Device-free Days: Teaching Kids How to Put Away Their Electronics

Many kids develop an obsession with their electronic devices. Even toddlers are familiar with current technology. Experts warn against allowing this to happen because of the concern with developmental problems, poor social skills and obesity. Weight problems are currently the most common concern. Obese children face high risks of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. They may even experience higher cancer rates.

Prevent Device Addiction

All children should have their exposure to devices restricted. Pediatricians now recommend limiting it to no more than two hours a day. Insist that all meals be eaten as a family with no electronics allowed. Consider making certain days of the week entirely free from devices. Keep electronics at home, other than an emergency mobile phone, when going out as a family. Keep TVs out of bedrooms and avoid buying toddlers and young children any electronic games or mobile devices.

Provide Alternative Entertainment

Children and teenagers will quickly become bored and annoyed with the situation if they do not have something to fill their time. Parents should help by providing them with creative ideas initially. Most kids will happily find things to occupy their time once the shock of not living in a virtual world wears off. Find sports and games that are fun for the whole family. Obesity risks will decline quickly when their device-free time includes exercise.

Consider Unique Options

Most kids love learning new games and skills. An easy and competitive option is corn toss. The only gear needed is a board and some bags to throw. This makes it a very affordable purchase. It is possible to find cheap corn toss games online in an almost endless variety of styles. The game is simple to play, works as well inside or out and can have any number of participants. Families can establish their own tournaments, organize neighborhood corn toss battles or use the board during all their cookouts and other events.

Children that have come to rely on their phones, tablets and TVs as constant companions will not change overnight. Parents can expect frequent complaints and the occasional cheating. Providing kids with ideas helps, but it is not enough. Parents also have to participate in the change by setting aside their own devices and leading by example.

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