Here they are … the long awaited summer holidays. A time to rest, replenish and revive our minds, bodies and souls.
Everyone I talk to, adult or child alike, say that this has been a fast and very busy year. Many are saying it has been an unprecedented year in terms of demands on time, busyness and stress. In the past, it was reasonably common for adults to say that time speeds up, the older they get. But children talking about time flying, feelings of exhaustion and stress…well that’s pretty new and it’s on the rise.
So it is increasingly important that we really think about ways to help our children unwind and ‘reset’ over the holidays. In a digitally driven world this can be very, very difficult. However in the interests of our children’s mental and physical health, we must carefully consider and monitor our children’s use of screen based activities.
Messy rooms and dodgy hygiene, pale in comparison to the stress parents feel when trying to foster positive and healthy use of screen based activities. Many parents talk of their children acting like addicts when it comes time to do things that are not screen based. Unlike other addictions (eg alcohol and drugs) in which you’d implement a zero tolerance policy for your children, screen based activity and connectivity is part of daily life. So our children need to learn how to manage their use of technology in a way that is not detrimental to their health.
Here are a few ideas to help you think about and talk to your child about their use of screens over the holidays:
If our children (and adults) are connected online all holidays, they will not start the new year rested. They will arrive back at school in a heightened state of alertness, tired and anxious and this is not conducive to learning or to good physical and mental health.
Not sure what to plan or where to go? Try my Summer School Holiday Program for 5 to 12 year olds. Held at an outdoor location in Brisbane. Click here for more information.
Written by Madeline Avci. Mum of 3 active boys. Occupational Therapist. Owner of Jump Up for Kids (including Jump Up Outdoors). Madeline is passionate about making the outdoors part of everyone’s day and supporting families to navigate the challenges of our modern world.