Parents can let children do housework, organize outdoor activities… to pull children away from electronic screens.
Many children have long summer vacations, which means that the use of electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and phones also increases. Follow Health Partners (USA), parents who let children use phones need to ensure that they do not become dependent on electronic devices and manage their children’s behavior.
Magazine American Medical Association (JAMA), said children using devices too much can lead to lower school performance, increased risk of obesity and negative behavior. Experts suggest that children should be allowed to play outside for about 60 minutes a day to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as give children the opportunity to build balance, language and social skills.
Health Partners (USA) suggests measures to pull children away from electronic devices as follows:
Be an example
If parents are constantly glued to their eyes and phone screens, it is very difficult to limit their children’s use of similar devices. Therefore, experts say that each family should establish its own rules such as not using screens or electronic devices during dinner time, even television. Parents should also not use their phones to view facebook or instagram while at home or doing family activities because children tend to follow.
Spend time outside
Video games and educational TV shows can exercise the brain but can also negatively stimulate the brain. Parents can design outdoor excursions for their children to enjoy the sounds of nature. Also make it a habit to take a daily or weekly walk around the neighborhood, visit a lake or park, or go hiking as well.
Organized sports are one way to get kids involved in group activity. In addition, playing sports helps children be more active and flexible. In addition, playing with friends outside helps children have more opportunities to make new friends or build stronger relationships with old friends.
Read a book
Parents can encourage their children to read more by giving them a list of books to read during school breaks. The benefits of reading help develop speaking, reading comprehension, logical thinking skills and open up children to a vast world of knowledge.
Planning travel, camping
Parents can help children get into the habit of planning a trip or simply camping on the weekend. Planning requires children to think, self-direct what is about to happen and rearrange the necessary things to bring during the trip. When children are allowed to plan for what is to come, they will feel more interested.
Letting children do housework is good for both children and parents. Parents before going to work can write down a list of household chores and allow the kids to do it freely until the chores are completed. In addition to assigning tasks to children, parents can also prepare children for rewards every time they do a good job. Housework helps children learn about responsibility and is also a way to save parents’ cleaning time.
Leave electronic devices out of the bedroom
Electronic devices such as televisions, phones, and computers should be kept outside the bedroom. Regular, punctual, quality sleep is important for a child’s mental and physical health and development. This is also a way for children to overcome the bad habit of holding the phone to bed.
Schedule time to use electronic devices
Limiting screen time doesn’t mean outright ban. Parents should set up allowed and not allowed phone use times for their children. According to experts, parents should give children time in the morning for imaginative activities because that is when the mind is sharper. Parents can let children see their phones in the afternoon or when the weather is not favorable for going outside. Also, try to make sure that your kids’ screen time is short – aim for 30 minutes at a time and up to an hour a day. Turn off all electronics at least 2 hours before going to bed.
Let’s relax together
Parents can spend time talking with their kids to come up with a list of non-phone activities they enjoy doing. Spending all the free time of the day talking, relaxing together, or cooking delicious meals together also helps pull kids away from screens.
Mr. Chi (Follow Health Partners)