Digital Detox: How to Break Up with Technologies as a Family
Technology has become an everyday element of contemporary living. It doesn’t matter if you’re a tech wizard or a technophobe, chances are you own a digital device or two. The convenience of technology can often lead to people spending excessive amounts of time in front of the screen, including children. In fact, 5-7 year-olds typically spend 4 hours doing just this.
To combat the overuse of technologies, your family can embark on a digital detox. This may seem daunting, but there are lots of simple ways to get started and convince the wholefamily to join, children and adults alike.
How to encourage children to ditch the screen
Technology can be very entertaining. Whether they are watching a film on their tablet or scrolling through social media, it can be difficult to limit your children’s screen time. Here are three ways you can encourage everyone in your family to ditch the screen.
Communicate your plans
Communication is key in any relationship. To help your family cleanse themselves of screentime, be open and honest from the start. Your intentions should be laid out and explained, whatever your reasoning. This way, children won’t be taken aback or rebel against what might seem like a sudden disciplinary surprise. If everyone is aware of what is to come, it might not seem so bad.
Limiting screen time
Rather than cutting out digital time altogether, you can limit the uses of technology in your home. This is a more democratic way of detoxing from social media. After all, not all technologies are an ineffective use of time. There are a whole host of educational YouTube channels waiting to entertain and educate your child. So, you could try to redirect screentime to more educational pursuits. The trick is moderation.
Lead by example
Children look to their parents for advice. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mother or father, you are likely one of the biggest role models for your children. So, it is always a good idea to lead by example. Ensure you follow the rules that are put in place, even if they are loose. These are supposed to work for the whole family, after all, not just your children.
Alternative activities for the whole family
Convincing your family to reduce their time in front of the screen is only the first step. Next, you need to come up with ways to replace the phone, tablets, and computers. Here are three alternative activities for the whole family to enjoy.
More often than not, children and adults choose to turn to technology out of boredom. We’ve all picked up our smartphones without registering our intentions. To ensure your family isn’t tempted to face the screen, you can go on outdoor weekend adventures. The countryside is teeming with picturesque walks and invigorating cycling routes, after all.
The weather in Britain can be unforgiving. On rainy Saturdays, your children may want to stay inside and play on the computer. With a decent set of outdoor clothing – from girl’s wellies to boy’s waterproof jackets – you can enjoy the outdoors on any day of the year.
Family movie nights
In addition to leaving the house, your family can also occupy your evenings with family game nights. Rather than each of your children spending time on their tablets, you can all jointogether and play some classic board games.
One of the best things about game night is the snacks, such as popcorn. Whether you’re a fan of salty or sweet, you can munch on a delicious bowl of popcorn. You can even shake things up and make your own toffee popcorn – who wouldn’t want that?
It may be tempting to turn on your tablet before going to bed, whether it’s to watch entertaining TV shows or play your favourite mobile games. This habit can actually be extremely bad for your whole family. In fact, research shows thatlooking at a screen before bed is directly correlated with children achieving a minimal amount of sleep.
To stop your children from staring at a screen before they go to sleep, you can run a bedtime yoga session. A few sets of simple stretches can improve your child’s quality of sleep. Feeling relaxed before going to bed is important, so you can even play some relaxing music while you do the downward dog.
A digital detox may seem daunting at first. If your whole family works together to achieve your shared goals, excessive screentime could become a thing of the past. Which alternative activity will your family try first?