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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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