Tip #2: Start the day screen-free

Create a morning routine that doesn’t involve screens.

True Story: Mirei was struggling with her family’s morning routine. It was hard to get 4-year-old Connie and 21-month-old Kai dressed and ready to leave home. She often let Connie watch TV to keep her busy while getting Kai ready. Mirei decided to try removing screens from their routine and was amazed by how much easier and calmer the mornings became.

Outcome: Without any morning screen time, Mirei finds the start of the day goes much more smoothly. She notices positive changes in her older child especially—that Connie plays on her own more and pays better attention. Mirei also says cutting out TV gives them an extra 15-30 minutes in the morning. They use this time to enjoy their walk to the bus stop and observe the birds and the trees on their way.

 

Mirei says: "I thought TV was helping in the morning, but it was really making things harder. Our mornings are much nicer now that there's no TV."

Did you know? Screen time has been linked to attention problems in children,1 but kids who spend less time with screens do better in school2,3 and have more time for interacting with caring adults.4,5,6

 

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1. Swing, E. S., Gentile, D. A., Anderson, C.A., & Walsh, D.A. (2010). Television and video game exposure and the development of attention problems. Pediatrics, 126(2), pp. 214-221.
2. Pagani, L.S., Fitzpatrick, C., Barnett, T. A., & Dubow, E. (2010). Prospective associations between early childhood television exposure and academic, psychosocial, and physical well-being by middle childhood. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 164(5), 425-431.
3. Pressman, R., Owens, J., Schettini Evans, A., & Nemon, M. (2014). Examining the Interface of family and personal traits, media, and academic imperatives using the Learning Habit Study. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 42(5), 347-363.
4. Courage, M.L., Murphy, A.N., Goulding, S., & Setliff, A.E. (2010). When the television is on: The impact of infant-directed video on 6- and 18-month-olds’ attention during toy play and on parent-infant interaction. Infant Behavior and Development, 33(2), 176-188.
5. Nathanson, A. I. & Rasmussen, E. E. (2011). TV viewing compared to book reading and toy playing reduces responsive maternal communication with toddlers and preschoolers. Human Communication Research, 37(4), 465-487.
6. Pressman, R., Owens, J., Schettini Evans, A., & Nemon, M. (2014). Examining the interface of family and personal traits, media, and academic imperatives Using the Learning Habit Study. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 42(5), 347-363.