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Screen Time Alternatives

Get Your Family Life Back On Track With Tech-Break

“For many of us, we don’t have much of an option to switch off when so many life domains are managed via our digital devices. Therefore, this increasing digital saturation has meant we are becoming more reliant on our devices than ever before, making it increasingly difficult to switch off, disengage and detox.

This makes us compulsive towards these digital tools’ integration in our everyday, which can then lead to tech fatigue, digitally induced stress and anxiety via social media lifestyle comparisons, excessive scrolling, and an ‘always on’ work culture, to name just a few impacts.”  – Dr. Rachael Kent, Lecturer in Digital Economy & Society Education, King’s College London.

Time and time again, it has proven to be near impossible to get children and young adults off their devices. And Covid-19 lockdowns only further highlight this struggle.

“Agreeing limits on screen time is great but sometimes parent’s need a bit of extra help to avoid battles and help children learn to self-regulate. It removes the parent from the enforcer role – especially if the rules have been agreed to by the children.

When children do something physical, like putting a device away in a particular place, it can help process and reinforce the routine. Children thrive on routines as it gives them confidence and helps embed healthy habits.” – Dr. Amanda Gummer, Child Development Expert and Psychologist.

There are numerous activities you can engage in as a family, away from the screens.

A good example would be establishing a family game night in your home. Depending on your schedules, it can be one night a week or over the course of a weekend. Where all gadgets and devices are stored away safely in the Tech-Break device as the family time commences. An added bonus, as this will also prevent cheating!

Each family member can then be tasked to come up with a game idea they wish to play collectively each week, so that the games are done in rotation and everyone has a say – in order to make the game nights easy to set up and to keep at bay any potential conflicts.

Game options are extensive and can even range from Who Wants to Be a Millionaire style games to quizzes or even select from a collection of board games. Please refer to the ‘Break Out The Board Games’ article for some ideas.

Other alternatives to screen time could be simple, such as going for an outing as a family and catching up on quality time or going for a stroll in the park for some fresh air to clear your head, which is bound to boost your mental health. As would going to the gym or spending some family time doing workout routines together over the weekend, depending on your preferred choice.

Participating in activities that promote physical and mental-wellbeing such as yoga or mediation would be another beneficial alternative away from the screens. Giving those fingers a much-needed break from the strenuous scrolling and instead working all the other parts of your body that may have previously been neglected. Further improving your physique and releasing any of your day-to-day stresses either individually or as a family.

And if you’re looking for some competitive fun, there’s also partaking in a family cook or bake off to see who can come up with the tastiest meal whilst also giving individuals an opportunity to try out new recipes or brush up on their cooking/baking skills.

Otherwise you may be inclined to take up a new hobby such as knitting, reading, writing, painting, enrolling in a pottery class, role play re-enactments with family or friends via script-reading, charades or even a fun game of Twister – all of which are guaranteed fun.

Whatever the activity, there’s plenty of fun to be had away from the screens through being social and making new connections in real life.

Disconnect to Connect. What’s YOUR screen-time alternative?