We are always talking about how it is bad to let our children spend too much time with screens. It is true – this generation of kids is spending more time with TV/Collphone screens than ever before. They are almost living a virtual life with virtual friends and virtual interactions. No doubt this has negative impact on their physical, social and emotional development. But how can we change this?
To wean our kids away from harmful screens, we need to engage them with other activities that they can enjoy and also benefit from. Some of these activities are:
1. Gardening: It may begin as an activity they might not be very interested in – but as they get the hang of it, your kids will love to feel the dirt in their hands, pull out the weeds, plant little saplings, care for them every day, and watch them grow into lovely plants. This is not only engaging but also educative.
2. Physical games: Teach your kids the games you used to play with your siblings and friends as a little child. Our traditional games are now being lost to Playsation! This is your change to change that! Save our culture and also provide your child with a fun alterative to the screens
3. Family Games: Every night, bring out some board games and spend an hour or two playing them as a family. You get to bond with your kids, teach them values (like honesty) and all in a fun environment!
4. Arrange PlayDates for your kids: Allow your kids to socialize with people of their own age – outside school. Arrange play dates for them with their peers – but make it a rule that no screens will be allowed.
5. Link Chores and Money: Do not give your child pocket money that has not been earned. If you want your kids to learn financial responsibility, make them earn the pocket money. Link pocket money with chores around the house. Your kids will learn to be more responsible about spending money, they will help with chores, and they will be spending less time on TV!
There are many creative and fun ways to wean kids away from screens. What we need is persevarence and determination to do it!