Limit Tech Time
Are your kids bouncing off the walls? Summer “boredom” may not be the culprit. Experts are now pointing fingers at tablets, computers, and phones. According to Psychology Today, even moderate exposure to electronic media can overwhelm a child’s nervous system, causing disruption to their brain chemistry, blood flow, hormone balance, and stress levels, sending the brain to “high-alert” status.
Elaine Hill, a counselor with the Employee Assistance Program at Intermountain Healthcare, recommends assessing each of your children’s needs with regards to tech time. Age and ability to manage tech time will be different from one child to the next, so while your teenager might be able to cope with playing on their technology for an hour or more, two to three times a week, a younger child will do better with shorter times allowed on technology. Elaine also encourages parents to teach the responsibility of monitoring tech time to the child by giving him or her a timer, and then rewarding them for turning off the device when their time is up.
Increase Family TimeSo, what can you do to fill in the time that your kids aren’t on the tablet? Take advantage of the summer days and evenings to spend time together as a family. This doesn’t have to be a pricey, planned out activity. It can be something as simple as family walks, bike rides, or playing catch at the park. This will not only burn off some energy for the kids, but can increase your connection as a family. “Exercising releases endorphins – making you happier,” says Kris Lundeberg, licensed clinical social worker at Sanpete Valley Hospital. “And exercising and spending quality time with your family can improve relationships and create lasting memories.”
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