We are living in a media saturated world, one can’t help but encounter either the TV, the computer or the mobile phone every where they look. While some kids can detach themselves from these distractions and find time for important things like physical exercise and academics, there are others who are simply hooked and tend to lose focus every time the cell phone beeps, or their favorite show is playing on the TV, or they simply have to get their hands on the video games remote after school, because they cannot control themselves.
The more time kids spend in front of their screen, the more inactive they get. And, this is not great for overall good health and their academics as well. It’s not always about your kid’s weight, a decent level of activity helps in a lot of ways, for instance, children feel better, they sleep better and they learn better too. Therefore, getting them away from the screen and out on the field is a good idea.
You have to develop a strategy that can help you convince your child about not spending too much time in front of the screen. A few stress free ideas below can indeed help.
Watch your habits!
To start with, you have to practice, what you preach. You cannot expect your kids to listen to you, if you do not adhere to what you are saying. Remember, that you are their role model, so telling them to cut back on their screen time, and switching on the TV, every chance you get, is not exactly going to cut it. Follow a few rules that both of you can live by. For instance, do not text, while you are driving, leave the blackberry in the room when you sit down to eat and set some rules with regards to screen time at home.
Politely remind your kids to reduce screen time; banning it completely is not going to work well for you. Today’s generation is born digital, and therefore, we have to remind them time and again, that there is a world that exists beyond the plugged variety.
Motivate Your Kids to Get Some Exercise
A lot of kids when they reach their teens tend to drop sporting activities. You need to help them find a physical activity that they might enjoy. For instance, if your child is not interested in playing basketball and would rather go swimming, then encourage him to. You can further encourage them by making sure that they get to and from the gym safely by making sure that the car is available.
Encourage your child to be socially active. Encourage them to be involved in group activities, where they can get out of their comfort zone at home and meet and work with new people. They could volunteer for events and also organize a host of activities at school as well.
Your teen is more likely to abide by screen rules that you create, if you get him involved. Write a contract, and put it up in a common area. In fact, you could also list down a set of rewards and punishments to make it work. A few suggestions are as follows:
– There will be no using the cell phone during meals, which means no texting or calling at home or when eating out at restaurants
– No TV allowed during mealtime
– Household chores and homework should be prioritized before TV
– TV will be turned off at a set time every night
Talk to your teens about the necessity of limited screen time, and you never know they may understand you, instead of getting angry and making rash decisions. So go ahead and talk to your teens and help get them more active.
You should also focus on their food habits, but speaking with a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, so that they can eat better. You could also get in touch with a homeopath to learn about a few natural remedies that can indeed help make a difference to their overall health and activity levels.