Is your daughter refusing to eat without playing her favourite game on the iPad? Are the bicycles at home getting rusty? Are you worried about gadget time increasing day after day? Then it’s the right time to indulge in a digital detox. Here are some effective tips for a family digital detox.
1. Less Screen, more green
Reduce screen time by 20 minutes (or more, depending on your child’s level of obsession) each week until your reach your goal. For every 30 minutes of screen time, make sure your kids get 30 minutes of physical activity. Make sure that there is no adult around watching TV.
2. A big NO to hand-held devices in the bedroom
The flash of light from a phone (even if it’s just to check the time) can break a sleep pattern. A regular alarm clock is best. Additionally, getting devices out of the bedroom means kids can’t text, call or play at all hours of the night.
3. Choose toys wisely
Choose toys that will foster imagination and discovery rather than toys that move or make noise. In fact, get rid of all battery-powered toys. A very active toy is likely to make your child less active. And active children are wonderful at discovering fun and entertaining activities that will keep them engaged! For example, you could buy your little one an art table, add some crayons, papers and stickers, block painting with veggies. Sit back and enjoy the fun your children are experiencing.
4. Spend time outdoors
This tip would work wonders with your kids. Grab sometime to have a ‘Mom and me’ session every day. It could just be as simple as holding your kid’s hand and walking down to the nearby park. Have the little one look at others kids playing. Carry a story book that your kid likes and read the story to him. This tip is usually a big hit every time – tried and tested!
5. Be a role model
This is the most effective tip and also a challenging one. As parents we need to help our child find the right balance between the real and virtual worlds. Try and maintain a gadget-free zone when the child is around. If the child observes you while you are on a tablet or laptop, make sure that you communicate the ‘Why?’ behind it.