The Best Family Screen Plan

If your family needs to rethink their screen time, a digital detox may be in order. Families Managing Media is hosting two solutions workshops to help guide parents to keep screen time in check at home. Two upcoming solutions workshops are:

  • Jan. 25, noon-2 p.m. at Quail Hollow Club
  • Feb. 23, noon-2 p.m. at Providence Country Club

Register online at familiesmanagingmedia.com/events


As part of the B.E.S.T. Screen Plan, Families Managing Media founder Melanie Hempe recommends parents consider the following:

  1. Realize that your are in control. Parents need to understand that they are in control, not the kids and not current culture. It can be a difficult change to make, but it’s the first step in reclaiming your kids.
  2. Understand that screens are not a neutral activity. “Screens are addictive and cause a chemical dependence with the unnatural amounts of dopamine and other neurochemicals that are released in the brain,” Hempe says. Consider that your child may not just be using the device as entertainment, but because they are addicted.
  3. Trust your gut feeling. If you think your child has a screen addiction problem then they do. Arm yourself with research on how screens are affecting your child’s brain and behavior.
  4. Take away the screens. It is often said that it takes 21 days to break a habit — so go without screens for 21 days. If a computer is required for school, the only screen time your child should have during the detox is for school work. Spend time playing games together, reading books, being active outside, or enjoying a hobby that can serve as a distraction and a stimulant for your body and your mind.
  5. Know that you are not alone. Many families are struggling with screen addictions and after becoming more educated, they are choosing to delay smartphone access, social media and even video games. Despite what they may tell you, kids can thrive without these distractions. The solutions are much simpler than you think.

Meagan Church is a writer, children’s book author and the brainpower behind unexpectant.com, which explores the story of modern motherhood. She lives in Charlotte with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets. Connect with her on Instagram (@meaganchurch) and Twitter (@unexpectant).