Fellow parents of kids of all ages – mandatory unplugged time is a great parenting plan to start as early as you can. While today’s electronics and technology are amazing and helpful in many ways, society in general is lamenting the loss of kids going out to play.
We all know the stats about childhood obesity climbing and the crazy amount of hours that today’s children spend online, watching TV, and playing video games. I am a Mom who likes these things, I use them myself and encourage the kids to use technology too, but within limits.
During the summer, I am working from home with the boys hanging around. My rule for the summer is that from 1-4 pm each day, they can’t use anything that plugs in/charges/has batteries. Also, I tell them, during this time to go outside unless it’s pouring rain.
During the school year, on school days Monday-Thursday (Friday after school is considered part of the weekend) the boys aren’t allowed to play video games or go on the computer unless it’s specifically for a homework assignment. I do allow some TV time on school day evenings, as I find that the kids like to wind down that way for an hour or so after school, but it’s limited because otherwise they will just plug in. When the boys were younger, I would use a kitchen timer on the microwave to limit the time but now we just look at the clock and I use more of an honour system. If they abuse the honour system, they lose the privilege for the next day.
These systems work for our family, and picking a mandatory unplugged schedule for your family will go a long way to burning up their excess energy, lowering their frustration levels and contributing towards their general well being.