Wherever we are and wherever we go, there’s no escaping the digital world. We live in an age of modern technology, one that is consumed by the internet, laptops, cellphones, tablets and other types of screens. While these developments have made our lives amazing in many ways, too much time spent staring at screens can be detrimental to our health and well-being, especially that of our kids. Hence the need for a “digital detox” from time to time.
What does digital detox mean?
Digital detox is when a person unplugs and refrains from using electronic gadgets and other devices connected to the internet. Doing so gives us an opportunity to have real interactions with others and counteract our “addiction” to screens. Since we are living in a world dominated by the internet, our kids spend a significant amount of their time clicking and tapping while glued to their devices. It can be hard to strike a healthy balance between the use of technology and taking healthy breaks from staring at our screens.
It’s important for us, as parents, to make sure our children’s development isn’t hampered by spending excessive time glued to their screens. Here are some tips to help your kids do a digital detox.
Lead by example
Young kids look up to their parents in all aspects of life. They observe our words, actions and behaviors. Therefore, the best way to teach our children anything is to model important actions and habits ourselves. Lead by example instead of merely talking about it.
When emphasizing the importance of taking a break from electronic devices, it’s imperative that children see their parents doing the same. It’s hypocritical for kids to see us incessantly scrolling through our phones or staying up until all hours watching Netflix if we expect them to make similar changes to their lifestyle. If you don’t lead by example, your discussion about a digital detox will fall on deaf ears.
Create phone-free zones
It’s important to limit the use of electronic devices in some areas of your home. Establish “technology-free zones” in your home. One good example is the dining area. Phones and gadgets shouldn’t be allowed at the dining table. Meal time is meant to be family time. Coming together during a meal is a perfect opportunity for bonding and having meaningful and fun conversation. It shouldn’t be a time for any family members to stare at their phones or play online games.
Similarly, the bedroom should also be a screen-free space. Growing kids need an adequate amount of sleep for their healthy growth and development. Don’t allow your children to take their phones or tablets with them to bed. Not only will this help ensure that their sleep isn’t interrupted, but it will also help you make sure their online activities are closely monitored.
Plan a family getaway
Another fun way to help curb your child’s obsession with screen time is to go on a family getaway. Think about planning a vacation or some family activities that do not involve the use of screens. Plan a trip to the zoo or museum, or take your child to an art class. You can also spend the weekend at a nearby beach. or go camping and enjoy nature. There are plenty of activities you can all enjoy without the use of technology. The more children get immersed in nature and outdoor fun, the more they’ll realize that there’s so much more to life than what they see and experience at the tips of their fingers on an electronic gadget.
Spend more time with your kids
One of the reasons why kids may resort to spending excessive time on their gadgets is that their parents are too busy to spend time with them. Nothing beats spending adequate quality time with your child. Make it a point to spend more time together by playing with them, connecting and bonding. Help your child feel that digital devices aren’t the only source of fun and entertainment, because it’s a lot more fun to do things with you.
For example, you can invite your kids to help you cook and prepare meals. If your child enjoys books, you can find a cozy spot in your home where you can enjoy reading together. Be creative. There are plenty of exciting and meaningful activities that can take your child’s attention from digital devices.
Electronic gadgets and the internet are beneficial in so many ways and in various aspects of our lives. However, it’s important to learn when to switch off from the digital world before it becomes detrimental to your child’s health and development.
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