All parents sometimes use the TV as a free babysitter and in moderation there's really nothing wrong with that. The trouble is, if your kids end up watching too much TV at the expense of doing other activities then they are losing out. Here's why.
Get your kids active
Watching TV is a sedentary activity and there is research to prove that the more TV kids watch the more overweight they are likely to be.
Watching TV not is not only inactive but it is often accompanied by snacking – so it's a double whammy of bad habits!
So break the cycle and limit TV hours. Take care not to leave the kids bored but to introduce healthier family activities. You could go for a weekly swim, take a family exercise class, go for a walk or jog in the park. Alternatively you may just want to organize some toys and games that encourage the kids to be active.
As well as standard soccer, baseball, basketball and so on, old fashioned traditional games are also great for fitness and fun. They also have the added advantage that they can be played in a smaller area. Get the girls skipping – either traditional skipping or swing ball – and even the boys will think it's cool and want to take part if they can learn skipping tricks!
Some kids, particularly lazy teens - may be a bit reticent - so you may have to be a little sneaky – perhaps you could line them up for a job walking the neighbor's dog!
There is so much benefit gained from unplugging your kids from their devices and getting them involved in team games and activities. These encourage and improve communications, make fitness fun and generally improve your child's emotional and physical wellbeing.
Try buying inexpensive and simple games like sacks for sack racing, skittles for bowling or egg relay race kits – they are all a great way to get your kids active and encourage them to play team games!
Another great alternative to TV for kids is to get them totally absorbed in projects. These could be arty, scientific, educational or food-focused. Just see what floats their boat!
Children grow up so fast and it is such a shame for them to miss out on childhood games at the expense of TV and computer games. Even families with low budgets and busy schedules should be able to find one or two things they could introduce to replace TV time.
So take the initiative and see if you can do something incredibly important for your kids. Find something to stimulate them, get them active and tear them away from the screen.
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