It seems that it happens in just about every family these days. No matter how active your child is or has the ability to be, they have the innate ability to settle down in front of the computer. While a little bit of computer time isn’t usually an issue, it can tend to become a real problem in most households. While kids used to be happy to play outside, nowadays they are bogged down with computer games and social media. This is not only a bad idea for the kids in general, but it adds to the likelihood of the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. So what’s a parent to do? How can get your kids outside and leave the computer behind?
* Introduce a Bit of Family Fun
If you make it a habit for the whole family to get outside for some family fun time from early on, then the kids will accept this as a normal. Even if you haven’t ever done so in the past, introduce a game of family basketball. Get the kids bundled up and all go play in the snow. Though they may resist it at first, once they’re outside and running around with the whole family, they will be in heaven. So introduce some family friendly and surefire winner activities outside, and watch the joy and color come back to their face.
* Limit the Time on the Computer
Many parents don’t want to say no to their kids because it’s just too hard—don’t fall into that trap. If your kids get used to playing on the computer too much early on, then this is going to be a hard habit to break. Allow them to play on the computer, but make it on a limited basis. Rather than just letting them play as long as they want, set some ground rules and some limits so that they’re not running the show. This can apply to other areas as well, but be sure to offer up the option of going outside as an alternative.
* Get Them Involved in Outdoor Activities
Though you don’t need to have your kid busy all the time, getting them involved is important. Getting them interested in outdoor activities early on in their life is something that is sure to carry through. Try them out at a variety of different sports or let them participate in different programs throughout the community. A child is never too old to try out a certain activity, and if it’s outdoors it tends to be more appealing. This is a great way to get them out from behind the computer screen and playing with others their own age. Though they may need a little nudge from you, they’ll thank you later!