Screen-Free Activities While You Wait
The Huffington Post published an article in 2013 titled, “8 Ways Screens Are Ruining Your Family’s Life.”
The data reviewed in the article suggests that frequent exposure to screens (TVs, cell phones, tablets, etc.) impacts brain development, leads to increased risk for behavior problems, and inhibits the ability of children to focus and self-soothe.
Despite the fact that many parents have read similar findings, they continue to take the easy way out. As soon as their kids start to get antsy, parents hand over their phones instead of using it as an opportunity to connect.
Sure, it’s nice to get a break from sibling squabbling or have the chance to accomplish tasks without interruption once in a while. But when screen time exceeds non-screen time or is used frequently to avoid conflict, cure boredom, or take the place of human interaction –- problems arise.
If you want a strong relationship with your kids –- one of mutual trust and respect, enjoyment of one another, and deep connection –- there are no shortcuts. You’ve got to interact, resolve conflicts, talk, share, and play. And the best times to do these things are the very same times that many parents hand over the screens: Downtimes. Waiting times.
I’ve compiled a list of screen-free things to do when you’re waiting with your child. They require no materials, just you and your kids. They all aim to stimulate conversation, imagination, laughter, and connection. Just click on the picture below to open the file. You can download it, print it out, and keep it in your purse for those times you need some inspiration.
Got an idea to add to the list? Leave a comment below and let me know!