My biggest pain point as a parent is most definitely the amount of time my kids spend in front of screens.
In the past it was easier for me to control as they were not yet using iPads and computers at school. But now, they are both in front of a screen for all subjects at school with the exception of PE, Art and Music and also on screens at home when they do their homework.
On top of that, all they want to do when they are not doing schoolwork is to chat with their friends, watch Youtube clips or play games, which again, are all performed looking at screens.
I know I am not alone within our circle of friends and family as it is a common issue with everyone that I know. But I wanted to look outside my immediate community to see if it is something every parent across the developed nations are dealing with, and just how bad is it?
Turns out one of the most discussed topics among parents today is screen time and it is causing parents some anxiety. A recent study in the U.S found 61% of parents with a child under 11 has asked a medical professional for advice on the subject.
Some of the questions arising are ... How much is too much? What impact will screens have on children’s development?
The noise around it got so loud that even the World Health Organisation issued guidelines on the amount of time young children should spend in front of screens.
All of these concerns come at a time when it is common for children of all ages to interact with a digital device whether for education or entertainment.
While there is not much I can do about the use of screens on the education side of things, I can be proactive in finding ways to keep them off the screens while they are not learning.
This is where picnics have been fantastic as we treat them like a mini adventure.
We get them involved in the planning of where we are going, we get them involved in selecting the food we are going to take with us, and in most cases it involves baking some nice sweet treat, which they are more than happy to do before we have even left home.
We also get them to choose the activities they want to do while we are there so we can pack them in the van, and once everything is ready off we go.
Between the preparation for the picnic, the travelling to the location, the picnic itself, the return trip and the unpack we can go for almost a full day without seeing them on a single screen ... total mum nirvana right there.
Plus the quality family time is amazing and really good for the soul. Its definitely something I would recommend all parents try, it should just be the most fun thing you do in your week.
I hope you liked this article and it helps you plan some screen free adventures with your kids, if you want to read some of my other articles, the links below.
Public Holidays great for Picnic Outings