Even when it is clear what you want to do, how do you begin to separate your kids from their video games and TV? Can you turn their attention to other pursuits?
It’s not a simple process, but you can start by talking about why it’s important to reduce your kids’ electronic screen time. Help them see that watching less TV is not a punishment, but rather an important part of their growth. Convince them to buy into the value of unplugging, and you can all brainstorm together about other stimulating activities.
If you are a Sandwiched Boomer, single parent or working mother, you’re likely already stressed by all the responsibility and may be tempted to use television as a baby sitter.
Instead, encourage your children to help you while you are doing chores around the house – bring them into the kitchen to make dinner, let them fold their own laundry, create a game to see who can straighten up faster. Talk with your kids while you’re doing your tasks and make them a part of the process.
Set aside time for them to play outside with their friends. Learn more about after school activities in which your kids can participate – at school, in your local community center, at the park. Check into summer reading competitions at your local library. Even with cutbacks due to the poor economic climate, you can find available creative and physical outlets.
Encourage your children to read instead of watching television or playing video games. With young children, read to them at night before bedtime. Think about how you can make reading more interactive and interesting for your older kids. Set an example – have a good book of your own handy so that you can sit down with them and read together. Help set up a children’s book club for them and their friends.
You’ll find some additional tips for creative activities with your family this summer on our website www.HerMentorCenter.com – feel free to explore it and let us know what’s helpful to you. We welcome your comments, here on the blog and on our new Facebook fan page, Nourishing Family Relationships. Please let us know what’s on your mind. And tune in later this week for more practical tips and strategies for success.