Family life has changed drastically over the decades. With every generation, there seems to be many subtle shifts in the way parents want to raise their children and how they want them to grow up. Thanks to new technology such as mobile tablets and phones, kids are becoming much more technologically savvy than even the coolest of parents.
This makes it more of a challenge to tear your kids away from the compelling and addictive screens that serve as both an advantage and a potential risk to their growth as well-rounded human beings. Here are a few ideas to help you encourage your family to get out more and engage with the world together.
It’s become almost fashionable to demonise technology, especially with regards to its effect on young children and the changes in upbringing it might cause. Of course, there are risks when parenting alongside this type of technology – for example, simply passing your child a tablet to keep them quiet at a restaurant fails to teach them about patience, manners and social interaction.
These fears aren’t unfounded but even the parents most concerned about the effects this might have on their children can struggle to come up with alternatives. A great way to limit your child’s exposure to this addictive technology and to provide them with valuable family experiences is to teach them a new skill through play, such as a craft, something artistic or even a musical instrument. Don’t make these activities chores, otherwise your child will simply run back to the comfort of their tablet as soon as they can.
Reconnect with Nature
The importance of letting your children engage with nature is similar to that of balancing their exposure to advanced technology at a young age. A child will grow up to have more empathy, curiosity, and patience if they are given the opportunity to explore the world around them. Visit a petting zoo or farm to teach them about caring for other living creatures or maybe even adopt a pet for them to look after. Take trips to the beach or the woods to let them get mucky and excited about the natural environment. Even simple activities such as climbing trees or gardening can provide enough stimulation to keep them happy without the use of screens. Join organisations such as Carefree Boat Club that let you and your family explore nature in new and exciting ways.
Visit Other Cultures
Any opportunity to travel should be seized with both hands. Exposing children to new cultures and unfamiliar environments is an excellent way to teach them about the world and about how other people live. Whether this means taking a vacation abroad or simply spending time with family in another part of the country, the developmental significance of expanding a child’s worldview cannot be understated. Show your kids that life is diverse and fascinating so that they grow up to appreciate the world around them.