3 Essential Tips for Getting Your Kids Off the Screen
By Genevieve Cunningham
When I was young, going outside and playing was the thing to do. No one, and I really mean no single child that I knew, stayed inside all day in front of the television. When my cousin got a Nintendo and began to spend days playing it, most of us thought she was really strange. In today’s world, the opposite is true. Staying inside in front of the television is what we do. Kids play more video games and watch more television than ever before. This change in daily routine has led to higher rates of childhood obesity and poor health among our youth. But getting your kid up and outside is tough! If you would like to help shift your child’s activity level, but need a little assistance, check out these three tips for motivating your kids to get out from behind the screen and outside moving.
Lead By Example
No one really wants to hear this, but in order for your children to live a healthy lifestyle, you have to do it first. If you are guilty of spending hours in front of the TV or laptop or other device, your children are likely to do the same. To get your whole family involved, turn off the TV, get up, and go outside! Go for a walk, join a gym, do whatever it takes to let your children know that fitness and movement are important. If you lead by example, your kids are much more likely to follow your example and live a more active lifestyle.
Involve the Screen
Some people may feel that eliminating the screen at this point would be too difficult or cause significant outcry. If this sounds like your family, try including the screen into the workout time. There are multiple apps in today’s world that can be used to monitor workouts. Let your kid find a good one or one that they want to try to include it in a family workout session. An app that counts steps, adds burned calories, or maps a walking route are all great ways to get your screens, your kids, and your whole family involved in the fitness project.
Make a Tech Timeout
Another great way to get your kids out from in front of the screen is to have a certain time period that is tech-free. It could be a certain day of the week, a certain hour of the day, or whatever works for your family. Without technology, a lot of children won’t know what to do, and you can suggest some healthy ways to spend their time. With even small intervals without technology, most kids will see the benefit after just a few sessions. After a while, you may even find your kids making their own tech timeout in order to participate in other more active activities.
Most of us are pretty addicted to screen time, so implementing these tricks may be difficult. If you really want to learn how to get your kids outside to play, however, then these simple tips may be worth giving a try. With a little more movement and a little less screen time, you may be able to help lead your whole family into a healthier way of life for good.