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05-02 Screen-Free Week: Tips to keep kids away from smart-screens

Posted in Parenting

Screen-Free Week: Tips to keep kids away from smart-screens

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today

– Barbara Johnson

Delta resident Tanya Moore lives by the above saying. Like all mothers, she too was sick and tired of seeing her kids glued to screens, be it of smartphones, computers or televisions, all the time. But unlike most mothers, she did not let the grim grow on her. She did her best to get her kids off TV and video games by coming up with activities that were engaging, fun and educational. Once she understood the trick, she never looked back thereafter.

To spread awareness about the harmful effects of being too dependent on smart screens and to encourage parents to spend time with their children, beyond the screen, Screen-Free Week is observed in the United States. This year it will be observed from April 30-May 6.

Here are some activities that can help a parent be a part of his/her children’s life and get involved with them:

  1. Playing “Show Me How” by asking kids things they find themselves less skilled at or incapable of doing. Spending time teaching them such skills.
  2. Taking them on “sound-hunting” to let them know that in addition to the importance of words, they also need to be able to relate to sounds they are surrounded by. It is a good way to make them aware of their surroundings.
  3. Spread ing positivity and teaching them to value what they have by asking them to write notes containing positive things and leave them randomly in places around their rooms, playing space, etc.
  4. Making grocery shopping fun by asking kids to total the cost of things purchased as and when an item is added to the cart. Reward the kid whose calculation is the closest to the actual cost.
  5. Teaching them to be helpful to their kids by encouraging them to surprise their siblings or other family members by doing things that they dislike the most.
  6. Inculcating the habit of helping others by playing a hunt for loose change and then donating the collected money for a cause.
  7. Playing If I lived here or did this… to help them expand their horizons and think beyond the imaginable.E This will also instill the confidence in them to be able to share their thoughts openly.
  8. Involving them in kitchen tasks like sorting vegetables and mixing the batter. Leave them alone to see what new ideas they come up with. Pancake art is also an excellent option.

Internet addiction can be treated

Parenting is a tough job, but with the right mindset and composure, it can be handled well. Just make the most of what children enjoy the most to succeed in keeping them away from screens and becoming a victim of internet addiction. Symptoms of internet addiction include feelings of guilt, isolation, anxiety, depression, inability to schedule or complete tasks, defensiveness and agitation.

If your teen boy is addicted to the internet or the smartphone and is stubborn about not mending his habits, then he may need professional guidance. Addiction is a mental disease. Do not hesitate to consult an expert for teen mental health treatment. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego specializes in providing treatment to teenagers for their mental health, addiction and other associated problems. For more information about our world class mental health rehab for teens, call at our 24/7 helpline. You can also chat with our online counselor for more information.

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