The latest installment of the FitRec Family Focus Series is geared toward the struggle of limiting screen time as a parent, especially during the winter months like February.  FitRec personal trainer, group fitness instructor and parent Sam Dellaportas discusses below some strategies she has put in place in her household to keep the “screen time” in check.

One of the biggest challenges for me as a parent, especially in February, is limiting screen time. It is such a magical moment when your whining, fighting, messy children become subdued by simply turning on a device. But, sadly, subduing is really all we are doing and the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that children be limited to two hours or less of screen time.

So what is a desperate parent to do?

 Here are my favorite tips and tricks for keeping my children a little less “zombified” over screens this month.

  • Be “ok” with a messier house. Less screen time and outdoor play means something has to give. In my house, I am a little less concerned about toys and crafts being out and about during winter.
  • Make them finish all homework and chores before screen time is allowed. My kids will do almost anything for screen time and I make them earn it.
  • Keep remotes out of sight and out of reach.
  • Try not to have screens present with every single meal and snack. In fact, I sometimes do our “bedtime stories” right there at the kitchen table if we are running late for the night. Two birds, one stone.
  • Utilize Pinterest for ideas.  There are some SUPER easy activities you can whip up without much fuss.
  • Take TV out of bedroom and keep screened devices only in family areas.
  • Make the most out of the screen time they do get. I like to plan what I will accomplish when my kids faces are glued to the screen. That way, I know it was worth it and appreciated.

Good Luck!

In addition to the above tips, here are some upcoming events coming to FitRec/KidRec that may be perfect opportunities for your children to limit the screen time and stay active this winter.

SCHOOL’S OUT CAMP – Monday, Feb. 17 and Monday, March 2 – Members – $25, Non-members – $35 (per day)

Come play at KidRec during the school holiday! Activities include:  arts & crafts, indoor swimming, and recreational games. Available on date above for children ages 5-13 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

PARENT’S NIGHT OUT – Friday, Feb. 14 – Valentine’s Day Celebration – 5 to 8 pm

Enjoy a night out, while your kids are entertained at KidRec.  We will stay busy with games, music, movies and snacks.  All events will take place from 5-8 pm.  Ages 3-12 (children must be potty trained).

INDOOR TRIATHLON/DUATHLON – Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020 – CLICK HERE for prices and details

The MVCC FitRec Indoor Triathlon and Duathlon is a unique indoor event offering amateur and elite athletes the opportunity to compete simultaneously.  Newcomers learn what it takes to do a triathlon or duathlon, while elite athletes are offered a change of pace race utilizing indoor training facilities!  The event runs 8 am-1 pm (participants can sign up for a wave during this time frame, waves run every 20 minutes starting at 8 am, last wave at 11:40 am).

Interested families can also sign up for Adult & Youth Personal Training sessions through FitRec.  Learn more at the Personal Training section of our website or stop by our Membership Services desk to pick up a flyer.