Throughout the pandemic, we’ve learned to remedy limited social interaction by spending more time on our electronic devices. While technology can be a great learning resource for kids, too much screen time can have negative impacts. This spans from their physical health, emotional wellbeing, and social development. Instead of handing your kids a smartphone, tablet, or laptop the next time they’re bored, consider the following:
Get Them Moving
No matter how old your kids are, it’s crucial that they get enough daily exercise. Doctors recommend that for every hour spent in front of a screen, kids should spend at least 15 minutes being active. Playing backyard sports, hiking, and walking around the neighborhood are all great ways for your child to burn energy. Pressed for space or can’t chaperone your kids outside? Have them try some indoor-friendly activities like dancing or yoga.
Once kids reach a certain age, the temptation to trade toys for tablets becomes unavoidable. Help keep their creativity alive with activities like making arts and crafts, playing board games, and reading books. If you struggle to think of hobbies that won’t have your child begging for the iPad back, consider the ways they like to pass time on electronics. Kids who play building-centric games like Minecraft will love crafting with Legos. Kids who binge-watch shows like Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol might enjoy playing make believe with stuffed animals. Don’t feel restricted to what you have lying around the house; when it comes to a child’s imagination, the sky’s the limit.
Regulate Screen Time
There’s no denying that in an increasingly tech-driven world, technological literacy is as important to a child’s development as reading and writing. As adults, it’s our job to help kids foster healthy relationships with their electronics. Teach your children to separate online from offline by designating spaces in the home, like the kitchen or dining room, as “no technology” zones. Allot time limits to using electronic devices. This ensures that your child has enough time in their day for homework, physical activity, and rest. And don’t forget to lead by example. Put away the phone or laptop when spending quality time with your kids to show them that being present is what matters most.
At Lake Forrest Prep, a leading private school in Orlando, kids are encouraged to reach their fullest potentials with a hands-on, personalized curriculum. For more parenting resources, check out our blog.