Steps to Raising Unplugged Kids
It may be a little difficult at first when it comes to taking the right steps on raising unplugged kids. If you’re a parent, you know times are different from when you were growing up. You probably remember riding bikes all summer and building snowmen all winter. Kids nowadays would rather watch YouTube or play games on a tablet. Technology is a blessing and a curse, it helps people to stay connected but also creates a disconnection.
What is Unplugged Living?
Living unplugged means to live your life without technology, such as television, tablets, smartphones, and video games. There is so much loss when becoming addicted or overusing these devices. Raising unplugged kids doesn’t mean they’re never around technology or never use it, but it’s limited in their life so that it’s not a large focus.
Impacts of Technology on Children
Too much screen time tends to overstimulate the brain and can put kids into stress. These children are more prone to having tantrums, mood swings, sleep problems, and poor eye contact. Social media is a danger to all kids, no matter their age. This is because it exposes kids to inappropriate content and bullies, affecting self-esteem which can increase the risk of depression and anxiety.
- Childhood Obesity has reached its all-time high, technology is contributing to that.
- Kids often reenact things and scenes they see, because they are influenced by their surroundings.
- A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that kids ranging from 8-18 spend an average of seven and a half hours on cell phones a day.
- Recent studies show that frequent screen time causes atrophy (loss of tissue volume or shrinkage) in gray matter areas, where the “processing” takes place.
- When children watch shows, videos, or play games, and then it is taken away there will be a withdrawal period. They will often become irritable, anxious, and nervous. Their movements will be erratic and impulsive (similar to drug withdrawal although, not as extreme).
Raising a Minimalist kid
It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Perhaps you go out to a restaurant and you need your antsy toddler to sit down, so you give them your phone, or you need to finish the laundry so you put a show on for your kids. There are endless scenarios, but also different ways you can approach them. Being a minimalist can help your kids get out of technology and have a meaningful life.
Best advice would be, baby steps. Your kids will more than likely experience that withdrawal mentioned above.
- Most things start within the home, so lead by example.
- Decide how and when to eliminate devices, maybe no devices after 7 p.m. or no phones at the dinner table.
- Get outside and move, anything to keep your kids busy (hiking, swimming, riding bikes,etc.).
- Family game nights or movie nights without devices is also a great idea.
- Follow a routine. Studies show that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
- Set your family up for success; have designated places for devices (no bedrooms).
I would like to say that these steps on raising unplugged kids would be an easy transition, but more than likely it will take some time to get used to. It’s our responsibility as parents to teach our kids to take advantage of modern technology but without being consumed by it. Introducing fun family activities will keep the whole family motivated to stay off devices. Overall, it’s important for a routine to be created and for the entire family to take part in the changes.
I hope you have found this post on Steps to Raising Unplugged Kids to be useful to you.
Further reading ideas
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