14 Sep The secret to short-circuiting your kids’ screen-time addiction
It seems like a lifetime ago that families only watched television on a handful of free-to-air channels and for only an hour or two most nights.
That’s probably because that was a lifetime ago!
Now we’re all attached to screens from an early age. There are not only many more television channels – including subscription and streaming services – with a wide variety of programs available at any time, we also have instant access to pretty much any movie, every episode of favourite TV shows, and seemingly a million games designed for handheld devices.
Where a few years ago kids were plonked in front of a TV to watch Toy Story or The Lion King for the umpteenth time as a way to keep them occupied, these days we just pass over a tablet or smartphone so they can watch endless episodes of Peppa Pig wherever they are.
But you don’t need us to point this out. There would be very few parents who aren’t fully aware of this situation and there are articles virtually daily telling us how addictive screens are for all of us, and how hard it is to get kids off their devices once they form those habits.
Help your kids form better habits
We won’t mention those terribly addictive, antisocial, mood-altering, zombie-making screen devices again in this post. We just wanted to reinforce the fact that they’re everywhere and they’re here to stay, like it or not.
What we’d like to propose to you is the anti-electronic-device, what you might call the screen-time buster. The ideal alternative that will help your kids develop healthy play habits, learn to thrive in their own physical and mental space, and improve their creativity, self-confidence, and independence.
This not-at-all-revolutionary piece of equipment will also encourage your kids to get out of the house and appreciate the outdoors, the fresh air, grass, trees, and sky above.
Psychologists even suggest that there’s no better way to help children learn a whole range of skills that they’ll carry with them throughout the rest of their lives, things like problem solving, collaboration, empathy, communication, teamwork, and measured risk taking.
Have we built the suspense?
So (drum roll, please) what is this amazing, multi-dimensional, indispensable, almost mythical piece of kit we speak of?
It’s the not-so-humble cubby house!
Get your kids a cubby house when they’re young and you’ll be doing the best thing you can for their development.
Once a child starts playing in a cubby – even if they still need constant supervision – their physical and mental development picks up pace.
As soon as they can toddle, children learn more by challenging themselves, exploring their boundaries, and figuring out how to get themselves around (and up, down, under, and over).
By getting a cubby house while they’re still quite young, your kids figure out for themselves that there’s lots of fun to be had outside, thereby learning something that will become much more valuable later on. Hopefully, as they get older, you won’t have to force them off the couch, off their tablet or away from the television and out into the fresh air.
7 reasons you need to get your kids a cubby house now!
Earlier this year, we posted 7 reasons you need to get your kids a cubby house now!
If you haven’t read it, we encourage you to, but here are the seven reasons – without all the detailed explanations.
- A cubby is ‘low tech’ (that reason inspired this post)
- A cubby stimulates their senses
- A cubby is theirs
- A cubby teaches independence
- A cubby challenges them
- A cubby is a blank canvas
- A cubby is educational
What parent would not want those things for their children?
And, to be blunt, what parent doesn’t want to find the best way to stop their kids becoming addicted to a screen on a handheld device? (Sorry, just broke that earlier promise not to mention them again!)
Christmas is coming, but don’t wait. Check out our three sensational cedar cubby houses – the Hutt, the Hideout, and the Hideout Tower – and make what really is a very affordable investment in your kids’ development.
As well as changing their lives for the better, you might just be pleasantly surprised how much of a lift a new cubby in the backyard gives you and the entire family.
After all, who among us wouldn’t be better off spending a bit more time outside in the fresh air?