How to reduce the effects of screen-time for kids

November 1, 2018

 

Parents, hands up who is sick of Fortnight?

 

I just don’t get it.

 

Drive past our weekend football coaching sessions in Leeds and you’ll see 100’s of kids ‘flossing’ (in-between learning some awesome new football skills of course!).

 

Even worse, how about the YouTube videos that some kids watch…of other kids playing with toys! Madness.

 

Like it or not, screen-time is increasing and it will only get worse.

 

Thing is, children do need to understand mobile devices as it is very likely that they will be using them for EVERYTHING by the time they have their own kids. Did someone say teleporting?!

 

The Fortnite craze is insane and with FIFA 19 released a few weeks ago there are now more reasons for them to want to stay indoors.

 

As opposed to blanket-banning it all, try these tips below to at least make screen-time a bit more productive.

 

 

Stand

 

The benefits of standing are immense (see the rise of standing desks at offices) but kids can also get the positives.

 

Allow them to play on their mobile device but insist that they stand whilst doing so for a period of time.

 

Then have some fun with it and get them to stand on one leg whilst playing their favourite computer game.

 

 

Forfeits & Celebrations 

 

Let’s take FIFA as an example.

 

Explain to your child they can play it BUT they need to do a forfeit if the other team score i.e. run around the garden ten times, 20 press-ups, run on the spot for a minute. 

 

Likewise, if your child scores, they need to do some sort of elaborate dance-style celebration.

 

When it comes to movement – every little helps!

 

 

If you do this, you get that

 

When it comes to parenting, we know a last resort can be the good-old bribe!

 

But children do need to understand that owning a device is a luxury and playing on it needs to be earned.

 

From an exercise point of view, you can balance out the hour they will spend with a control pad in their hand by making them do some sort of 10-15-minute exercise routine.

 

The computer is earned by them doing something productive.

 

This could be getting them to do a certain number of keepy-ups before they’re allowed to play computer games or 10 minutes practising a football skill they’ve learned.

 

Devices will be part of our culture now so we need to appreciate we can’t completely ban them from our children.

 

What we can do is little things like the above to help from both a physical and mental perspective.

 

Thanks for reading!

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