When you were a kid, your parents would send you outside to play and you wouldn’t be back until the sun went down. Now you know exactly where your child is. On sofa, watching television, playing video games and texting their friends. If your child could play outside more, they would be happier, healthier, more creative and even do better in school. So, how do you get them away from the computer screen and into the sunshine? Try some of these tricks.
Children spend at least seven hours a day using electronics. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that they should only be using technology two hours a day. If your child is between eight and eighteen years old, they are probably spending most of their time in front of the television, on their cell phones, staring into their computer or playing video games. Get them outside and off their computer by setting limits. If they love video games, allow them one hour of video game related activity. After that time is up, they have to find something else to do. You can also set a time to power off all devices, like right before bedtime. Not only will this limit the amount of time they spend using electronics, it will also help them to sleep better if they aren’t being exposed to that blue light before bed.
If you’re going to insist on electronic curfews then you can’t very well be on your phone in front of them. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t use your electronics at all, rather find a healthy balance so as to set a good example. Start by turning off the television during meals and keep electronics out of your child’s room so they have to come into a public space to entertain them. That way they have an opportunity to interact with you and the rest of the family while they enjoy their electronics and you have a chance to discuss with them their reactions to what they are seeing and doing.
Make the Outdoors Inviting
Create a space outside your children will want to play in. Make sure grass is mowed, weeds and possible poisonous plants are removed and activities are provided to engage them throughout the day. If you don’t have access to a yard, enjoy a park or a playground a few times a week.
A lot of parents are wary of sending their children outside without consistent supervision. Getting to know your neighbors will not only reassure you your children are surrounded by trustworthy people but it will encourage your children to interact and exercise with other children in town. This is a great solution in case you don’t have a yard to play in. Children can play safely outdoors with the safety of their community, develop their social skills, contribute to their sense of teamwork and help them to relieve some stress.
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