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Instead of Making a
New Year’s Resolution,
Make a Media-lution!

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2020 has been quite a year! COVID-19 continues to affect the way that we interact with the world and with one another. Media and technology have been a lifeline for so many, but we all may be feeling tired. As 2021 approaches, consider some New Year’s resolutions to help your family maintain a meaningful relationship with media and make the new year great!

If you feel like your family members are always using a screen:

  • Pick a day of the week for the whole family to be media-free. Switch off your cell phones, set aside your controllers and remotes, turn off the news, and spend the day together doing crafts, playing board games, or exploring the great outdoors.
  • Make a family pact to put away your screens at least 2 hours before bedtime every night. Instead of scrolling on your phone, try reading a book together, looking at old family photos, or just catching up with each other.
  • Make an effort to have one sit-down family meal together per day (breakfast, lunch or dinner), and make it device-free. Collect phones before you sit down to eat, and enjoy each other’s company.

If you feel like your family’s media-use should be more social:

  • Have a family movie night once a week. Draw straws for the order of who gets to pick first, or go by age. Different streaming services now offer “watch party” functions, which allows friends and family to join from a distance. Don’t forget the popcorn!
  • Ask your child to show you how to play their favorite video game. Let them walk you through the steps, then challenge them to a match to see what you’ve learned!
  • Start a “digital media club” — instead of (or in addition to) a book club, pick a television show or podcast to watch or listen to. Set aside a weekly time to meet with friends or family to discuss that week’s episode.

If you feel like your family should be more digital media savvy:

  • Watch the news with your child, and ask them questions about what they observe. Encourage them to think critically about the information they’re receiving, and to tell you about any fears or concerns they might have about what they’ve seen.
  • Have your child pick a new topic that interests them (such as an animal or a new hobby), and spend time together searching the Internet for reliable information and videos about it.
  • If you and your child have a shared interest (such as cooking or crafting), create a shared social media account. You can post pictures and videos of your activities or creations while modeling a healthy social media presence for your child.