The holidays are all about spending time with family. With the kids home from school and family and friends having fun together, it makes sense to want to keep the kids off the phones and engaging in hands-on activities.
Having Tech Free Holiday Fun
While some tech can be enjoyed together, like on family movie night, tech is more often than not a distraction that keeps kids focused on plugging in electronically rather than connecting with their loved ones. This holiday, it’s time to change things up. Try the following methods to help keep your kids unplugged:
1. Set Limits for Using Electronics
Tech isn’t always bad. On long flights or on holiday road trips, it can be helpful for kids to bring their favorite devices along. However, it is important for parents to set tech limits on the amount of time the kids spend with their devices. Once the limit has been reached, it’s time to search for entertainment in the real world.
2. Get Outside More
Encourage your kids to spend more time outside by planning outdoor activities. Whether you are building a snowman, going for a hike or having fun at the beach, allowing your kids to explore outside is an excellent way to keep their minds off their electronic devices.
When planning the family itinerary for the holidays, be sure to keep a tech-free trip in mind. Find ways to get the family out of their electronic-dependent habits and into the holiday spirit. Any activities around water like swimming or something hands-on like mountain biking are all great ideas to keep the kids away from their tech.
3. Collect Phones
Even if you do give your kids a limited amount of time to use their phone, you may want to consider holding on to it for the rest of the time. By keeping all phones on lockdown, you and your family will be able to have fun together without being distracted by constant notifications.
Many families even make a game out of being off the phone. During a particular outing, like a trip to a restaurant, family members and friends will all stack their phones in a pile in the middle of the table. The first person to reach for their phone loses the game.
4. Monitor Tech Use
Parents that let their children use their electronics during the holidays may want to consider using a network tap to monitor them. This allows them to view and control what their kids look at on their phones, computers, and the like. Moreover, this device can be used to disrupt the connection of a network or turn off the wifi, allowing parents to simply shut off a device’s ability to connect to the Internet.
5. Downgrade Your Tech
This may seem like a strange suggestion, but it works. Many parents are hesitant to take phones away from their kids in case of an emergency. However, the ever-present in-case-of-emergency phone will put a damper on the tech-free holiday experience. The perfect solution for this a tech downgrade.
While your children may have gotten used to having the latest phones, the holidays are the perfect time to bring back older technology by way of flip phones or walkie-talkies. With these antiquated devices, parents can still stay in contact with their children, while ensuring they are still detoxing from their tech.
The holidays are the ideal time for children to unplug from their electronic devices. Try these five suggestions to keep your kids connected to the family and away from their electronics this holiday season.