Building Screen-Free, Healthier Habits In Children

By Yuena / 28 March 2024

Digital Detox“Everything is so tech now; everyone is so connected that way.” – Bill Hader Photo Source: Freepik

  • Sometimes, it is very nice to take a step back, switch off the gadget and explore the reality world. And so, we must encourage our children to do the same.


Digital detox? Living in the rapidly growing world of the 21st century, technology has taken over many aspects of our lives. There’s no denying that we all find ourselves glued to screens, which have become our main source of communication and connection with the world.


This digital revolution has also impacted the younger generation. Unlike years ago when many of us spent our childhood immersed in outdoor adventures and quality time with friends, today’s children are growing up in a world where the internet is ever-present. Many of them form dependencies on technology even before the age of three.


This trend has become a major concern for parents, who worry not only about the content their children consume online but also about the effects of excessive screen time on their development.


In response to these concerns, various tips and suggestions have emerged online in recent years, including the concept of digital detox.


Digital Detox And When Do Your Kids Need It

Digital Detox Pokok.AsiaiPad kid: A kid that is raised without the restriction of screen time. Photo Source: New York Post

A “digital detox” involves deliberately stepping away from electronic devices and online platforms for a certain period. It allows individuals to fully immerse themselves in non-digital aspects of life, free from the constant pull of screens.


This brief retreat from the digital world is not only refreshing but essential for everyone, including children. It becomes especially important when you notice that children are increasingly consumed by their devices or developing unhealthy screen-related behaviours.


These unhealthy behaviours can manifest in several ways:


  • Your kids throw tantrums every time you try to shut or take the device from them.
  • Instead of toys and books, they rely on devices for entertainment.
  • When they start using these devices at the dining table, texting each other despite living in the same space, and always sleeping with their devices next to them on the bed.

When parents notice these signs, it’s time to consider implementing a digital detox for the benefit of younger generations.


Implementing Digital Detox At Home


To start creating a digital detox environment at home, we adults must first acknowledge that most children don’t simply follow orders or instructions; they tend to be young rebels. However, children are excellent imitators of the adults around them. Therefore, the process of digital detoxing should begin with us.

Here are the best steps to teach a child to digital detox:

1/ Detox from your own device:


Begin by putting your phones away when spending time with your family and avoid excessive use of them in front of children. Take this opportunity to engage in conversation with them, fostering bonds and diverting their attention from their own devices.


2/ Suggest a family hobby or activity:


Introduce enjoyable hobbies or activities that the family can do together, ones that don’t involve electronic devices. For example, consider family days, camping trips, fishing, tug-of-war games, or barbecue nights.


3/ Play outside:


While some parents may hesitate to let their children play outside, it’s essential to highlight the numerous benefits of outdoor play. Encourage outdoor activities like walks, badminton, basketball, or football. Actively participating with children not only increases physical activity but also strengthens family bonds.


Benefits of Digital Detox For Children


Digital detox or limiting screen time can offer numerous advantages for children. One key benefit is the improvement in physical health. By reducing the time spent in front of screens, children naturally engage in more physical activity, enhancing their overall physical well-being.

Moderating screen time can also enhance mental wellness. With these boundaries in place, children may experience longer attention spans, reduced anxiety, and improved sleep patterns, all of which contribute to a more balanced emotional state.

As screen time decreases, families discover more opportunities for shared activities, fostering stronger connections and communication. Additionally, students may see an improvement in academic performance; fewer digital distractions can lead to increased focus on studies, potentially resulting in higher grades.

Finally, reducing screen time encourages children to explore other hobbies and interests that stimulate creativity and imagination.

In essence, implementing a digital break or managing screen consumption promotes a well-rounded, healthier lifestyle for youngsters, positively impacting their physical, mental, and emotional development.


Taking A Step Back From The Digital World


In today’s rapidly advancing technological landscape, it’s vital to recognise the impact technology has on our children. Embracing a digital detox isn’t just a passing trend; it’s essential for safeguarding their physical, mental, and emotional health.

With screens permeating nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s easy for children to become engulfed in the digital realm, which can have negative repercussions.

However, by fostering an environment rich in outdoor play, quality family time, and creative pursuits, we empower our children to thrive beyond the digital sphere. Breaks from technology not only encourage physical activity but also create opportunities for meaningful connections and exploration of the imagination.



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