If you are having trouble getting your kids away from video games and back out into the sunshine, you are not alone. Many parents go through this with their kids and while an hour a day of screen games is sometimes ok, it still steals time away from healthy socialization. Gaming addiction seems to be a big problem in this modern day and age of technology and while it may sound easy to stop kids from playing video games instead of socializing and interacting with friends, it just isn’t.
Video games aren’t the only problem. It is “screens” in general. Achieving mindfulness has become increasingly more difficult as our lives get busier, but as parents, we have to make an effort to give our kids the best opportunity at a healthy life that involves positive interaction and communication.
Nowadays, quality time with friends and family is imperative for positive social skill development and bonding. Don’t worry, you can wean your kids off the video games and get them back outside in no time if you take action.
Set a Healthy Example
Even though most of us adults socialize through media platforms, Skype and Iphone apps, our kids don’t need to be exposed to all of that. Let your kids be kids and keep them away from Facebook, Twitter, computer games and cell phones for as long as you can. When you are using any of these devices or social media applications, try to do it away from the kids. Kids are sponges and they copy things their parents do because they see them as acceptable. Show them how to communicate naturally without the help of a screen, handheld device or otherwise. Actively listen, teach them communication skills and allow them to converse with you openly and freely.
Back to Nature
Sometimes the best way to get your children away from TV screens and video games is to reconnect them with nature. Go on a camping trip, a picnic or just go play at the park. Take a family vacation to somewhere remote where you have to live off the land or catch your own dinner. Teach them that real living is not in front of a screen and that it is important to stop and smell the flowers, feel the leaves, smell the fresh air and spend time with loved ones.
Lock it Down
This might be tricky but if the natural approach of taking them outdoors or on a trip, or if practicing natural communication does not work, put your foot down. Or shall we say, lock. Kids that are already hooked on video games may do all kinds of sneaky things to get time with their games such as waking in the middle of the night to creep down to the basement where the Xbox and Playstation is. This can greatly effect their sleep cycle and mood. Put a lock through the end of the plug on the video game console. This will reduce the hours of video game play by a landslide!