Children and technology are inseparable these days.
Indeed, most young people between 8 and 18 years old spend 7 hours a day on a screen!
That, according to the same source, is 5 hours more than the recommended amount of screen time for this age-group. Are you wondering how to unplug your children from their screens?
Signing up to summer camp is one of the best ways to do it. But, when camp ends, screen-time can often find itself straight back on the menu.
It doesn’t have to, though!
Involving kids in non-tech-related activities can seem like a struggle. With the right approach, though, you can easily keep up the good work and keep them away from the screen. Sound good?
Read on for 7 tips to help separate kids from their screens long after the end of camp.
1. Be a Role Model
When it comes to helping your kids unplug, you really need to set the right example.
This is about being a role model in terms of technology. ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ and all that jazz!
Basically, it’s no good setting rules about technology that you personally don’t abide by at home.
Your children will see you on the screen and follow suit; you effectively send mixed messages about what’s right and wrong. They may question the inequality involved too.
Practice what you preach as well.
Are you trying to encourage your kids to get off their phones and into the outdoors? Well, you should be doing the same! At the very least, strive to provide opportunities for your kids to get into nature. Take them hiking, kayaking, and camping, and so on.
2. Have Set Times for Screens
Let’s face it:
Screens are now an inescapable part of life. Chances are high that you’re just as hooked to them as your children are!
Banning them altogether is a recipe for trouble.
Your kids will likely resent the move, and they’ll probably find clandestine ways to go on it anyway.
A better approach is to limit access to certain sensible time-frames. An hour of screen-time after school, or in the afternoon, for instance, will appease everybody. The kids will be happy to be able to get online and appreciate it far more too.
3. Provide Fun Real-Life Opportunities
All technology is a distraction from the present moment.
You escape into an alternative reality that’s full of fun, excitement, drama, and stimulation in general. It’s a go-to activity in mundane moments.
Kids will naturally turn to technology when they’re bored and have nothing to do.
Offer an alternative by being present and providing opportunities for fun in real life! Younger children especially want nothing more than to hang out and play with their parents. Get them outside, into extracurricular activities (like the ones at summer camp), and they’ll have all the stimulation they need.
Screen-time becomes far less enticing when you’re already having fun in the real world.
4. Cultivate a Love of Reading
It’s hard to overstate the value of reading books (for both children and adults!).
In terms of development, your kids will improve their spelling, comprehension, memory, logic, and speech. They’ll be transported to new worlds, sparking their imagination and creativity. They’ll increase their knowledge-levels, decrease their stress levels, and ultimately have fun.
Of course, many people read books on screens these days, like e-readers and even mobile phones.
Many of the benefits of reading are still available. However, it’s far easier to get distracted by other things; you’re not truly unplugged from technology.
Get your kids involved with reading good ‘old-fashioned’ physical books from an early age. Phones and tablets will be no-where to be found as they immerse themselves in a good story.
5. Get Sporty Together
Sports are another great alternative to technology.
As you know, kids are full of energy. They need to run around and get some exercise to expend it. Not only is this essential for physical and mental well-being, but it’s also a great way to encourage time away from a screen.
Figure out one or two sports your children might want to get involved in. Then, set about finding opportunities in the local area for them to give the sports a go.
Alternatively, grab yourself the necessary gear and head down to the local sports center or park. Combining sport and family time is an incredibly effective way to extricate kids from technology.
6. Make Them Do the Chores
Few people enjoy doing chores.
You know already that your kids will bemoan any chores you assign them. It doesn’t matter whether they’re doing the dishes, vacuuming the floors, sweeping the driveway, or taking out the trash!
They’ll whine and moan at every turn.
However, you’ll instill a sense of responsibility and work ethic, while keeping them away from the screen in the process. You could even use their technology as a way to incentivize doing their chores.
For example, taking out the trash might be worth 15 minutes of screen-time. Refusal to take out the trash means no access to their phone, tablet, or computer.
7. Remove Screens from Bedroom Spaces
Screens and bedrooms should never mix.
Have TVs, phones, and computers in the bedroom and you can guarantee they’ll be used with abandon! Away from prying parental eyes, children will take advantage of the situation and be up all hours using the technology.
Unfortunately, sleep can suffer as a result, which can lead to a host of negative repercussions. School performance, energy levels, and concentration, among others, can all suffer.
Be sure to remove technology from bedrooms and/or impose restrictions on its usage.
Exactly How to Unplug Your Kids from the Screen!
Young people are spending more time than ever before looking at screens.
After all, video games, computers, smartphones, and tablets are ubiquitous in modern society. Head into the local area and you’ll see kids of all ages hooked to a screen of some sort.
When camp is over, knowing how to unplug them from their technology is all-important. Hopefully, this post will help you do it!
Can’t wait for next summer to roll around? Click here to request your free summer camp info.
“Unplugged- vickyratcliffephotography” by vickyratcliffephotog is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0