Are you a parent of a child between the ages of 8-13? If so, this is for you!
Really this is for all parents! Between video games, phones, computers, and more there is no escaping kids and their fascination with electronics.
Children and their use of electronics is a concern for many parents. I am a father of 3; ages 10, 13 and 15 and I am fighting the good fight with you.
I was recently asked to speak with other parents on the topic of children and their use of electronics, and wanted to share some points with you.
It can be difficult to pull kids away from electronics, but I have found replacing time on electronics with physical activity has better results!
Through trial and practice I have found some great ways to refocus children on activities and fitness rather than having them stare at a screen or play video games. Being a part of this transitioning will reinforce good habits for your kids in the long run.
These tips will help cut down the time your child is on electronic devices while creating healthy habits. Additionally, you will have time to bond with your kids, burn calories, and release more beneficial hormones. Consistency is the key for these 4 tips below!
- Lead by Example! This is probably the most difficult for a number of parents, but the one I feel is most important. Your child mimics what you do (good and bad), so if you’re on your electronic devices “non-stop” they will do the same.
- Set a Physical Activity Goal for the Day and Week and Reward Them. I suggest you set a physical activity goal for not only your child, but yourself as well. You can keep one another accountable. This will empower them. Adults need at least 30 minutes of activity daily – kids need 2 x’s that much! Work up to this if you are out of practice.
- Earn “Play Electronics” Time. Every 2 minutes of exercise they earn a minute. Every 2 minutes of homework, chores, etc… they earn a minute. This is a great way to add something else in without necessarily taking something away.
- Take an Interest in Their Games, School, Physical Activity, etc. If your child is a gamer and/or just likes to use various electronic devices, ask them about what they are playing and/or watching. Taking an interest in all aspects of their life will help them to feel that they are not doing something wrong by playing and will be less apt to hide the amount of time they are on devices. This also creates in them a habit of talking to you about what they are interested in.
It may seem that electronics and all of the devices that are available are keeping our kids occupied and out of trouble. However, the benefits of exercise surpass any contentment electronics may provide. Exercising at least 20 minutes a day provides: enhanced information processing, increased memory functions, fights depression and moodiness, prevents obesity and body issues, decreases fatigue, and creates a sense of pride.
Communicating with your child about working together towards better fitness and away from the control of electronics is a necessary conversation that benefits the entire family!
Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to scottstrainingsystems.com or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.