As we all know, our children’s brains undergo some pretty amazing development when they are young.
Afterall, we have been taught for years that this brain development is the foundation for their cognitive abilities when they are adults.
Digital Detox Helping Kids
What not many of us know, is that during the teen years, their brains are also experiencing some pretty heavy construction as they start a final push for maturation.
You may ask yourself why I am talking about brains, but here is the deal: our children’s brains, no matter their age, are malleable and constantly developing.
Children’s Brains and the Need for a Digital Detox Helping Kids Strike a Balance between Screens
This is a key fact that we need to remember when we allow our sons and daughters access to technology and screen time.
Our beloved screens and devices are doing way more to our kids than just keeping them occupied.
In fact, the fast paced stimuli of today’s technology can change the hardwiring of our kids’ brains which affects a variety of life skills, such as: patience, school performance, ability to work, read emotional cues, how to handle downtime, and so much more.
This realization is a little frightening, because we naturally only want the best for our kids and today’s children are highly connected to a world full of screens.
In fact, children and teens spend an average of 9 hours everyday in front of a screen of some kind.
This can be from our smartphones, televisions, computers, handheld gaming devices, tablets, laptops, and so on.
Helping Kids Strike a Balance Between Screens
While our devices do have a time and place in our lives, we can obviously see that our sons and daughters are spending too much time swiping and tapping away their days.
When we combine a sedentary lifestyle with the mind altering stimuli associated with screens, we are setting our kids up for a not so happily ever after.
Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom.
With a little proactive parenting and mindful choices, we will help our kids strike a balance between screens to reclaim their childhoods and futures.
Please scroll through the following 7 tips for a digital detox helping kids and ways to help our kids find balance with technology in their lives:
Keep screens in common living areas
A good rule to help kids unplug and find a healthy balance with their devices is to only allow technology to be used in the living room, den, game room, etc.
Encourage them to power down electronics during family meals, game nights, events, and keep all tech out of bedrooms.
This will ensure kids have downtime and can find sanctuary from the constant connectivity our screens provide.
Restrict the amount of data available on their smartphones and other technologies
Children will be more cautious and deliberate with their online interactions if only allowed a set amount.
This tactic can help kids enjoy their devices while keeping overuse in check.
Reconnect as a family
The mere thought of a digital detox can send kids into panic mode (and even a few of us parents), but we can provide fun alternatives to occupy their time.
Start a family game night, head outside for a game of soccer, take a hike, join a scouting group, and so on.
Doing things together is a great way to power down and build strong relationships.
Sit down together and calmly create a document that outlines all your expectations and consequences for using technology.
This process and agreement will keep future problems from developing and avoid miscommunications and disagreements down the road.
Designate a curfew for technology and screens
Every night, power down all screens at a set time.
This should help prevent sleep interruptions from glowing screens and constant updates while allowing everyone to recharge their batteries figuratively and literally.
- Let children earn screen time by playing outdoors, completing chores, reading, and more
This will help kids strike a healthy balance between screens and other activities in their lives.
- Start a discussion about the need to balance technology in our lives.
Honestly talk to children about the role technology should be playing in our day-to-day lives.
Kids are smart and can identify if what you are saying has merit.
This information can empower them to make educated choices about how they use technology and screen time.
Moving Forward… Digital Detox Helping Kids
We can’t realistically eliminate all screens and technology from our kids’ lives.
Our devices allow us to communicate, access information, and connect with friends and families in ways that weren’t possible 20 years ago.
Whether we want to admit it or not, screens are here to stay and will be a part of our sons’ and daughters’ lives.
However, we do have the ability to give them the appropriate skills to balance technology and safely navigate the digital world.