Most parents are concerned seeing their children invest an alarmingly high amount of time in electronic devices and ponder what they can do about it. Let’s be honest, new age lives involve media consumption from a plethora of digital sources, regardless of whether it’s TV, cell phones, tablets or PCs. It isn’t entirely surprising that today’s children are drawn towards digital media as often as they are, given the alluring nature of the same.
Here is a list of reasons why digital detox for children is imperative:
- Melatonin Levels – Using screens late into the night can keep our minds overworked and delay/reduce the release of the sleep inducing hormone.
- Rest – Adequate rest is not only vital to handle the next day’s routine at school, but the absence of scheduled rest in children has been associated with higher risks of lifestyle diseases and obesity.
- Low Performance/Energy Levels – Heavy consumption of digital content can affect school work and cause reluctance/lethargy in children to involve themselves in physical activities or other forms of play.
- Emotional Wellness – Our Social Media Networks have a profound effect on the emotional wellness of adults, let alone children. This can leave children feeling inadequate and on edge regarding their self-perception and way of life.
- Social Interactions – It is essential for children to develop social skills to adapt to various situations and/or environments as they grow. The absence of such environments can cause children to become withdrawn and not interact age-appropriately.
HELP THEM UNPLUG: DIGITAL DETOX STRATEGIES
To begin with, attempt and adopt some of these detox methodologies yourself.
“Be the change you want to see”.
While you are suggesting to your children that taking screen breaks is vital, you won’t get a positive reaction if you’re glancing at your own cell phone time and time again. Look at it as a family detox – you’ll be glad you took this step!
“Cell phones not allowed”(not really)
Create specific time slots and zones in your home, that are free of screens and digital media. We think the dinner table is a great place to start (Leaving your cell phones away or for good discussions)!
Recognize that unplugging can be quite difficult for the children. After all, they’ve been at it for a while. Urge your children to share their recommendations on the schedules. However, be firm with your phone-free spaces.
Organise game-times that are not screen-oriented. Play board games or head out to the closest playground. Play catch, shoot some hoops, skate, bicycle, trek, camp,…. You do see there are numerous other options here.
Have fun while you’re at it.