5 sureshot ways for getting rid of screen addiction among children
Summer vacation is just around the corner and kids, especially in the cities, may find it difficult to stay engaged throughout the day. Many kids resort to spending time on the screens either playing video games or watching videos and, before you know it, the entire summer is wasted!
Studies have revealed increased screen usage among kids over the last 4 years and their negative impact on growth and development. If left unchecked, screen addiction can have profound long term effects on mental and physical health. Spending too much time on screen can be linked to speech delays, lack of social skills and it can even hamper learning among children.
If you are concerned about your child spending too much time on screen this summer, you can follow the 5 steps below and stay ahead of screen addiction. Before moving forward, It is important to note that kids understand consistent rules and routines and are more likely to comply if they have had a say in those rules and routines. So, talk to them and involve them in any decisions you take!
When you understand what draws your child to the screen, you might be better equipped to tackle a situation where you think there is excessive screen usage by your child.
2. Communicate about screen usage: Communicate to your child about ill effects of too much screen time or watching games or playing videos that might be too violent for their age. Children might not understand the consequences of excessive screen usage but if explained to them in a friendly manner, they will surely register your concerns.
3. Set Limits: Take your child into consideration and set limits to how much screen time is allowed in a day. Once they have understood that too much screen time is not good for them, they will be willing to set limits to their screen usage.
4. Be a role model: Children observe what their parents do and often mimic their parents’ behaviour on a subconscious level. If the parents themselves spend most of their time on mobiles, it is likely that even the children would follow suit.
If you are a parent working from home, you need to explain to your child that you are using the screen only for work and make a point to put the laptops away once you are done with work. Often if parents are actively involved in planning activities with their children, it is less likely that the children will get addicted to screens.
5. Plan activities that do not involve screens: You can ideate and plan activities with your kids that will not involve screens. Also it is essential for kids to get exposure to different kinds of experiences to develop a holistic personality. Social interactions and physical activities go a long way in developing a well-rounded personality. Below are a few activities that you can plan on doing with your kids.
a. Go Camping: Camping under the stars in open spaces can be a great way to be close to nature. The kids are sure to enjoy the fresh air and the acres of space available around to wander and explore. It would be an experience very different from their day-to-day lives especially for kids in cities.
You can also check out our board games which help develop academic skills like mental maths, percentages, fractions, geometry and life skills like honesty, collaboration, communication, patience and much more. You can shop for our games here.
c. Books: Books can be great to keep children engaged and intrigued especially if friends or family members are not available to play. Books can improve concentration among children, children can keep themselves entertained or improve their General Knowledge by reading books.
f. Learn something new: You can enroll your child to learn something new like dance or a new language. Learning to dance is a great way to lose some inhibitions especially if the kids are shy. Learning a new language is a great way to improve memory, spatial skills and also helps in having a positive attitude towards different cultures.
g. Cooking: Cooking is a great life skill that many times kids are not taught. Cooking can also be a great way towards inducing healthy eating habits in the kids. It is also a great way to make the children self-reliant for the future when home cooked food might not be an option. Eating outside food may not be a healthy choice for a sustained period of time.
If you have any more tips or suggestions on how you engage your kids in non-screen activities, do share in the comments below.