Between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and social engagements, it may seem like your child doesn’t enjoy much downtime. While this may be true, that downtime doesn’t need to get filled with electronic entertainment. We’re all guilty of vegging in front of our TVs, consoles, and computers, but there are real advantages to spending downtime unplugged.
Use your children’s unplugged time as an opportunity to reconnect. You might play a board game, sit and eat together, or collectively tackle household chores. What’s important is that you’re spending time interacting with one another.
Family time also gives you a chance to find out what’s going on in your child’s world. It often takes kids a “warming up” period before they’ll engage in an open dialogue with you, so it’s important to invest the time and energy. Your attention is something your child can never get from a screen.
When the weather is nice, get everyone outside. We need fresh air and sunshine from time to time. Take the kids to a local park, beach, or walking trail. Tune up your wheels and go for a family bike ride, or walk the family dog. Sometimes a dose of vitamin D is just what your child needs to regroup and reenergize.
Let’s face it, screen time means sitting time. Unplugging your kids can help get them moving. It doesn’t mean you have to go outside, either. Putting on some music and having a dance party in the living room is a healthier way to relax and have fun than watching TV.
You also can engage your kids with household chores or yard work. They may grumble, but when everyone’s pitching in—and they have your undivided attention—they’ll soon forget to complain. Plus they will be moving their bodies!
There is real value in time spent together—unplugged and engaged. When your child is grown, they won’t remember all those times they browsed the internet or watched their favorite television shows. Disconnect to reconnect today, and make some memories that will last a lifetime.