Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kids Bowl Free Summer Program

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“Get your kids motivated throughout the summer up off the couch, away from the TV screens and videogames and let them come down and get some exercise and enjoy some good old-fashioned fun.”
- Meridee McFalls, owner Orchard Lanes in North Salt Lake

We love bowling, and the Kids Bowl Free program gives kids two free games every day, all summer long! We purchased the optional Family Pass, which gives adults free games as well!

Visit the Kids Bowl Free website for complete information and to sign up.

kids bowl free

Our favorite bowling lanes are at Orchard Lanes in North Salt Lake. Not only do they have great lanes for bowling, but an arcade and snack bar. 

“We have had as many as 3,500 kids registered in one summer to bowl two free games every day, all summer long,” said Orchard Lanes owner Meridee McFalls. “This year over 2,025 kids have already registered and taken advantage of this amazing offer. Get your kids motivated throughout the summer up off the couch, away from the TV screens and videogames and let them come down and get some exercise and enjoy some good old-fashioned fun.”

Orchard Lanes has been participating in the Kids Bowl Free program since 2008.

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Utah Summer Reading Programs - 2015

Summer Reading Programs

Teach your kids the joy of reading this Summer by signing up for one of these fun reading programs that help keep them motivated and reading.

Click on the image below to be directed to the site for complete details and information on how to sign up:

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Salt Lake County Library
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Provo Library
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Monday, May 11, 2015

Kids’ Summer Movie Programs–Utah 2015

Kids Summer Movie Programs

Having fun activities planned for the kids during Summer break is what creates those lasting memories that they will carry into adulthood and remember when they have kids.

When I was a child, there was a movie theatre in our city that had movies once a week. We looked forward to going to them, and I can still remember the little piece of paper that we had to tear off and bring with us each week. One of the movies was “PeeWee’s Big Adventure”, and I laugh at how scary the truck driver lady’s bug eyes were!

Below is a list of Summer Movie Programs this year. Click on the image for complete information and to purchase tickets.

If you know of one we have forgot, leave a comment and we will add it to the list.

Cinemark Summer Movie ClubhouseCinemark Summer Movie

Megaplex Theatres
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Scera Shell Theatre
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Tooele PTA
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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Great Ways to Show How Much You Appreciate Mom

Female Multi Generation Portrait In Garden

Author: Alyssa Craig

Mother’s Day is coming up soon and it is time to show the special women in your life how much you truly appreciate them. Whether it is your own mother, a grandmother, a female family member, your spouse, or even a mother figure in your life, it can be quite the daunting task to adequately express your love. After all, what do you give the woman who has given you so much and has been such an important influence in your life?

While we don’t know the perfect answer to this question for every woman, here are a few suggestions that may get you pretty close:

Recreate an Old Picture of Her: Have you always been told how much you look like your  mom or grandmother? Recreate an old picture of her in a similar outfit, hairstyle, and location, and present the pictures side by side.

Mom Quote: Have a graphic designer friend create a design of a quote to frame for her. It could be something mom always said or a quote about mothers or motherhood that reminds you of her.

Make a Booklet of Advice: Think about all the advice mom has given you over the years and make a booklet collection. It would be a fun way to reminisce and show that you really were listening all that time.

Fix or Replace That One Thing: Has she been complaining for years about an old lamp, a worn out appliance, slow internet (dial-up anyone?), or even an old rug? Fix or update it for her!

Give Her Quiet Time: If she is one who is always running around with errands and tasks to be completed, take over some of her responsibilities for a day so she can have some time to herself.

52 Things I Love About You Cards: Buy a deck of cards and on each one, list a reason you love her, as suggested here. In a standard deck of cards, this will add up to 52 reasons she is amazing. (Though we all know you could come up with more!)Woman under professional facial massage in beauty spa

Pamper Her: Whether you give her a foot massage or send her to the spa for an afternoon of luxury, let someone else take care of her for a change.

Pay Her a Visit: Especially if she lives far away, or you don’t get to see each other often, take time out to go visit her in person and spend some quality time with her.

I love you, grandmaLeave Little Notes Around the House for Her: As she goes about her day, she will find notes expressing your love and appreciation for her.

Help Cross Something Off Her Bucket List: Is there something on her bucket list she has always wanted to do such as skydiving, a trip to see a world wonder, or staying up to see a meteor shower? Find a way to do it with her or make the arrangements for her dream to become a reality.

Make a Scrapbook: Collect pictures and mementos of your favorite memories with her and compile them into a scrapbook that she can look at and enjoy for years to come.

Bake and Frost Sugar Cookies: But these aren’t just regular sugar cookies. On each one, use frosting to write a trait you appreciate about her such as “supportive”, “generous”, “patient”, or “brave”.

Canvas Photo or Painted Picture of Beloved Pet: When all is said and done, that pet may just be the favorite child after all. Print a canvas photo or paint a picture of their beloved pet to hang in the house.

Spend Time in the Garden with Her: If she likes to spend time outside in her garden (something that can be quite time consuming), take some time out of your schedule to spend time with her there.

Take Her on a Date: Treat your mother, or mother figure, to a night out with some of her favorite activities. This can be a “yes” day where you accompany her to any activity she would like (within reason of course).

Thank Her: Simply take the time to have a conversation with her and thank her for all the ways she has influenced your life in a positive way. She will love to hear how she shaped you into the person you have become.

The mothers and mother figures in our lives are incredibly important and our efforts to show our appreciation for them should at least attempt to express how we feel. Employing one of these suggestion will be a good start to showing them how much you care.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

DISCOUNT: Haiti 10K, 5K and Kids Run - Zion's Children of Haiti Fundraiser

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Join us at Sugar House Park Saturday, May 9th for a 10k, 5K race and 1K fun run to raise money for Zion's Children of Haiti, a local charity that sponsors education for children in Haiti. Come out and see what you can do while supporting a great charity.

Save money when you register as a team! Register a 5K team of 4 for only $80 and a 10K team of 4 for only $120. That's a savings of $5 per runner.

Saturday, May 9th 2015

  • 7:30am - 8:15am: Registration
  • 8:30am: 10K race start
  • 8:45am: 5K race start
  • 9:15am: Kids fun run (1K)

Learn more about Zion’s Children of Haiti.

DISCOUNT:

Enter code enjoyut5 for $5 off your registration. Register online.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

National Park Hikes for Kids

Our 3 year-old in Little Wild Horse Canyon.
Utah has some of the greatest National Parks in the country. At Utah's Adventure Family, we have done a lot hiking in many of Utah's Parks. If you are planning a trip, make sure you visit our website for information and directions to hikes that are kid-friendly in the following parks:
Yellowstone: From waterfalls to lakes to bubbling hotpots, we've got a great list of hikes for kids if you're visiting the nation's oldest National Park.
Canyonlands: We've done all the kids hikes in both the Needles and Island in the Sky areas of the park. No matter which side you visit, there are great hikes for kids.
Arches: Our favorite Utah National Park has tons of simple hikes for kids. You'll know just what to expect and which hikes to take after reading about our kids hikes. Full review of Arches here. 
Great Basin: Located just over the western border in Nevada, most Utahns aren't even aware of the awesome hikes, cool animals, and amazing cave system at Great Basin National Park. Full review of Great Basin here.
Goblin Valley: Goblin Valley is a state park, but there are some pretty amazing hikes there. Be sure to read about Little Wild Horse Canyon located just outside the park. It's our kids favorite all-time hike!

For more information on festivals, hikes, museums, camping, and all other adventures in Utah, come over to Utah's Adventure Family and follow us on TwitterInstagramFacebookYoutubeor Pinterest.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Camping Made Easy!

Everything you need to go camping in 3 easy bins!
It's camping season! At Utah's Adventure Family we have some great ideas for organizing your camping gear and getting everything you need for your trip into the great outdoors. We have organized the gear into 4 easy to grab bins that can help you get you car loaded in 15 minutes or less. Best of all, it'll always be there waiting for that spur of the moment camping trip, and you'll never miss a thing.
So check out our posts: The Big Stuff, The Cooking Bin, The Tent Bin, and the Other Essentials to make sure that you get everything with you the next time you're on the road.
For more information on festivals, hikes, museums, camping, and all other adventures in Utah, come over to Utah's Adventure Family and follow us on TwitterInstagramFacebook, Youtubeor Pinterest.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2015

25 Ways to Bring Spring Into Your Home

Table setting with tea cups on porch

Author: Alyssa Craig

Spring has officially sprung, but your house still looks like the dead of winter. There are many changes (both big and small) that you can make so that your house reflects this time of sunshine, budding trees, and gorgeous colors. Look for ways to apply some of these simple suggestions around your house and you will soon have your family taking in spring everywhere they turn.

  1. Brightly Colored Pillows: Whether on the bed, the couch, or the big chair in the front room, replacing darker pillows with more brightly colored ones will help add spring to the room. If you don’t want to buy new pillows, simply put covers on your current ones.
    25 Ways to Bring Spring Into Your Home 1

  2. Add a Floral Pattern to Your Bed: This can be done by adding a throw blanket on the end of the bed or wrapping a yard of mod floral fabric around the headboard.

  3. Patterned Lampshade: Replace boring or dark lampshades with ones more colorful or with a spring-like pattern.

  4. Add Bright Wall Decal to a Room: A good wall decal can brighten up a room easily without injuring your paint job or taking a lot of your time.

  5. Add Fruit to Your Vases: In a transparent vase of flowers, place fruits in the bottom, like kumquats and granny smith apples. This will give the regular vase of flowers a new edge.

  6. Exchange Thick Curtains for Sheer Panels: Allowing more sunlight into the room and a lighter, more flowing material will give any room a lighter feel.

  7. Clean Your Windows: Sometimes all you need is a good cleaning to help your home feel more fresh. Getting your windows washed and treated for all the dirt and grime they collected over the fall and winter will be a big step toward a spring feel.

  8. Children’s Artwork: Let your kids create pretty paintings with spring colors and frame them to be put up around the house as part of the decor.
    Child drawing of a house

  9. Colorful Vases: Whether filled with flowers or standing alone, colored vases are a great addition for the mantel, porch, or bookshelf.

  10. Add Sliced Citrus into your Bouquets: Another great use of fruit with bouquets is to slice citrus fruit in half and arrange them along with the flowers.

  11. Bird’s Nest Display: Spring is a time when birds come back and baby birds are in abundance. A couple of fake nest displays for decoration in the house are completely spring appropriate.

  12. Put Away Winter Coats and Clothing: Big winter coats, boots and other warm clothing can take up a lot of room in the closet. Do some spring cleaning and put these warmer clothes away, making room for shorts, t-shirts, and swimsuits.

  13. Put Painted Sticks in a Vase: Among other great decoration tips suggested here, consider painting sticks found in the yard and display them in vases, rather than using flowers, putting a unique twist on typical spring decor.

  14. Start an Herb Garden: Buy small planters and start an herb garden right in your own kitchen. Not only will herbs be useful and smell great, but they will also add a little greenery to your home.

  15. Spring Wreath: Add a great spring wreath to your front door, creating an inviting air for any guests coming to your house.

  16. Bring Tree Blossoms Inside: Often we admire tree blossoms but don’t consider bringing them inside! Displaying some gorgeous blossoms will be a great addition to your home.

  17. Lemon Peels Down the Disposal: This is a great way to freshen up your kitchen. It will smell good as well as neutralize any undesirable odors coming from the disposal.

  18. Swap Out Artwork and Put Up Framed, Dried Flowers: Framing and displaying dried flowers is a great way to bring the beauty of spring in your home and will create a decoration you can continue to use for years to come.

  19. Get a Terrarium: Instead of more flowers, consider displaying a terrarium in your home with succulents, moss, or even air plants.

  20. Put Out Your Patio or Porch Furniture: As soon as you are sure the weather in your area has permanently switched to spring, put out your patio or porch furniture. Your tables and chairs in the back and your porch swing out front will provide great ways to enjoy the pleasant spring weather.

  21. Fresh Scents: Buy plug in scents or refreshing candles to create fresh, spring scents throughout your home.

  22. Add Colorful Pots of Fresh Plants to Your Porch: Buy or paint pots and then plant flowers or plants to display on your front porch.

  23. Use Old Glass Bottles as Vases: Instead of regular vases, get some old glass soda bottles, jelly jars, or wine bottles. Clear, as well as colored glass vases make for great decorative pieces.

  24. Watering Cans with Flowers: For yet another vase alternative, try an old watering can. The more vintage looking, the better!

  25. Put Out a Bowl of Fresh Produce: Spring brings with it a new batch of in-season produce. A bowl filled with fresh fruits and produce can help you and your family remember to eat well, as well as allowing the kitchen to look great while doing it.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

The Farm at Gardner Village

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The Farm at Gardner Village
1100 W 7800 S
West Jordan, UT 84084

We recently spent an afternoon at The Farm at Gardner Village, and had a blast! We learned so much about this amazing “petting zoo” that we didn’t know before, and are so excited to share it with you!

2015-03-25 11.10.24The Farm is owned by Cowboy Gil, and you will never meet a nicer cowboy!  Not only is he friendly with the visitors to his Farm, but the kindness he shows to his animals is heartwarming.

Most of the animals at The Farm are rescue animals that have been abused by a previous owner. Cowboy Gil takes them in, loves them, and cares for them. Usually with horses and ponies, a bit is used in their mouth to guide them where you want them to go, but because they have been abused, Cowboy Gil does not use a bit. He doesn’t want them to feel any kind of pain; “they’ve been through enough”. While guiding them around the Village during a pony ride, he even took care to walk along the right side of one of the ponies because he noticed that walking on the left side made him nervous.

While we were there, a little girl was scared to ride one of the ponies. Cowboy Gil was so great with her, and taught her a fun song to sing while riding. When she came back from the ride, she was so excited about riding, and wanted to ride again! He definitely has a way with the visitors and the animals!

10524643_591240764318465_5249189993259763370_nAdmission Prices and Hours:

Admission to The Farm is a minimum donation of $5. Of course, you can always make a larger than asked for donation to help the animals out.

They are open 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, and when their summer hours kick in they will be open until 8pm.

  • $2 Tuesdays: Instead of the regular $5 donation, the minimum donation request is only $2 every Tuesday.

Giving back to the community:

  • Free Food Fridays:
    If you bring food for the Utah Food Bank to The Farm at Gardner Village on Fridays you get some food to feed the animals for free.
  • Riding Lessons:
    Talk with Cowboy Gil about signing your children up for riding lessons!
  • Mental Health Mondays:
    $1 for each kid who comes through the petting farm on Mondays in April will be donated to the Polizzi clinic to help in their efforts to treat patients with mental health issues.
  • Stay tuned to The Farm’s Facebook page for more updates on ways they are giving back to the community!

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NEW DISCOUNT CODE: The Color Run

CaptureAbove code valid only until April 15, 2015.

The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.

Now the single largest event series in the world, The Color Run has exploded since our debut event. We have more than tripled our growth, hosting more than 300 events in 50+ countries in 2014.

Read more about The Color Run, and how much fun we have had the last few years!

 

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Bunny Approved Easter Baskets

Chocolate Easter Bunny in a Basket

Author: Whitney Hollingshead

The Easter Bunny is as excited as ever to visit your home this spring. He’s been searching high and low for the best items to fill the baskets at your house. We asked the Easter Bunny to share more about his preparations for 2015 and he shared a few hints on what you may find this year.  

Tasty Treats

The Easter Bunny is likely to leave favorite treats for each individual in your home. The treats may even be found trapped inside of colorful plastic eggs. In addition to favorite sweets, the Easter Bunny may include some of these items in each basket:

  • Candy eggs of all shapes, sizes, and flavors. The Easter Bunny loves to share chocolate eggs filled with marshmallow cream or caramel, jelly beans in every flavor you can imagine, and candy eggs that look just like eggs from a bird’s nest.

  • Candy bunnies and chicks. Watch for springtime animals made of chocolate or soft marshmallow coated in colored sugar.

  • Healthy snacks. The Easter Bunny wants you to remember that tasty treats can be good for you too. Watch for real fruit leather, flavored applesauce cups, dried fruit, pretzels, fresh fruit, and air popped popcorn.

  • Breakfast goodies. The Easter Bunny knows that good food should be enjoyed all day long. So be on the lookout for your favorite breakfast cereal, muffins, breakfast bars, hot cocoa packets, and juice boxes.

  • Personalized Snack Mix. The Easter Bunny knows which snacks you prefer so he may just leave a special snack mix made just for you. His famous snack mix may include cereal squares, cheese crackers, mini pretzels, craisins, and dried apples.

Tools to Help You Smile

The Easter Bunny loves to see children and adults all over the world smiling not only on Easter morning, but throughout the entire year. To make sure you have a healthy smile, the Easter Bunny may leave some of the following items in the baskets at your home:

  • Toothbrush (watch for fun designs including your favorite cartoon characters)

  • Toothpaste

  • Dental floss (maybe even in a fun flavor!)

  • Sugar free gum

  • Teething ring (the Easter Bunny always follows the dentist’s recommendations)

  • Chapstick

  • Lip gloss

Make sure to take a lot of pictures with your Easter basket and don’t forget to smile!

Spring Attire

Two Girls Hands Holding an Easter Basket - Close UpThe Easter Bunny has been keeping a close eye on your closet this year. He really wants you to look your best so he may leave a surprise that involves clothing, shoes, or accessories. If you have outgrown or worn out your spring clothes from last year, he may leave some new clothes to replace them.

If you are in need of shorts, tees, and sandals for summer, you may find these with your basket. The Easter Bunny also loves picking out new swimming suits for the upcoming summer!  

The Easter Bunny loves seeing adults and children all dressed up in spring colors so he may even leave dresses for the girls and button down shirts and ties for the boys. If your spring dress clothes are still in great shape, you may find a cute bracelet, new socks, or a fun hat.

 

A New Book

The Easter Bunny never gets tired of learning and he wants to share the joy with your whole family. Watch for some of these fun books:

  • Cute kid reading a book outdoorColoring books

  • Sticker books

  • Story books

  • Easter stories

  • Adventure books

  • Music books for your instrument

  • Picture books

  • Chapter books

  • Classic literature

  • History books

  • Joke books

  • Cookbooks

  • Hobby books & tutorials

  • Crossword puzzles

  • Sudoku puzzles

 

A Surprise to Use Outdoors

The Easter Bunny does not want you to miss the beautiful spring weather, so he may leave some fun items to encourage you to spend more time outdoors. He is also a big fan of staying healthy and physically fit so he always keeps your health in mind too. Here are some items he may use to surprise and delight you:

  • Jumprope

  • Sidewalk chalk

  • Kite

  • Sand toys

  • Water guns

  • Water balloons

  • Basketball

  • Soccer ball

  • Football

  • Baseball glove

  • Frisbee

  • Croquet set

  • Tennis racquet

  • Ladder golf

  • Beach towel

  • Golf balls

  • Personalized water bottle

  • Fitbit

  • Run Lock key safe

  • Gardening tools

Remember that the Easter Bunny takes pride in choosing the best items to fill your basket. Of course, you won’t receive everything on this list, but you will receive some items hand picked just for you. Happy Easter!

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Internet Addiction & the Family: 13 Steps to Healthier Internet Use

Family Looking at Laptop Over Breakfast

Author: Whitney Hollingshead

When we hear the word “addiction” we most often think of drugs and alcohol. However, in today’s fast paced, tech savvy world, the internet itself is becoming a source of addiction for many parents, teens, and even children.

Addiction sets in when an individual forms an uncontrollable habit of using the internet, even when negative consequences result. For an internet addict, the internet may be a source of escape, or may even provide a sense of euphoria. In addition, the individual believes they have to use the internet to feel normal.

So what are the signs of internet addiction? Read on to learn more about the signs and how you can help family members develop healthy internet habits.

Mother and daughter using tablet PC

Signs of an Internet Addiction

Here are some common signs associated with an internet addiction. Consider these signs in relation to every member of your family. Remember that the person who has a problem with internet usage, may even be you.

  • Loses track of time while using any internet device

  • Loses interest in other activities

  • Spends time online instead of sleeping

  • Becomes agitated or angry when internet time is interrupted or when the internet cannot be accessed

  • Neglects responsibilities like work, household duties, homework, or chores

  • Chooses screen time instead of spending time with family and friends

  • Refuses to follow established family rules regarding internet usage

  • Finds ways to sneak extra internet time, goes online in secret

  • Forms relationships with online friends and neglects friends or family in person

  • Gains or loses weight due to changes in eating and physical activity associated with prolonged time in front of a screen

In order to both deal with any current problems the internet is causing in your home and to help prevent future problems, the internet must become a healthy part of normal family life.

 

Making the Internet a Healthy Part of Normal Family Life

When used correctly, the internet can enhance family life. So how do you achieve healthy internet habits within your family? Check out the 13 tips below.

  1. Place all computers, televisions, and even portable devices in the central hub of your home. All screen time should always take place out in the open, never in secret. Enforce the rule that screen time is only allowed when an adult is in the room. Never let your child take a device with them to bed.

  1. Use content filters. Whether you use a filter found online, purchase filtering software, or use a filter on your internet router, find a content filter that works. Restricting the content that comes into your home will help prevent future problems. Change Netflix, Hulu, and other subscriptions to family friendly settings.

  1. If your child has a television or computer in their bedroom and you choose to not remove them, use parental controls or a password to limit access so that you are aware of any and all screen time.

  1. Do not allow your child to have any screen time until all of their chores and homework are completed.

  1. Never allow screen time of any kind during dinner, family fun, family discussions, or other family events.

  1. smiling girl holding big clockDecide on a set amount of screen time each day. This time covers all devices, including television and movies. Ask the child how they would prefer to spend their time each day and make them accountable for their choices.

  1. Consider dividing the time between entertainment and further learning. For example, your child may be given 30 minutes to play a spelling game and 30 minutes to watch a cartoon. Any homework that requires screen time should be addressed separately.

  1. Help your children use the internet for good and make sure internet usage is age appropriate and consistent with your family values.

  1. Always encourage your child to ask questions about the world around them. When your child has a question, encourage them to find the answer. The best route is to research the answer with your child. Since the internet is used for research more often than any other source, finding answers to questions together is a great way to teach your children how to use the internet for good. Searching together also enables you to direct your child to appropriate sources of information. (This time should count as further learning time. If you count this time as entertainment time, your child may stop asking questions.) 

  1. Set a timer for the set amount of screen time. When the timer goes off, make your child leave the device and encourage active play afterward. Active play involves hands on activities and/or physical exercise.

  1. Do not use additional screen time as a reward for good behavior. They key is to focus on setting a healthy amount of screen time each day, so rewarding a child with extra time decreases the positive effects. You can, however, use a decrease in the amount of screen time as a consequence for bad behavior.

  1. Strive for a healthy life balance in your home. Structure daily routines around healthy eating, learning, physical exercise, getting adequate rest, conversing with family members, working, and having fun.

  1. Follow all of the rules above yourself and encourage your spouse to do the same. Your children will learn that an appropriate use of screen time can be a normal and healthy part of family life, but only if every family member treats it as such.

Seek Additional Help When Necessary

Using the internet as a healthy part of a normal family life is crucial to preventing internet addiction and helping family members who struggle with addiction; however, you may need additional resources based upon your family’s circumstances. While this article focuses mainly on helping children avoid a drug addiction, the overall suggestions are very applicable to helping with appropriate use of the internet as well.

If any family member is struggling with an internet addiction, reach out to trusted individuals who can provide help. Professional counseling and therapy can be very helpful. If one of your children is struggling with an internet addiction, make sure you inform the child’s teachers, babysitters, and care providers of the problem and the steps you are taking to help your child.

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