Leading by Example
It’s obvious how much children enjoy video-games, tablets, smartphones, and TV. But it’s not the healthiest way for them to spend time. Getting them outside is crucial for their development, both physical and mental. So, how can we encourage our kids to spend more time outside, away from these ever-present screens?
This screen-time challenge is common in most North American homes. But what some parents don’t realize is how much they can influence their children’s behaviour through leading by example. When we are more involved with outdoor activities, our children see how we behave and that begins to affect their mindset and habits.
Also, by reducing our screen time, we’re encouraging our children to do the same. By cutting back time spent on devices and increasing time spent together, family time can become more healthy and fun for everyone!
Experiencing nature helps us live well. Every bit of exposure helps. It’s time to get outside.
Tips for limiting screen time:
Limiting children’s screen time can be a real challenge and can sometimes result in upset and frustration. We've pulled together a list of ideas to make it easier to reduce screen time and increase the green time.
- Be a role model: By reducing your screen time, you show them the value of things happening around them - that spending quality time outdoors with family can be more fun than staying inside staring at a screen.
- Establish boundaries: An easy and good example is to not allow gadgets of any type at the dinner table so the family can talk and share each other's day. To make it a challenge, announce that whoever looks at a screen during dinner will be responsible for doing dishes. That will make them think twice!
- Schedule adventures: Once a week, make sure the entire family goes outside for an adventure. It could be a hike or even a simple picnic. It's important to pick a nice spot close to nature and have activities planned so the little ones don't get bored.
- Partner with other parents: Collaborate with other parents from your community. Connect with other parents who are also committed to reducing the screen time in their homes. It’s a good opportunity to share ideas and support each other as you and your family work toward spending more time offline.
Images: Stonz Wear / Unsplash