Tired of seeing your kids sit hour upon hour in front of the television or totally immersed in their PlayStation? Sure! But what actually happens when you ask them to turn it off? Usually nothing. And that’s the problem. Kids need about 2 hours of physical activity everyday.
How to get them off it and outside? Well the best method is to set a time limit on the amount of TV or computer games they use. Please note I said or, not both. An hour a day is plenty for kids of all ages. Less is even better. TV has no place in the learning domain of children younger than 1yr, they have so much to learn from their world, the people in it and the goings on around them that TV is not needed.
It’s worth remembering at this point that you are the parent and at times that means making your own judgments and decisions and sticking to them for the benefit of your child. Hopefully you are wisely choosing what programs are suitable for that hour and “Home and Away” isn’t one of them, no matter what your child says to the contrary.
A warning that the hour is nearly up is a sensible way to let your child know is nearly time to turn it off…5 minutes before is enough. Setting a timer is always helpful. Then on the hour ask your child once to turn it off. And once only, or else you become the nag of “turn that TV off, now” then action – time to stop what your doing and go over and turn it off yourself.
Now to get them outside? Simply make the commitment to go yourself. If you join in and initiate a game of soccer, jump on that trampoline, looking like your having fun in no time at all they will join you. Take yourself outside. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is.