If you’re becoming concerned with the lack of motivation your kid’s have to get outside, don’t get be discouraged, get proactive. Television and the continuous surge of electronic devices seem to have taken the place of playing outside. Psychologically, scientific research has proven that electronics evoke a rush of stimuli while releasing a flood of dopamine from the brain. Needless to say, television and electronic products become quickly addictive and act as an emotional safety net during stressful (or happy) times.
Now, this isn’t to say television or electronics should be cut from your child’s life entirely. There are a lot of wonderful and useful things tech-entertainment can give our children. For example, you can follow this link to see satellite TV provider DirectTV plans for wonderful ways to find fascinating and fun options for the entire family. But limitations should be considered a requirement in every household to avoid the risk of electronic addiction.
Here’re some helpful and easy tips you can implement into your kid’s lives today:
Play with your kids. After a long day of work or long day schlepping around with the kids, the last thing you might feel like doing is playing outside with them. But the truth is, you’re the biggest motivator in your kid’s life. The more you stress being active each day, the more your kids will interpret this as significant. Not to mention, it won’t hurt you to get outside as well, as a little fresh air and running around can be a wonderful way to reduce stress.
Introduce different physical activities. Depending on your kid’s age(s), you can help them to learn different age-appropriate activities that they can implement into their lives. For example, if your kid is six years old or less—hide and go seek, duck duck goose and tag are easy and age-appropriate activities. Once your kids get a bit older, introduce flag football, whiffle ball, basketball and other activities that require a bit more hand-eye coordination and rules.
Monitor what your children see. With so many options of channels and themed-programming to navigate through, there’re plenty of great and fun choices your kids can watch on television. On the other hand, there’re just as much inappropriate channels to watch as well. So, when your kids are away from school or tucked in bed, customize their viewing options coordinated with what you deem as an appropriate channel. The best part is, they won’t even know what you did.
Practice what you preach. If you love watching television or spending long hours on your electronic device, guess what? Your children will probably too. Set a good example for your children, and don’t even have to open your mouth. Show them what healthy activities you enjoy doing, such as reading, cooking, exercising, etc.
Create electronic-free zones. The bedroom can be a wonderful way for your child to find a sense of independence or self-reliance; however, not if all he or she is doing is watching television or spending time on social media. Make certain areas in the house mandatory electronic-free zones, which will help your children understand that there is a time and a place for its use.
Dance. Be spontaneous with your children. If they’re watching too much TV or spending too much time on the Internet, flip on the stereo motivate them to wiggle their little bodies. Music this early in their lives is something most likely they’re unfamiliar with. And you never know, may be you just sparked a wonderful new interest into their lives.