If you want to raise healthy kids, it often starts with limiting certain things so that they are encouraged to play outside and be more active. Encouraging healthy behaviors includes reducing their screen time. Here are some reasons why you should consider doing this.
Kids Are More Active
The less time your kids spend on their computers, playing video games, or watching TV, the more time they spend being active and finding outdoor adventures to go on. The problem with encouraging exercise in kids is that they feel like they don’t have enough time when you consider school, homework, dinner, and their TV time. However, if you start reducing screen time, they have those extra slots of time to do other things. It might not be easy in the beginning, so having the entire family reduce screen time is easier on the kids because you are all doing it together.
There Are Fewer Distractions
You will also notice that there aren't as many distractions when everyone in the home is spending more time together or on other activities and less on computers and cell phones. If you find that when you are all at the dinner table, an adult, teen, or child is distracted by their phone or tablet, it is a good sign that distractions are getting in the way of regular conversation. Enjoying each other at dinner is a good reason to cut back.
You Get More Family Time
Along these same lines is the fact that you will have more time together as a family. Instead of letting everyone go off and do their own thing during the evenings or over the weekend, take away the electronics and do more family activities. Activities might include going for a walk, taking a drive to the beach, or enjoying an indoor game or crossword puzzle. You can have one game night every week or get some games and toys to enjoy in your backyard.
They Find Other Interests
When your kids aren’t spending their free time playing the Playstation or watching movies, they will start exploring other activities. You aren't punishing them by taking everything away, but just limiting computer and TV time. Downtime from electronics lets them play with more of their toys, find things to do outside, or maybe even making new friends in the neighborhood. Engagement in healthy play is never a bad thing! You might even buy them some new activities to make it a little easier to ditch all the electronics.
“I will not be distracted by noise, chatter, or setbacks. Patience, commitment, grace, and purpose will guide me.”
― Louise L. Hay
Lisa Ann de Garcia, MA, MEd.