Being a parent comes with many inherent struggles. One such struggle many parents face is getting teens away from their screens. With the rise of digital entertainment, children find more enjoyment in playing games online than through traditional means. While there’s nothing wrong with a certain amount of screen time, teens shouldn’t have too much. If you want to get your teens outside, here are a few ideas to help.
Enroll Them in Sports
The first way to get your teens off their screens is by enrolling them in a sports program. For years, schools and recreation centers have been running sports programs for school-aged children. Many of these programs are either free for school district residents or available for a small fee. Depending on the season, your teens could play sports like baseball, football, basketball, or gymnastics. Each of these sports will help them build physical and mental skills they’ll use for the rest of their lives.
If there aren’t programs available in your area or you don’t have the means to enroll, there’s no need to panic. Family sports are just as effective and equally fun. While a public sports team may have more resources, playing sports with your teens will encourage long-lasting familial bonds between each family member. You don’t have to be good at sports to enjoy them with your family; grab some baseball gloves and head to a local park to play catch. By getting your teens involved in sports, you can give them something else to focus on than their screens.
Head Out for a Hike
Another way to get your teens outside is to head out for a hike. All around the country, there are state and national parks with beautiful and well-maintained trails. While some trails are too advanced for young people, many are perfect for burning some of their relentless energy. On a hike, your teens will have the opportunity to learn about nature, explore the planet they live on, and get their hands dirty. Playing outside is an integral part of every child’s development, and a hike is a perfect way for the whole family to have fun.
If you plan to take your teens for a hike, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind. The first is obviously your children’s experience level. When choosing a trail, make sure it’s something your teens can hike safely without getting too tired. Second, check the weather. You don’t want to be caught in a rainstorm or snowstorm while on your hike. If you need to, bring fleece fabric coats to keep warm. Third, stay on top of nutrition. Have plenty of snacks and water available for your teens during the hike. With these precautions in mind, a family hike can be a fun break from the world.
Take a Beach Day
Finally, taking a beach day is a great way to get your children away from their screens. If you’re close to a lake or the ocean, pack a cooler and head there for the day. Your teens will get to play in the water, build sandcastles, and get some vitamin D. While they’re playing, you can relax in the sun with your toes in the water. Getting out to the beach will give everyone in the family some much-needed relaxation.
If you don’t have access to a beach, taking your teens to a community pool is a great alternative. While it doesn’t have the sand and relaxing environment that a beach does, a pool will allow your teens to expend energy productively. By getting your family out to play in the water, you can reduce your overall screen time.
Overall, people of any age shouldn’t spend all their free time attached to a screen. With these ideas, you can get your teens outside and make memories together.