Hiking with your kids for digital detox
Should children be using electronic devices such as phones, computers and tablets? In this information age, it would be unreasonable to completely limit our children’s use of these devices. As parents, we want our children to remain competitive and digital media is an extremely useful learning tool. However, overuse of electronic devices may have negative consequences on child development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children should limit their daily screen time to no more than 2 hours. Overexposure may lead to the following:
1) Reliance on electronic devices as their sole source of entertainment
2) Conflict between parents and children regarding electronic devices
3) Development of bad habits, such as compulsively using such devices during meal time or before sleeping
4) Deterioration of sleep quality
5) Hindrance of their social skills
IF PARENTS START NOTICING THE ABOVE MENTIONED SYMPTOMS, IT IS NECESSARY TO START LIMITING YOUR CHILDREN'S SCREEN TIME. HOW ABOUT DOING SOME OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR KIDS FOR A “DIGITAL DETOX?
Nature provides an excellent learning environment for children:
1) Walking on uneven ground helps children develop physical balance and motor skills
2) Provides an opportunity to meet and socialise with other children, nurturing their social development
3) Hiking teaches children to overcome difficulties and promotes problem solving skills
4) Exercising releases endorphins which regulate mood, preventing depression and anxiety
5) Bonding time between parents and children is a great opportunity to develop similar interests
6) Sparks the curiosity of children, encouraging them to learn things outside their school curriculum
Children can start hiking soon after they learn to walk. Start on easy hikes and allow them to slowly learn and improve. Parents should keep the following in mind:
1) First hikes should be easy and last no more than 2-3 hours
2) Plan the route ahead of time. Be familiar with local transport, supply points and emergency escape routes
3) Prepare sufficient food and water
4) Wear proper hiking clothes and shoes
5) Consider doing the hike with other parents and children. Not only can you help look after each other, a playmate also allows the child to be more engaged in the activity
HIKING WITH YOUR CHILD IS A GREAT BONDING EXPERIENCE, SO PUT DOWN THOSE IPADS, GET SOME FRESH AIR AND CONNECT WITH NATURE TOGETHER!