Like us adults, kids love their screens. And once they get hooked on the TV — which seems to happen at birth these days! — it can be hard to get them to do anything other than park on the couch and watch Paw Patrol. And the same, of course, goes for video games.
A mom wrote in, asking for advice on how to get her children interested in anything other than watching TV or playing games. She asked for specific suggestions on family activities that would be fun for the kids… fun enough to stop them from missing the ol’ idiot box/X Box. Writer and mom-of-two Samantha Cooper weighs in with some advice on the topic.
A Mamas Uncut fan asks:
“All my kids (6,9,12) want to do is watch tv and play video games. I know I am just letting it happen, but now I realize I need to make a family change. What advice can you give to make us more active? What activities can we do as a family that they would actually want to do?”
– Mamas Uncut Community Member
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Chrissy Teigen Reveals Her Genius Screen Time Strategy
Advice from Samantha Cooper
The struggle is real with families these days and screen time, be it television, video games, or tablets. We have set some very strict guidelines for screen time: 1 hour total per day on school days and a bit more on the weekends, unless we have family activities or other commitments planned. We believe that family comes first over everything else, and we make that a very big point in our home.
As far as family activities, we do game nights with traditional board games and snacks. We also do movie nights with a subscription service or movie rental. With both of those, we incorporate popcorn, a movie theater size box of candy of their choice, and drinks that we normally wouldn’t consume.
We also take opportunities when the weather is nice to find local state parks and hiking trails. A backpack lunch and a nice trail can occupy an entire afternoon in the blink of an eye. We have found ourselves putting 5 miles or more down before we realize we should head back. This not only eliminates screen time, but also gets everyone out and about in the fresh air. We take our dog with us, and everyone gets a nice afternoon outside.
Speaking of outdoors, there are often exhibits in the aforementioned state parks and activities that are actually free or low-cost that an entire family can benefit from. Everyone usually learn a lot of fun things.
Opportunities are endless these days, but with the screens it often seems that we can be strangled away from the real world. It takes true effort to unplug, and as a parent sometimes we have to unplug to show our kids that it can be done.
[Images via Envato Elements.]
Samantha Cooper hails from Virginia the state of lovers. She is married and has 2 young boys. Samantha has been a blogger for the past 10 years and loves working from home and homeschooling the boys. An animal lover at heart, she has her own little zoo and loves to live the simple life. A writer from a young age, Samantha has worked for local newspapers and magazines as well as many online publications.
Mamas Uncut is the place for moms online. We cover the latest news around motherhood and parenting, plus entertainment news as well – all with a mom-focused twist. Looking for parenting advice? We have plenty of it, all for moms, from moms. Our mission is focused solely on empowering moms and moms-to-be with the knowledge and answers they’re looking for. We don’t stop there though, we have expert advice on a range of topics, and all of our categories get updated multiple times a day, so if there’s one website for moms you need to bookmark, it’s Mamas Uncut. We cover it all, from the latest and trendiest baby names, in the US and all over the world, to advice for moms in the workplace, or mom to mom advice on balancing it all. Looking for an answer to a specific question you’ve have? Head over to our new answers section, where you can ask questions on a nearly endless amount of topics, and you’ll get answers fast – really fast. Mamas Uncut is more than just the place for moms, it’s the community of moms – all here to help, make friends, and more. Not sure where to start? Take a look at one of our key topic areas like Pregnancy or Relationships – if you’re looking for advice on a specific topic, there’s a pretty good chance that we’ve already written on it (a few times), or that it’s within our answers section. If you don’t have time to read the site every day, we also have a newsletter that you can control how often you want to receive – that way we send all of the must-see content for moms directly to your inbox – it’s that easy. So go ahead and take a look around, ask a question, or just keep reading, we’re glad you’re here.