Reducing screentime

Here are some ideas to encourage children to have less screen time and more family time. Role model appropriate use of electronic devices and teach kids to experience life in the present.

1. Set screen time rules and etiquette. For example, no phones at meals or no electronic devices in bedrooms during sleep time. Get kids to pay for their own airtime, motivating them to use devices with more caution.
2. Educate. Show them facts and figures on why excessive use of electronic media is bad for their mental and physical well being.
3. Have a regular games night where family members and friends can join in. For example, board games like Scrabble or 30 Seconds. Create your own bingo or Karaoke night.
4. Go Ten Pin Bowling and enjoy a meal or treat afterwards.
5. Ice skating rinks often have vibey music and are a fun form of exercise.
6. An outdoor hike with a picnic can be rejuvenating.
7. Get them interested in cooking and baking their favourite food or treats.
8. Encourage them to take walks with you and their dogs, if they have them.
9. Find outdoor trails and go for a bike ride and have breakfast afterwards.
10. Go fishing at a dam.
11. Encourage them to have friends over and be social. For example, a pool party.
12. Get them involved in exercise whether it is a team sport or going to gym with you. Set up cricket stumps or a volleyball net at home, if you have a big enough garden.
13. Find a club or activity that encourages participation or leadership like Drama, Scrapbooking, Photography or Scouts.
14. Find holiday camps where they can enjoy holidays with their age group and also have opportunities to lead younger kids.
15. Do some volunteer work together. Giving back gives kids a healthy perspective on life.
16. Visit a good bookshop. Ask for recommendations and look for books with topics of interest.
17. Go see a live theatrical or musical show.
18. Take them to a place/museum that will interest them such as an art gallery or Science museum.
19. Go to a theme park such as ones with rides or water.
20. Plan holidays or day outings where the mix of new sights and sounds draws them in and away from social media.

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux

Wendy Roux is a mother of a teen and a 12 year old. She has worked in teaching, the corporate environs and publishing. She is also the author of Checklist Parenting, aimed at parents of young school going children. The handbook offers parenting checklists, covering a range of topics, in a well laid out, easy to read format


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