Its 2014 and you know what that means? It means that we live in a time where our lives are plugged in. Think of your lives when you were your children’s age. Think of the things you used to do to spend free time. You’d remember collecting bugs in a mason jar. Pretending to be explorers on an adventure. Tell ghost stories in the dark with a flashlight. Do your kids do any of that? Probably not.
Because they are plugged in all the time. Their mobile phones, their tablets, their laptops, their game consoles is how they play, study, learn things, spend free time. And while all of this is great, we’re making leaps in technology yadayadayada, this persistent need for tech is not good for the body, and it’s not good for the brain.
So let us teach you how to perform a simple digital detox on your kids to keep them healthier.
What is Digital Detox?
Simply, plugging out. Logging off. Switching off all your little gadgets—laptops, phones and all—for a certain amount of time to restore your brain.
Let me use that smartphone your kids love so much to make an analogy. You know how sometimes your phone heats up and stops working, so you switch it off for like half an hour? This is basically the same principal. Teaching your kids to love themselves as much as they love their smartphones.
Plan a digital detox for at least 4-5 hours every day.
Things You’ll Need
For starters, your kids are going to need a lot of motivation. These devices have given us digital connectivity but they have hindered real life organicsymbiosis. Know that feeling of constant distraction when you’re trying to make conversation?
Did someone Tweet me?
Did I get a reply on my Facebook yet?
Was that my phone buzzing?
Should I check for notifications now?
So your kids are going to need a lot of motivation to just plug out and stay away from it all. At least for a few hours of their day.
What To Do When Unplugged?
Constructive things outside the digital life. I’m not saying that kids don’t do constructive things on the internet. I’m saying that as children, they need to have a life outside of it to stay healthy.
- If you’ve got younger children, encourage them to play outside
- Use the detox time to get them to do something creative like crafts or gardening
- Read a book. A proper paperback, not an eBook
- It is a good idea to detox during study hours unless online research is required
- Use this time to polish up their skills or encourage them to learn something new
- It is also a good time to connect with family over dinner or a board game
When your kids are plugged out, they’re going to feel like they suddenly have a lot of times on their hands. And that’s good! To have a healthy mind and body, they need a balanced life. Unplugging just lets them find time for themselves.
Digital Detox Furthers Self-Discovery
What your kids don’t realize is that all those hours they are wasting away on their computers doing meaningless things (collecting likes on a selfie for example), they could’ve been doing something constructive. Digital detox will help them with self-discovery. They’ll be better assimilated with their interests which could later on blossom into useful talents.