screens. Never doubt the importance of a good old digital detox.