Several studies done on the effects of gadget use among children have already pointed out its negative impact. For instance, a study from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested that too much screen time among kids may be inhibiting their social skills and ability to recognize emotions, while a documentary focusing on Chinese teenagers who are addicted to computer games offered the need to correct this clinical disorder, according to the New York Times.
These problems are happening to children everywhere as technology has become more accessible. As parents, your guidance is crucial to making sure that your kids don't suffer from gadget fatigue and stress.
Here are some suggested activities to help scale down your kids' gadget use:
1. Organize crafting activities and make it a goal to do this regularly as a family. Perhaps set aside Sunday afternoons for this and introduce a variety of arts and crafts ideas your kids will enjoy. Coloring or painting are the easiest to set up, but to keep the children challenged and stimulated, propose bigger crafting projects once in a while. Check out some of these crafting ideas from Free Kids Craft - For Teens or these family projects from Funology and the Artful Parent.
2. Get a pet for your kids, especially if they are old enough to start handling such responsibilities. Pets require time and care for feeding, exercise, play and training. This should take the kids' time off from gadgets use at least an hour in a day. Besides, as a study has proven, children with dogs or cats can boost and strengthen their immune system. They become healthier kids, according to Time Magazine.
3. Schedule regular outdoor activities with your kids. Bike rides, trips to museums or interesting sites, or a kite-flying session in the backyard should be fun to do together. If possible, enlist other families in your neighborhood or ask friends and their kids if they would like to tag along. It could be more fun to do this in larger groups. Plus, this way, your kids will also have the opportunity to socialize with other children.
4. Try volunteering. This activity will teach your children a lot about community and other important issues like health and environment. It will also help them appreciate all the privileges they enjoy. Some schools may also credit volunteer work, so be sure to ask about this. Check your local city hall or community billboards and news advertisements for listings.