Time is short for raising our kids to be productive and happy adults. I think there are four groups of parents when it comes to kids and screen time:
-One uses gadgets for a babysitter and to free up their own time.
-The other group begrudgingly allows screen time, because that’s what all kids want to do, and they don’t want their child left out.
-The third group is a combination of the the other two: a little babysitter and a little of wanting their kids to have what’s popular.
-The fourth group opts out in favor of other activities. Steve Jobs was a surprising example.
The kids want TV and electronics because they are entertaining. At what cost? And eye contact, what is that?
Give your child have a blank page on the computer to write a story. Their story-telling creativity might surprise you. Or they could write a letter. You could teach them how to scan, email, and print – all practical skills a video game can’t teach.
Indoor or outdoor challenges, like how many times can you bounce a ball without losing control of it? Then try to break the record! We have done an indoor balloon game where a balloon gets tossed in the air between two people, back and forth while you count how many times it was batted before it eventually lands on the floor. If the hits total 50, then next time try to get past fifty and break the record.
Reading. I used to have the kids read and then be prepared for questions when they were done with the book. Read a book together if your reader is young, by alternating pages between you.
Scouts (They do all kinds of things!)
Life skills. Do your kids know how to wash windows, set the table for dinner, do a load of clothes, change a vacuum bag or empty the vac receptacle? Are you preparing them to be on their own someday?
Exercising. Most homes have the possibility for somehow doing laps in the house if the weather is bad. Right now, one grandson is up to 54 laps indoors. He runs through the kitchen and does a loop through the living room, down the hall and back to the kitchen. On the way, he scoops up a small weight and carries it a lap before bending down to put the weight back on the floor for the next lap, and alternating.
Play Doh sculpting.
Teach how to make a homemade birthday card or a thank you note.
Service to others makes a person feel good and teaches empathy. Ask, “What could you do to help so-and-so?”
Cards and board games teach winning and losing gracefully, and not quitting.
Scrabble. An awesome game that allows breaks between plays if they are needed.
Classic Battleship. If you’ve never played it, you have no idea what fun it is out-maneuvering your opponent.
Simple kitchen tasks that help with meal preparation will go a long way toward the goal of independence one day. Meals don’t magically appear!
Take a walk, ride bikes….fight couch potato syndrome and childhood obesity.
Love my readers, Nealie