During the pandemic, we have all had to lean on new technology for better and worse. Given our complete inter-dependence with screens in this new world, it is important to take a deeper dive into understanding our relationship with the screens we used. I have put together “The Daily Activity Pyramid” as a graphic representation of how we should aim to divide our time and create balance in the day.
Five Pointers on How to use the Pyramid
- This pyramid represents the basic components of a healthy activity diet. The lower level represents the largest proportion of the day. Also, note that the top is orange not red. We are not expecting families to eliminate passive screen time. Rather, try to be mindful about how much of the day passive screen time consumes.
- We do not prescribe actual amounts of time. This acknowledges that every family is unique and circumstances are dynamic especially during the pandemic.
- This pyramid is best used as a jumping off point for conversation about how to find balance in the day. It is best to plan a discussion when the screens are off (maybe around bedtime). The pyramid loses effectiveness if you employ it at a “point of conflict” to urge your child to get off a screen.
- Cut yourself some slack and realize that not every day will be perfect. Some days, you might even see an inverted pyramid with lots of passive screen time. This is okay. Your goal is to help your child create good general habits that he or she will ultimately adopt as their own.
- “Catch your kids being good.” Let your child know you are proud of them when they take the initiative and create a nice balance of activities in their day.