Group of children holding mobile phones

Before the COVID pandemic, we worried about how much screen time our children were having. Post pandemic and screen time has definitely increased due to the amount of time children were online for during Covid. 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. 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. We really need to get children off their phones and doing activities. 

FIND HOBBIES TO REDUCE SCREEN TIME

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. As parents, we need to encourage them away from their screens and perhaps give our children the opportunity to try different activities or hobbies. By doing so they will find out what hobbies and interests are for them and then maybe, just maybe they will start to choose them over screen time.