Group of children holding mobile phones

Before the COVID pandemic, we worried about too much screen time for kids. Post pandemic and screen time seems to have been increased and I think the effects of lockdown are to blame.

Not only were children using screens for schoolwork, but they were also socialising on them most days, including gaming and speaking to isolated family members on screens etc. There were no after-school activities or holiday camps. It was home, walks and being indoors.

Now life is back to normal for children and teens I am finding that they are using devices a lot more because they are bored. They are reaching for their phones because there is nothing else to do. Why? Surely with the world now open they should be going out, socialising, going back to what they loved, or finding new things to do?

Instead, I feel that some children have forgotten what they did before and what they enjoyed. Or they simply can’t be bothered with those things anymore. They are just scrolling up and down their phones, passing the hours away.

Children need to have hobbies and interests for so many reasons.

Find Hobbies & Interests – Reduce Screen Time for Kids

If you have a child who is having too much screen or phone time, talk to them about what they like doing and come up with some ideas of projects they can do. For example:

  • Perhaps they could start a photography project based around another passion of theirs. They could photograph nature, people or interesting views of their local area.
  • Maybe they could research and scrapbook about something they love.
  • Do they like sports or fitness? Look for local classes or make time for a family bike ride or walk at the weekends.
  • Are they creative or artistic? They could develop these skills too.

Screens may be involved with some of these ideas, but it’s part of a wider engaging project with a purpose. It will progress their own skills and knowledge and also get them excited about something.

I know the children I speak to about their excessive phone use want to have something to do. But they don’t know what. As devices are addictive by nature, it can be hard for children to step away from the screen to see what else they could do.

As parents, we need to encourage them away from the screen, give our children opportunities to try different things so they can find out what hobbies and interests are for them. And start choosing them over screen time only.