We hear from medical advisors continuously about the dangers of having children exposed to screens so often. Parents and guardians receive advice to limit the time that kids receive on electronics to an hour per day, with toddlers getting as little as possible.
With the learning capabilities that smartphones and tablets provide, doesn’t it seem like avoiding screens defeats the purpose of education?
The issue that doctors are concerned about with kids and electronics isn’t the information or games that they access. It is the addictive qualities of the devices when in the hands of little ones.
How to Start Breaking an Addiction to Electronics
It can be a lot of fun to go outside, explore the backyard, and play imaginative games. Getting kids away from TVs, phones, and video games can help them to realize this fact.
If you need some help to get the kids away from their gadgets, then here are some ideas to implement at home right now.
1. Step away from your devices.
Kids emulate their parents. If you are always on your phone or tablet, then that communicates to them that it is okay for them to do the same. Even if you need to be connected for work throughout most of the day, try setting aside the electronics to have dinner together.
2. Change your daily routine.
Instead of encouraging indoor activities that default to gadgets, take your kids outside for a family adventure. A walk around the neighborhood can be a lot of fun! You might hear some protests at first, but the attention will shift after a couple of minutes.
3. Put the electronics away.
Set a specific amount of time for using electronics in your home. Once that time limit gets reached, then place the device out of reach. If you have a clever little one at home, then use parental controls that automatically disable the phone or tablet once it reaches a predefined limit.
4. Engage in pretend play with your kids.
Although this idea isn’t every parent’s cup of tea, it can help to stop a child’s addiction to gadgets. You can explore a forsaken land, have a tea party, or play a fun game that your kiddo just invented. This time will keep both of you away from your devices, which means you have opportunities to explore your relationship.
5. Play board games with your child.
If your child needs entertainment because you’ve been stuck at home for some time, then try playing a new board game. Choose one that’s age-appropriate, yet still challenging, to create a learning experience that both of you can enjoy.
6. Join them when it is video game time.
When you do allow video games or screen time, then you have the perfect opportunity to join your child in the fun. Instead of letting them play alone in a corner, find options that you can do together.
It isn’t always easy to get kids outside, but this process works better when you lead by example. If you’re willing to set your phone down more often, then your kiddo will do the same.