School is ending soon, and the kids will be out for summer! As fun as it is having the kids at home for a few months, it can also be quite the challenge. How are they going to spend all their time? How can we keep them engaged, learning, and growing? What camps and activities do we want to sign them up for to keep them busy?
One of the larger problems with kids in this decade is the issue of spending all of their time indoors, sitting on a couch, and staring at their phones, computers, or televisions.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids between the ages of 2 and 5 should have no more than one hour of screen time per day, and children between the ages of 6 and 18 should have no more than two hours of screen time per day.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that most children exceed the recommended guidelines. Common Sense Media found through a study that 53% of 11- to 12-year-olds use screens for more than two hours per day, and 26% use screens for more than four hours per day.
Excessive screen time has been linked to various negative results, such as weight gain, insomnia or trouble sleeping, and trouble focusing in school. As parents, it is crucial to regulate screen time, such as taking phones away at night and during dinner time, as well as having limitations on television and computer usage, especially during the summer. Try to model healthy habits to encourage your kids to go outside and partake in other activities, like reading, spending time outside, gardening, or taking up an interest in sports or other creative outlets.
Walking the walk is one of the best ways to model healthy habits for your kids. Parents are the biggest influencers and role models for a child throughout their lives. If you instill healthy practices in your life, they will follow suit! It is a win-win situation – your kids will be partaking in positive activities, and you will also feel the benefits of a positive mental health shift when spending time exercising, playing games, reading, gardening, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas on how to get the kiddos to embrace life off of the screen…
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