Back to School Tips to Help Your Family Unplug

It’s always nice to be able to kick back with a movie or favorite show. But once school’s in session, a lot of families want to unplug from their summer habits. Having some other entertainment options can help make each weeknight more enjoyable. Use these ideas as a way to mix things up. Start by limiting your screen time, then add in new hobbies to take their place!

Great Motivations to Help Your Family Unplug

When you want to create a new routine, it’s best to break things down into smaller steps. It may not be realistic or wise to forgo electronics altogether. Dividing your free time between media and other interests can help you and your family live life to the fullest.

1. Set the example

Be the change you want to see. Expecting the kids to stop compulsively looking at their phones isn’t going to happen overnight. Model the right behavior by limiting your own usage. Are you constantly getting notifications about new emails, status updates, or calendar reminders? Turning off those alerts can help you keep focused—and keep the phone down.

You can also look into specific apps or settings to keep a “cap” on your screen time. That way, you can work within a set daily limit. Getting everyone in the family on board can help these changes feel less like a punishment and more like a team effort.

2. Invest in new hobbies

Instead of reading social media posts, why not get a little friendly competition going with how many books you read? What kind of reading goal can you reach before fall break? You might even plan for a few prizes if everyone completes their list of titles.

If reading doesn’t sound appealing, maybe you’ll want to go on a quick after-school shopping trip to fund a different hobby. Does someone need a new pair of running shoes? What about a set of watercolors to try out painting for the first time? Supporting other interests is a great trade-off for time with your electronics.

3. Plan family activities

Outside of those solo endeavors, figure out a few things to do that the whole family can enjoy. A camping trip or weekend hike can be an easy way to spend quality time together in a phones-free way. (Except for photo ops!) Maybe you want to work a family board game night into your weekly schedule. Or some cooking classes?

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your media outlets, but getting proactive about how you use your online time can make a big difference. YouTube videos for new recipes can be a neat way to get everyone involved in the kitchen. Exploring campsites online before you book is also smart. Work together, and you’re sure to have a good time.

Of course, if you need help with budgeting for your new hobbies and interests along the way, know that our team at NSO and Company is here for you! Feel free to call us at (317) 588-3131 if you ever want to run the numbers on your monthly budget or this year’s tax planning. We’d be happy to help!