We are in a time where gaming systems, social media, and having the internet at our fingertips are taking kids from play to stay. Plus, now that kids are back to school, you can also add the idling hours where they’re sitting and learning in classes. So what’s the answer? What can we do to pull our kids away from the fast paced world of virtual reality and back to the rhythm of the actual world.
Set Boundaries on Technology.
Limit screen time in a way that allows your child to be apart of the conversation. If they have a favorite game, they “HAVE” to play and a TV Show they “MUST” watch, have them choose which one they want for that day and that’s it. If your kids have phones, set rules like no phones at the dinner table (this includes parents too) and no phones an hour before their bedtime. This does two things: 1. Allows dinner to be family focused where you guys can be fully present of each other’s company. 2. No screen time an hour before bed allows their bodies to adjust quicker to nighttime which helps them sleep better throughout the night, allowing their bodies to recover. This goes for you too, parents!
Be Active as a Family.
When you’re active as a family, you set an example of what is important in your life and your kids SEE this. Whether it feels like it or not, your kids are always watching you and picking up on your behaviors. If they see you getting out and being active, they’ll want to too. Additionally, you create another bonding moment between you guys. It can be going for a run, taking a fitness class together, bike riding, walking the dog, going to the park, and so on.
Sign them Up for Different Activities.
In a world where specializing in one sport has become the trend, make it an effort to expand their horizons. Like previously stated, give them options and allow their opinions to hold value. It could be sports, theatre arts, scouts, dance, art, etc. The more your kids are exposed to, the more they can figure out what they enjoy and meet new friends while doing it. Kids are meant to play, have fun, and discover what sparks joy in them.
You can make anything an activity! They have homework? Make it more interactive by using real life scenarios, act it out, do an experiment around it. The world is at your fingertips when it comes to ways to make anything fun and active.
Make it a Team Effort.
The school ages are when your child is discovering themselves more and figuring out where they fit in socially. They’re going to need you and not need you. Want to be around you and not want to be around you. This is your time in parenthood to release some of the “control” and just be there for them. Ways that you can do that is include them in food preparation. This helps them learn more about how different foods nourish their bodies, how to prepare food, and how to do it as a team. You can do this for chores, nighttime routines, and other similar situations. The thing is we all want to belong and to have a purpose in the bigger whole. If they feel apart of something and that they’re not alone in what you want them to do, they’re going to be more willing to participate.