How do you get your kids off "screens"?
TV, computer, X-Box, cell phones...seems like kids these days are always plugged into some electronic screen! It's a big part of all our lives, but how do you keep a healthy balance in your home?
I cancelled the cable and put us both in martial arts. After that, she got back into the back yard! It was great. We also do a lot of reading so we are really limiting the screen time. It feels good when they chose it and are not forced to do it by us parents.
Oh and my phone is reduced to being just a phone. We call or text and leave the millions of apps away.
We have a strict rule in our house that no television until the homework is done. After that, my daughter is allowed an hour of television. She's not really into computer games etc, so that has never been an issue. She is quite active outside of school and has joined many clubs - singing club on Mondays, cheer leading on Wednesdays, youth club on Fridays, roller skating on Saturdays. Luckily she loves the outdoors and would rather be out playing with her friends or in the garden. She uses her laptop around an hour a day, and keeps in touch with her friends on the cell phone, but not excessively.
I think it is all about encouraging our children to become more active and take part in out of school activities. We quite often go for a walk, or visit the library. Children need to be stimulated and encouraging them in an activity that they enjoy may help them steer away from tv and computer. Doing some crafts together is an enjoyable distraction from technology. My brother and his son go to football matches together and make bird boxes as a hobby. Teaching them new skills and encouraging them to try other hobbies will give them variation too.
Great answers, moms-secret and jacqui2011, thanks for adding your thoughts. Some really good suggestions here, and now that the weather is nice, it's certainly easier to get them outside. Don't wish to make stereotypes but I do think boys (I have 3) are more prone to addiction to video games etc. Girls more socially inclined? Well, I'd better set the right example and get off my computer and go plant some pansies! Thanks again!
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My kids are still little (3 and 5), but we don't own a TV so that really helps! We occasionally watch a video on one of our computers or projected on the wall, but it's really a special occasion type of thing (2-4x/month). I think it definitely makes my life harder when I'm trying to cook or just get things done around the house, but it's not something I'm willing to negotiate on. My kids have become pretty good at entertaining themselves, playing together, etc. and it also adds to my clean up time (my kids love cutting paper into tiny peices, but it lets me make dinner!). I am worried down the road when they will need to use computers for homework, and likely have phones, etc. but at least we've set the tone that TV/videos/screentime is not the norm in our house.
we say "no" it's easy to do and it makes sense. i don't raise my kids to be my friends, i raise them to be good , healthy people.
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