If technology is making your kids lazy, try these 7 tricks

Are you a hapless mom trying to get your lazy kids to avoid being couch potatoes? Here are 7 tips on how to limit screen time in their life.

Ways to limit technology use
Expose your child to a life outside screens! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Himani Narula Published on: 13 August 2022, 11:30 am IST
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Physical activity is good for our well-being, but inactivity can also be harmful to our health. Research has shown that excessive time spent watching television, playing video games, using computers, riding motorized vehicles, and so forth leads to poor fitness later in life, to weight gain, and to an increased risk of chronic diseases. As parents, it’s important for you to know how to limit screen time.

Modifying your children’s leisure-time habits can be especially challenging. But a gradual decrease of one sedentary activity will nurture your kid’s good physical habits. Try employing some interesting pastimes more often to start, to help them reduce use of technology and screen time.

Tips to limit screen time in children:

1. Make room for play:

Does your living area have a spot for your kid to run about his/her imagination? Exercising won’t occur unless there’s a spot to do it safely. Remove an unobstructed space from your living room, playroom, or kitchen, and keep it there for your quarantine. Put away or eliminate any fragile items so they’re not easily injured or destroyed.

Play time for children
Play time is important! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Reward and encourage active behavior:

Kids are naturally attracted to movement and want to run around. They tend to run after their pet, dance to their favored music, and toss a ball. But, kids can also be sensitive to their parents’ needs. If working at home, your child will likely begin keeping their room to yourself. If you become irritated by loud noises, they may become hesitant to initiate a dance party or throw a ball against the closet door.

3. Limit video screen time:

Parents should curtail their children’s recreational screen time (television, computer, and video games) to at most two hours per day. Don’t put a television in your child’s bedroom, don’t watch television during dinner, and shut off computers and similar devices within a supervised living room to limit technology use.

4. Be a good role model:

Your kids will desire to follow in your footsteps, so bring forth them bit by bit and ensure your parenting behaviors are as positive and active as possible. Your actions and behavior will help them develop a general sense of healthy activity throughout their whole lifetime. Get your children to become active too so that you and they can make it a priority.

Also read: Teach your kids these 5 easy yoga asanas to help them stay active and calm

Yoga for children
Engage kids in physical activity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Let them try things:

Parents may force kids to participate in sports and activities they don’t really want to take part in. The fact is that not every kid likes football or dancing! If you let them try out new things, they might discover a love for yoga or fencing that will make them feel enthusiastic about exercise.

6. Find alternative ways to be active:

Instead of playing typical video gaming, try something else like skateboarding and rollerblading. Go for a stroll with your pet dog if you have one. Even gardening is exercise. If the weather is bad, kids can enjoy dancing inside.

7. Be different:

Your child dislikes anything that might be considered fun with physical activity. Come up with your own games that are fun with activity without promoting exercise. Things like scavenger hunts, hide and seek games, and even Pokémon Go can help you create many ways to keep your child moving, without ever having to exercise.

Get creative with children
Get creative with children. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A healthy life equals a healthy mind for a child

These ideas may not work for every child, but try them out and see what sticks and, hopefully, your kid won’t be a couch potato!

Talk to your toddler’s doctor regarding the physical activities which are appropriate for your child. Accommodate your toddler’s activity clothing, accessories and supplies to ensure your child is comfortably protected as she plays. A perfectly fitting bicycle helmet is important!

Encourage your child to follow a healthy lifestyle and exercises, limiting screen time, and getting plenty of quality sleep. Healthy habits during childhood are the first step toward a healthy, active adult.

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About the Author
Dr Himani Narula Dr Himani Narula

Dr Himani Narula Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrician Director and Co-founder of Continua kids

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