Many parents worry about how much time their children spend online and glued to screens. Most of us feel like we spent twice as much time playing outdoors when we were kids compared to today’s generation.
One study reported that since the late seventies, there’s been a 25% decline in children’s free play, with today’s kids spending fewer than five hours outdoors on weekends, (on average), almost half the time that children spent outdoors in previous decades.
It matters, because not only is playtime critical for childhood development; free play helps children learn to take risks, build confidence and resilience, and allows time to unwind, relax and be creative.
Digital wellbeing and productivity expert Dr Kristy Goodwin says time outdoors in nature is vital for optimal brain function, but many children spend their “idle time staring at screens not sky”.
We can’t turn back the clock, and we’re all living in a digital world, but wouldn’t it be great if you could blend the best of days gone by with 21st century technology?
In this helpful podcast, Dr Kristy shares the latest neuroscience on technology use and unpacks how digital overload affects young brains. She also provides practical strategies on how parents can achieve a better digital balance without total bans and techno tantrums.
An award-winning researcher, author, speaker and a mum of three, Kristy is passionate about helping parents, educators, children and teens to thrive in our always-on digital culture.
She says parents need to be the pilot of the digital plane (not the passenger). This means establishing consistent, healthy boundaries around screen activities – even though that can be a challenge – and striving for a holistic balance that factors in other things that are important for mental and physical wellbeing such as sleep, exercise, time outdoors, and space for creativity.
Find out how a few simple micro habits can help you and your family use technology ‘intentionally’ and how to power down for more mindful moments, that move the mood from meltdowns to digital wellbeing.