Reduce Video Game and Smartphone Time
In today’s post, we will discuss some ideas to help your child reduce their video game and smartphone time. An important part of this issue is realizing that “screen time” fills a need, and in order to take away a coping mechanism, we must replace it with something else.
Structured Time Vs. Free Time
A generation ago researchers were warning parents about the excess of scheduling their children. We were a nation of minivan moms who were taxi drivers, shuffling kids from soccer to dance to piano lessons to scout meeting. We created organizers, day planners and command centers to keep it all on track.
Our culture seems to have swung the opposite way now- as many families report binge-watching television shows all weekend or spending large stretches of time video gaming or engaging in mindless online activities. Our kids are, on average, less interested in organized activities or social time, spending hours inside starting at their smartphones like zombies. Human interaction now happens through “liking” a highlight reel of selfies.
Here are some ideas to break the video game and smartphone cycle:
– Start a family game night, get out your favorite board or card games
– Have the kids help out with meals. Engage your kids in the kitchen, have them help prep and cook the meals so they are participating in family dinners
– Go on family walks. Enjoy the last few weeks of the season and get a crisp winter exercise.
– Organize or host a neighborhood potluck. They likely have also been feeling cooped up this winter and could use some social interaction as well.
– Get new journals for everyone in the family teach your kids how to share their feelings and express things in writing.
– Go to your local craft store for crafts like paint so that your kids be artistic and creative for an afternoon.
– Explore your town. Go to the library, take your family bowling or maybe try a new restaurant.
– Spend some time volunteering and helping others in need, this is great for your kids to teach them that there others less fortunate and how to give back
– Try a new hobby, sport or instrument to help your kids find a new passion.
Programs like Summerland Camps help parents find middle ground solutions. We let your child have a true summer camp experience, a vacation away from school and any stress at home.
At Summerland, we have structured activities and help campers understand time management but in a fun way where they are active participants. We help kids look up from their screens and find activities that they enjoy, let them explore and create their own adventure. They have the opportunity to find what brings them joy and will enrich their lives while also having downtime to recharge and appreciate the world around them.
Campers create real friendships and learn how to support others. We also help parents find that balance, from constantly setting limits and tracking their child’s activity to helping encourage healthy choices and setting up more family time. Let your child be a kid at Summerland Camps.