AT&T Spring Break: Soak Up the Sun, Not the Screen
Tuesday, April 4th, 2023
Spring break is an opportunity for families to escape their monotonous daily routine and indulge in relaxation. And whether your family is jetting off for spring break or has a staycation planned close to home, spending some quality time together is likely high on your list.
But how do you accomplish that when everyone (even you, parents) is glued to their phones and tablets 24/7?
Let's face it: our phones are an extension of our hands. It's hard to imagine taking a trip to the store without a device, much less a full vacation, even if your goal is to spend more time with your family.
During an ideal vacation, your family would be so busy with activities, no one would have time or a free hand for a device. However, let’s be real. Even the most fun-filled itinerary has downtime.
Maybe you can relate. After a long day at the beach, watching the sunset around the campfire together would top off the experience. Unsurprisingly, your kids are yards away, staring at their mobile devices, sucked back into the digital world as if by magnetic force.
Our kids are more connected than ever before. Finding a balance between screen time and family time can be a struggle, especially on vacation when kids are out of school and rules may be more relaxed. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are ways to keep your family engaged and present with each other.
Give yourself permission to unplug
If you want your family to unplug while on vacation, it starts with you. Before you depart, share your intention to temporarily step back from technology with friends and close contacts. Consider setting expectations and boundaries with your employer about your accessibility during your time off.
Get on the same page ahead of time
It can be hard to stick to plans when you are around people who haven’t made the same commitment. Call a family meeting and talk about your vacation goals, concerns, and overall approach as a family. Instead of shaming your loved ones for their tech usage, try sharing your goals for the trip and why unplugging matters to you.
Just like at home, creating screen-free zones on vacation is key to capturing family time. Involve your kids in brainstorming tech-free areas or times you will commit to as a family on vacation. For example, mealtime and outdoors.
Start small by suggesting a phone-free dinner (a basket could hold everyone’s phones). Think of topics you want to talk about during that device-free time. Perhaps you can agree on a screen-free activity to do together every day. Establishing a clear plan and reasonable time limits are good ways to avoid a meltdown when it is time to put away the devices.
For a little help, or if you’re feeling overwhelmed because you recently got your child their first phone, most wireless carriers offer an app with content filtering, screen-time regulation, and location services.
AT&T’s Secure Family® allows you to pause your child’s internet access instantly or set schedules for Wi-Fi access during specified times, including internet use limits. You can customize several features, like choosing from three different content filter levels based on age range.
Our vacation time is precious, most of us would rather spend it focused on our families, rather than on our phones. So, wherever your time off takes you, with some conscious planning and family buy-in, you’ll be off to a good start in enjoying quality time with those who matter most.
Find additional resources for keeping your family connected responsibly at screenready.att.com.