So You Can’t Get Your Kid to Put Down the Controller…

Is your child getting too much screen time?

Video games seem to have taken over the lives of our children. They wake up, go to school, complete homework, and end the day by playing video games or interacting with technology in one way or another.

Over summer and winter breaks, kids put all their energy into getting to the next match in “Fortnite”, or watching just one more episode of Netflix instead of reading a book. When kids put all their attention into gaming systems, where is the time for socializing with friends, going outside, or getting some physical activity?

As a parent, you may be concerned whether these games are detrimental for the health of your children. How can you rip them away from the screen without causing an exhausting argument? There are ways to get your sons and daughters to part from their beloved Xbox or Nintendo Wii!

To begin, figure out what kinds of activities they enjoy doing other than video games. A quick and easy suggestion could be to simply tell them to invite over a friend or ask a neighbor to play. Playdates usually result in outdoor games or creative ideas and encourages kids to socialize. A cheap, engaging activity for kids is for you to create a scavenger hunt. This involves some planning, but writing a list of objects to search for around the house will get them moving and away from the television. If your children are interested in baking, making cookies can be a great learning and bonding experience. The delicious treats in the end don’t hurt, either. And if none of these work for, think back to what you did as a child. Take your kids to your favorite parks, museums, or food joints.

There are so many ways to encourage children to step away from the screen, but it takes some effort from their guardians. Giving children attention for playing outside or making a new friend is a great way to encourage them to do it again, resulting in less time with video games and hopefully more time for you.
You can also use a parental monitoring app, like Jiminy, to learn more about your child’s phone habits. After all, before you solve a problem, you need to know about it…

For some extra reading about helping kids deal with their spare time, click:
Rainy and Snowy Day Activities
Boredom is good for you
1-on-1 time
Parent’s guide to Snapchat

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