Getting your kids outdoors
Kids nowadays seem to know more about iPhones and PS4s than “chor-police” and “pitthu”. The rise of technology, while making our lives extremely easy, has also given rise to a generation that prefers spending times indoor than outside. This can have many problems, including health and social problems.
Kids should be limited to less than two hours of entertainment-based screen time per day, and shouldn’t have TVs or Internet access in their bedrooms, according to reports from pediatricians in the United States.
Here are a few things that parents can do to ensure that children drop their phones and play outdoors.
Apart from limiting all entertainment screen time — including TV, the Internet and various smart devices — to less than two hours daily, children under age 2 should not be allowed screen time. While this is bound to be met with resistance, parents should put their feet down for the greater good.
A good idea is that parents should watch TV shows and movies with children, and monitor their media usage. Finally, families should define clear rules, such as curfews for internet use, or limits on cell phone use during dinner.
The problem is that many parents are clueless about technology and the impact they have on their kids. Children shouldn’t have Internet access or televisions in their rooms, because that makes it too hard for parents to monitor kids’ media use.
You have to keep in mind that the rules you impose will not be popular. So you need to balance it out. A great idea is to get kids to go outside with their gadgets!
This approach is brilliant because you utilize the children’s interest to introduce a passion for the outdoors. If you just keep telling them to “go out and play”, they are more likely to rebel. But if you can get them to take their phones and pads outside, it’s a win/win for everyone.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Use technology to help plan or inspire your next outdoor adventure. (Like a Pokemon Go contest)
- Keep a record of the outdoor experiences with the help of photos, videos or an electronic journal of adventures
- There are certain apps that help kids turn a walk in the park into an interactive experience with scavenger hunts, nature hikes, and other exciting games.
- Another great idea would be to simply let kids use their gadget’s camera to try to capture the most amazing nature shot. Or let them surf the web to look up the tree or bird that they saw in the park.
As parents you should know that – technology is here to stay. While you might have to be a bit strict but if it helps your kids fall in love with nature, it is going to be worth it.