The American Academy of Pediatrics report children spend an average of seven hours a day on screens, including television, devices, computers and phones. Parent and Paediatrician, Dr. Dimitri Christakis suggested in his compelling TED Talk that rapid image changes on screen, when viewed by children during critical periods of brain development, precondition the mind to expect high levels of stimulation.
This can lead to inattention later in life. So where do we start?
Simplicity Leads To Happiness In Children (And Here’s How to Do It)
It was a monumental wake up call. Even as adults, it hurts when we spend precious time with loved ones and they allow texts and emails to distract them.
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Emails can wait. And social media updates will be there later. Out of sight, out of mind works well for me so I hide my phone…from myself. And using flight mode is my new best friend. They say it takes three weeks to break a habit so set yourself a day challenge. Leave your phone at home when you go out as a family. Have a social media free weekend. Or switch your phone off an hour before bed. And the ultimate reward — my little man is asking for less screen time. Have you heard of the five love languages?
The theory is that each of us give and receive love in different ways. The languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Most of us experience love through all of these languages but often one or two are dominant. Giving and receiving gifts can be a wonderful expression of love but I wonder if our consumer driven society is allowing it to monopolize our relationships. Spending quality one on one time with our kids.
Wrestling with our two year old on the bed. Hugs, hugs and more hugs. And telling them every chance we get how much we love them. Visit your local craft store and rummage through the house to collect natural materials, fabrics, ribbons and pillows. Give them to your kids to let their imaginations to run wild, building forts, playhouses and enchanted castles. On your next hike or trip to the beach collect shells, leaves, moss, stones and acorns.
Bring the outdoors inside and create nature baskets or tables, to examine and play with later. In Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne describes daily life as a song, with both high and low notes. The high notes are school, sports practice, music lessons and birthday parties.cafe-expert.ru/components/2020-04-28/4823-espionner-avec-telephone.php
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The low notes are walking the dog, getting an ice cream with Dad or playing catch in the backyard. Since I was a kid, homework and time spent in structured activities has doubled meaning free time has been cut in half for most children. By prioritizing time for free play over organized activities we foster creativity, self reliance and happiness. As an added benefit, parents who feel like a taxi service enjoy a new sense of calm and a chance to spend more time with their kids.
One reader wrote to me this week having done just that. She decided to pull her son out of hockey as he needed more downtime.
Simplicity Leads To Happiness In Children (And Here's How to Do It) - Raised Good
Other parents thought she was mad. But, she says it was the best decision as her son is much happier and calmer. Spending time with children outside is never a mistake. Nature provides endless possibilities for healthy stimulation, creativity and confidence building. Without a doubt, parenthood has brought unprecedented levels of complexity to my life.
He is my tiny, two-feet-tall Zen Master. To make me appreciate spring bulbs, ladybugs and dinosaur tracks. If we all lived in wild places, in log cabins, growing veggies and tending to our money trees simplicity would come naturally.
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But until that time, if we want to revel in the treasures it promises we need to first make space in our lives and welcome it into our modern families. Best thing ever is a simpler life. Thanks for these reminders! The main thing I struggle with is my toddler having too much screen time. I never meant for him to watch YouTube on my phone, but now when he sees me on the phone he asks to watch ABCs. Maybe we need more outdoor time! For sure Heidi. I think we all struggle. Do you have a learning tower?
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Thanks again for reading! I love the idea of a learning tower, but for our small kitchen, we got a kik-step. It is a rolling, library step stool, and when you stand on it, it puts down stoppers so it stops rolling. It has a little step to get to the top, and non-slip rubber to stand on, perfect for toddlers to help at the counter! I see they cost half the price as when we got ours years ago! The kick-step sounds great too, Sunshine!
Thank you. What a lovely and impressive post! Now that my son is grown and out of the house, I tend to do the same with my 11 year old dog. Let him set the pace, choose which way to go, who to meet and greet. Those 3 walks a day are the BEST part of my day. We moved to Northern Arizona primarily for the perfect weather and mountains. We are enjoying nature daily.
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Thank you Lori and what a lovely comment. I used to be a veterinarian and can fully appreciate how happy your dog must be with three walks a day in the mountains at his own pace. We are toying with the idea of moving to a small town. We live in Canada now but have traveled extensively in the states. We love Arizona and the southwest. Thanks again for reading and for taking the time to comment.
Many people live in situations where letting the cat be outside is impractical, etc. How can that be so any more than for us, dogs or almost any other animal? Nice one Nathan — lovely to see you looking out for pets. Thanks for reading. As the father of a 4- and 2-year-old much of what you write resonates with me. I grew up in the sticks as a kid and it seems like an entirely different world from what my kids are exposed to daily as part of the wi-fi genetation. Oh, the challenges.
Looking forward to reading more of your writing.
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Thank you so much for your kind words Jeffrey and a warm welcome to my site. Your comments are spot on. Thank you!! I agree so much with all of these ideas to treasure these precious times. Bless you! Thanks so much Monica, very kind of you to say. And the flood of comments has been extremely positive and reassuring. Thanks again. Great article. How much screen time do you allow?