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6 Ways To Help Your Kids Overcome Their Tech Dependency

6 Ways To Help Your Kids Overcome Their Tech Dependency

The Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2015 focusing on how much teens use technology, social media, and the internet in general. It showed that 56% of teens aged 13 to 17 go online several times a day, while only 6% said that they go online weekly, and only 2% go online less often. Kids are addicted to chatting, texting, and being online all the time.

Going online, searching for various information, and playing games is actually good for them and their development. However, the problem occurs if your children spend too much time using technology. This leads to them having poor social skills, health issues due to a lack of physical activity, and bad grades at school, so you need to find the right way to help them overcome their tech dependency.

1. Have a tech-free hour during the day

Forbidding the use of technology is completely ridiculous. The best thing to do is to limit screen time, but do not label it this way. Just focus on having an hour with no gizmos turned on.

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You can reach an agreement where, for one hour out of each day, no one in the family uses any tech, which includes watching the TV. So, no TV, no computers, no smartphones, and no tablets. Use this hour to bond with your family and talk about your day at work or about something that is bothering a member of your family.

2. Only allow texting and social media scrolling on the computer while at home

As you shouldn’t just outrightly forbid the use of computers or smartphones, you can allow only the use of a laptop when at home for chatting, scrolling the newsfeed, and so on. Make it an experiment and take 4 days from one week and make them smartphone and tablet free when at home.

It is too harsh to take away your kids’ social lives by banning chatting, as this is how the world works today. Most common apps can be installed on your home computer. You can download WhatsApp for your computer, or other apps like Viber and Snapchat.

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Your children won’t find it logical at first, as they can carry their laptops with them around the house. However, when having lunch and dinner, your children won’t be holding their smartphones, and that’s a win.

3. Sign them up for a class they will enjoy

If your kids are teenagers, they’ll probably hate every activity that doesn’t involve them hanging out with their friends. So, you need to come up with something that they’ll actually like, something they will continue to practice. If your kids like painting, acting, singing, or dancing, you can sign them up for some creative classes. They’ll benefit a lot if they work on developing their creative side.

On the other hand, if they are sporty, talk to them about which sport they would like to start playing.

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Don’t expect them to be professional basketball players or Oscar-winning actors. Just encourage them to do what they love and to follow their dreams. This way, you’ll definitely help them to forget about their phone and laptop for at least an hour or two.

4. Offer small rewards for every book read

Many kids don’t like reading, but at a certain age, we all come across a book we fall in love with and we start really cherishing the time we have just for reading. If your kids don’t like reading, don’t think that they’ll never experience the magic of the world of books.

Think about what kind of movies they like and recommend a book in the same genre. You can even give them the book their favorite movie was based on. Once they read their first book (for the pure enjoyment, not because they had to read it for school), they’ll get addicted to reading.

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In order to ensure that they’ll continue reading, you can offer small rewards for every book they read. For example, after they finish one book, you can give them some extra pocket money. The reward system has always been successful, as it is a great source of motivation.

5. Organize 30-minute family workouts

Many children spend hours sitting in front of a computer and playing games or mindlessly browsing online. In order to keep them healthy and fit, you can organize 30-minute family workouts which will encourage them to exercise. After some time, doing these exercises will become their habit, and they’ll realize just how good they feel. If they are bored when working out, then you can go to the swimming pool or play sports like tennis or basketball.

If sports are not your thing, the whole family can take lessons. This way, you’ll introduce a new family tradition and some quality bonding time.

6. Plan hiking trips on the weekends

Today, the only nature many children see is on their wallpapers. This has to change. Plan some hiking trips, but make sure to add a place of historical value, a waterfall, a cave, or an amazing view to the itinerary. They’ll complain while hiking, but when you reach the main attraction, they’ll realize that it was all worth it.

These are 6 of the most efficient ways to make your kids leave their phones and engage in some other activity. You shouldn’t take away their tech, but you should introduce them to new activities which will help them develop some new skills, meet new people, and stay healthy.

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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