I'm really happy to have Monta as a guest blogger today, because I think this is a really important post. While ridding our lives of toxins and our countries of Monsanto are both key issues for me, there are child-rearing issues that are right up there alongside them on my priority list. Getting kids away from electronics on a regular basis is, in my mind, essential for raising creative and healthy kids.
Monta has three children of her own and serves as an Expert Advisor on multiple household help issues to various organizations and groups. She is also a mentor for other “Mom-preneurs” seeking guidance and is a regular contributor for nanny jobs. She welcomes your emails.
|Photo by Peter Griffin|
Unplug Your Kids This Summer
Tired of hearing the incessant dings, pings, bonks, horns, bams and teeth grinding music from your kids video games and television shows? Kids these days have every gadget and gizmo under the sun, but now that summer is here, it’s time to get them unplugged and away from the world of electronics. Start by placing strict rules on when and how long they may play with the electronics. However, since you have taken away something, you need to give them something to do with that spare time now. Consider these three activities:
Summer camp: There are many different types of summer camps offered for all age groups. You can try day camps or overnight camps (from 1 day a week to 2 weeks at a time). Find what is best for your child by determining what they are comfortable with. There are sports, religious, creative and educational camps everywhere; all you need to do is to start looking!
Big projects: Craft projects that require time and supplies are a great way to keep your child away from the video games and television. Find several large projects for your child to choose from and gather the materials for it. The key is to find a project that will keep their attention long enough, so be sure it’s something they will really enjoy.
Classes and lessons: During the school year, your child keeps busy with school, play dates and extracurricular activities, so when summer approaches, it’s their down time. Embrace that down time, because it’s a great time for them to explore things they didn’t have room in their schedules for during school. Many local organizations and clubs offer music, art, sports and other hobby lessons for a low cost. Allow your child to choose something that interests them and who knows, you may never hear that computer game again.
As I said, once you take their electronics from them, you must fill the void with an activity that interests your child; this is the only way for them to get unplugged and into something more beneficial for them. Remember to find something they thoroughly enjoy and is challenging to them. Have fun and hide those remotes!
While I don't usually add to articles written by my wonderful guest bloggers, I do want to add that kids need unstructured activities as well. The answer isn't necessarily filling up every hour of their day with structure. In order for kids to truly explore their creativity, they need time, pure and simple. Unplugged, and unstructured, time. Don't let the incessant, "I'm bored" whine deter you. Let them be bored. It just might be the gateway to discovering the true creative genius hiding behind the incessant dings, pings, bonks, horns, bams and teeth grinding music!