by Melanie Ingler | Communications Coordinator
A new study published in the JAMA Pediatrics suggests yet one more reason to manage tech at home. “Tempting as it may be to hand them a smartphone or turn on the TV as a default response, soothing with digital devices may lead to more problems with emotional reactivity down the road, a new study has shown,” writes Madeline Holcombein in a recent CNN article [link].
“‘Even slightly increasing a child’s emotional reactivity, that just means it’s more likely when one of those daily frustrations comes up, you’re more likely to get a bigger reaction,’ said lead study author Dr. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician.” Read the rest here.
Who hasn’t been there? Especially while trying to work and school at home during COVID. And if you haven’t, a long break from school filled with extended family and friend visits and extra tasks to complete might send you there.
Sometimes these habits can be hard to break. I recall when my, now 21-year-old, son was in kindergarten, a teacher telling us “A lot of televisions seem to ‘break’ during kindergarten.” Our TV didn’t actually “break,” but throwing a cloth over it did wonders. However, as we all know, it just isn’t the TV in the corner seeming to allure us for some temporary peace and quiet anymore; everywhere you turn there is a tempting device, especially if you turned to them during the last few years.
I always found rather than taking something away from my children, it was easier to instead give something new or different. Even waaay back when I was a child, my mother had a plastic tub of rice with cups, measuring spoons, and sieves in it; kept away only for rainy days. I may not have enjoyed that if it had always been available, but it certainly made the rare indoor rainy day very exciting!
So, after you read “Giving your child a screen may hinder emotional regulation, study says. Here’s what to do instead”, here are some more media-free ideas for people of all ages to indulge in over break, and beyond:
- Make a big indoor tent/fort and read in it
- Visit the library
- Make a family tree
- Learn to play guitar or another new instrument
- Have a tea party
- Write a letter to a friend or relative
- Learn to play checkers or chess
- Write Thank You notes
- Go ice skating
- Plan a picnic
- Choose a new recipe to cook together
- Make up a story together, two words at a time
- Take a walk or go on a nature scavenger hunt
- Visit the mountains