Just how many times have we heard it, or mentioned it ourselves: “When we were kids, there was no such thing as constantly sitting in front of a screen, playing games or watching movies” Well quite honestly, there was NO SUCH THING!  We got on with proper toys which were usually educational, or riding bikes or climbing trees, until we were summoned to dinner. WHAT HAS CHANGED? The world has changed.  It has evolved, bringing with it the latest technology which now seems to play a massive role in how we conduct our everyday lives.  Our Youth sadly don’t really know what it would be like to play with miniature cars, Lego or Barbies, let alone climb a tree! Granted, new age technology and devices provide many options, including educational applications, but they provide a lot of other things too, which unfortunately can be less desirable when it comes to children, their leisure time, activities and SCREENS! So, what are the EFFECTS OF TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME:
  • Obesity: When children are inactive, they are not actively burning calories.  Exercise is required to maintain good health
  • Insomia: Being glued to a screen just before bed interrupts sleep.  This reportedly has to do with the light from digital devices causing eye strain.  Over-stimulation of the brain also has an effect on sleep patterns
  • Social Problems:  Children are vulnerable and too much screen time can affect their judgement.  They can become de-sensitised to violence and are often persuaded to re-enact what they see
  • Academic Issues:  The temptation of screen time is great and tends to distract children whilst they should be applying their minds to school-work
Adults are not exempt from abusing screen time.  Valuable family time is neglected whilst many parents engage on social media, or other applications which sometimes seem more attractive than family life. WHAT CONTROL MEASURES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED? IT’S TIME FOR A FAMILY MEETING Discuss the effects of excessive screen time as a family and allow each family member to suggest ideas as to what they feel would be fair as far as screen time is concerned. A few simple ideas could include:
  • Look at signing up Google Family or Family Sharing, available on Android or iOS devices. These apps not only allow you to share music, games but you can also keep better control over what your kids are getting involved in on their devices or even on your Smart TVS.
  • Ban any form of device during mealtimes. It is surprising how pleasant talking to one another, without outside distractions can be.
  • When out and about in the car, stop screen time. Kids should be looking at surroundings and not sitting head down looking at a screen.
  • Bathroom time is bathroom time, as is bedroom time. Electronic devices should not be allowed in either of these two rooms in the house
It’s not all DOOM AND GLOOM – there are many fun activities that can be done together as a family! Discuss ideas and activities that the whole family can enjoy together. Consider perhaps:
  • A camping weekend away where preferably there is little or no available Wi-Fi
  • Outdoor games in the garden or a nearby park
  • Board games
  • A visit to a water park or the beach for a bit of fun in the sun
Adding to the mix of ideas for ‘screen-free’ time-out, Mommy Wellness have awesome Spa packages for Lads and Dads and Pamper packages for Mothers and Daughters. A perfect way to unwind and relax, without a screen to be seen! Don’t wait till your children are all grown up and leave the nest. Get outside, get active or book a day at the Spa and make some special memories today!

But more importantly have fun while you do it!