It’s not unusual for children as young as five to spend five hours a day in front of a screen. Technology can be both entertaining and educational, but if your child is spending more time in the digital world than the real one, it might be time for a detox in your home. Here are some tips for putting it into action:
Communicate your plans
To help your family cleanse themselves of screen time, be open and honest from the start. This way, children won’t be taken aback or rebel against what might seem like a sudden disciplinary surprise. If everyone is aware of what is to come, it might not seem so bad.
Limit screen time
Rather than cutting out digital time altogether, you can limit the uses of technology in your home. This is a more democratic way of detoxing: after all, not all technologies are an ineffective use of time. There is a host of educational YouTube channels waiting to entertain and educate your child. Try to redirect screen time to more educational pursuits. The trick is moderation.
Lead by example Children look to their parents for advice. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mother or father, you are likely one of the biggest role models for your children. So, it’s always a good idea to lead by example. Ensure you follow the rules that are put in place, even if they are loose. These are supposed to work for the whole family, not just your children.
Alternative activities for the whole family
Convincing your family to reduce their time in front of the screen is only the first step. Next, you need to come up with ways to replace the phone, tablets, and computers. Here are three alternative activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Often, children and adults turn to technology out of boredom. To ensure your family isn’t tempted by the screen, try outdoor weekend adventures.
Family movie nights
Introduce family game nights when you join together to play some classic board games. Adding a big bowl of homemade popcorn will certainly add to the experience!
It may be tempting to turn on your tablet before going to bed, whether it’s to watch entertaining TV shows or play your favourite mobile games. This habit can be bad for your whole family. Research shows that looking at a screen before bed can affect sleep patterns. Instead, try a bedtime yoga session. A few sets of simple stretches, with some relaxing music in the background, can improve your child’s quality of sleep.
A digital detox may seem daunting, but if everyone in the family works together to achieve a shared goal, excessive screen time could become a thing of the past.